Production on Season 2 of ‘The Last Of Us’ Shuts Down Amid WGA Strike

in Movies & TV, Television

Joel (R) and Ellie (L) The Last Of Us HBO

Credit: HBO Max

It looks like trouble is on the horizon for The Last of Us Season 2—and surprisingly, it has nothing to do with zombies.

bella ramsey as ellie in the last of us
Credit: HBO

Based on the beloved video game of the same name, HBO’s The Last Of Us became an instant TV phenomenon after arriving on the streaming platform in January of this year.

Starring Pedro Pascal as Joel Miller, a jaded survivor tasked with bringing the outspoken Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey, cross country to find a cure for the deadly Cordyceps brain infection, the series was met with rave reviews right off the bat.

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey the last of us
Credit: HBO

Demand for a Season 2 was nearly instantaneous after the show wrapped up its first season in March. Early indications were that the sophomore batch of episodes would be coming sooner rather than later, with Ramsey claiming that a second season could release by the “end of 2024 [or] early 2025.”

Pascal also hinted at a possible release window for Season 2, telling Collider that “there is a chance” cameras start rolling by the end of 2023. 

But now, it seems all release projections have been thrown out the window. According to a disappointing update, The Last of Us Season 2 might fall victim to the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike, which could put production on a screeching halt.

Writers picket a studio
Credit: Variety

Following a production update from Variety, which revealed that the audition process for the series had been paused due to the strike, it was noted that filming for Season 2 will likely kick off in early 2024 in Vancouver, Canada.

While it isn’t much of a postponement, this update did raise eyebrows, considering game creator Neil Druckmann shared weeks back that the show was “months away from starting” principal photography, reinforcing expectations that the second season was still on track for a late 2023 filming start.

Ellie (Bella Ramsey) and Joel (Pedro Pascal) looking at a plane crash in 'The Last of Us'
Credit: HBO

Considering that Season 1 took approximately 18 months to turn around between the beginning of shooting and its premiere on HBO Max, this updated early 2024 filming start would push back Season 2’s projected release window from late 2024 to early to mid-2025. 

Variety also reported that scripts for Season 2 have yet to be written and that the casting team was asking actors to read sides taken directly from The Last of Us Part II video game, which Season 2 will be based on. 

Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in 'The Last of Us'
Credit: HBO

With this in mind—on top of the fact that the series filmed for a whopping 200 days—fans shouldn’t get their hopes up about seeing The Last of Us Season 2 anytime soon. And with the last major WGA strike having lasted 100 days, production could be put on hold for months.

What are your thoughts on The Last of Us Season 2 heading for a long delay amid the ongoing WGA strike? Let us know in the comments below.

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