The Last Of Us has become a record-breaking show for HBO, claiming the title of the network’s most-viewed original series in an opening weekend.
It’s no surprise, then, that the video game adaptation has been renewed for a second season.
Created by Craig Mazin (Chernobyl) and the original game’s co-director Neil Druckmann, the series follows Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) 20 years after modern civilisation has been ravaged by a deadly infection.
A synopsis reads: “The series takes place 20 years after modern civilisation has been destroyed. Joel, a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie, a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone.
“What starts as a small job soon become a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the US and depend on each other for survival.”
How many seasons will The Last Of Us have?
As mentioned, a second season has already been commissioned, although a release date is yet to be announced. Beyond that, the show’s future remains uncertain.
What we do know is that the first season will focus solely on the events of the first game. There had been suggestions that the latter episodes would also cover the events of The Last Of Us: Part II, but co-showrunner Craig Mazin confirmed this won’t be the case.
Speaking to TechRadar, he said: “We certainly had [The Last of Us: Part II] in mind [when writing season one]. No question. But, you know, we’ve been pretty on record about this: this season really does focus on the story of the first game.”
In a separate interview with Gizmodo, Mazin all-but confirmed that future seasons of The Last Of Us will focus on the events of the second game. He also suggested that a third season may be required in order to explore the story fully.
“I think that the amount of story that remains, that we have not covered, would be more than a season of television. So, assuming we can keep going forward, the idea would be to do more than just one more season,” he said.
Mazin stressed, however, that he would not go beyond the events of of The Last Of Us: Part II, should HBO ask him to.
“I am not interested in going beyond the existing source material,” he said. “As a viewer, I have no problem watching shows that just keep going and going and going. No problem. But as a writer, I don’t want to be in the position of spinning plates to just spool out season after season of stuff. To me, it’s important that things are purposeful, and if they’re purposeful, that means they have endings.”
Meanwhile, Troy Baker, who voiced Joel in the video games, previously suggested that it may take three or four seasons to do the overall story justice.
“I think that, episodically, you can far more effectively tell this story, because trying to condense that experience into [a few] hours is impossible… it goes past the point of distillation, into reduction,” Baker told GameSpot.
“I think being able to do this episodically and go, ‘We’ll do this for say, three or four seasons’ and be able to almost 1:1 tell [that the story of the games] presents a great opportunity for more people to experience [them].”
In a four-star review of the first season, NME wrote: “Gamers have been burned before by poorly conceived adaptations of their favourite titles, so they were naturally skeptical. But they needn’t have been. The Last Of Us lacks novel ideas, but when it’s this good it can get away with it.”