‘The Last Of Us’ Season 2: Everything We Know So Far

Updated with latest: In the year-plus since The Last of Us became a Max hit series with Season 1 debuting on the streamer January 15, 2023, the second season has gone full steam ahead in production after the dual Hollywood strike. Exciting developments such as an expanding cast and projected release date were given even before Warner Bros. Discovery’s Upfront presentation in May, where a first look was provided.

The cast of Season 1, which was shot in Calgary, Alberta, included Gabriel Luna as Tommy, Anna Torv as Tess, Nico Parker as Sarah, Murray Bartlett as Frank, Nick Offerman as Bill, Melanie Lynskey as Kathleen, Storm Reid as Riley, Merle Dandridge as Marlene, Jeffrey Pierce as Perry, Lamar Johnson as Henry, Keivonn Woodard as Sam, Graham Greene as Marlon, Elaine Miles as Florence, Ashley Johnson as Anna, and Troy Baker as James.

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Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal will reprise their roles as Ellie and Joel in the next installment of the series, adapted from the popular video game. Read on for new cast members, release date details and more.

When does The Last of Us Season 2 come out?

The second installment of the Max drama is slated to launch in 2025. HBO boss Casey Bloys first hinted at this timeline at the end of 2023.

How many episodes will be in The Last of Us Season 2?

Co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann told Deadline that Season 2 will be shorter than Season 1 with seven episodes. They are planning to continue the story into a third season since the source material is more extensive than that for the first season.

“The story material that we got from Part II of the game is way more than the story material that was in the first game, so part of what we had to do from the start was figure out how to tell that story across seasons,” Mazin said. “When you do that, you look for natural breakpoints, and as we laid it out, this season, the natural breakpoint felt like it came after seven episodes.”

The creators realize fans might be worried about the shorter season length, but they dispelled those concerns. They want every episode to “feel like its own blockbuster.” One of the episodes in Season 2 will have a notably large length.

What is Season 2 of The Last of Us about?

The Last Of Us
Photo : Max

The second season of the dystopian drama will be based on The Last of Us Part II game from Naughty Dog that came out in 2020.

The Last of Us’ story takes place twenty years after modern civilization has been destroyed. Joel (Pascal), a hardened survivor, is hired to smuggle Ellie (Ramsey), a 14-year-old girl, out of an oppressive quarantine zone. What starts as a small job soon becomes a brutal, heartbreaking journey, as they both must traverse the U.S. and depend on each other for survival.

Mazin and Druckmann are keeping the themes of the game’s two existing parts, which have been described as unconditional love (Part I) and revenge (Part II).

“More specifically, it’s a continuation of love from the first season, and this is just the dark side of that coin, the pursuit of justice at any cost for the ones you love and the exploration of that,” Druckmann said of Season 2.

RELATED: ‘The Last Of Us’ Season 2 Episode Count Revealed As Craig Mazin & Neil Druckmann Explain Decision & Tease Additional Seasons

Will there be more seasons of The Last of Us?

The show could extend for at least a third season, and maybe even a fourth. Craig Mazin hinted that the third installment would be larger than the second season.

“We don’t think that we’re going to be able to tell the story even within two seasons [2 and 3] because we’re taking our time and go down interesting pathways which we did a little bit in Season 1 too,” Mazin said. “We feel like it’s almost assuredly going to be the case that — as long as people keep watching and we can keep making more television — Season 3 will be significantly larger. And indeed, the story may require Season 4.”

RELATED: ‘The Last Of Us’ Star Pedro Pascal Gives Season 2 Update After “A Little Drunk” SAG Awards Speech: “Filming Is Going Amazing”

Has production on The Last of Us Season 2 started?

Production began on February 12,  2024 in Canada. Deadline revealed in March, Season 2 will be filmed in Vancouver as a significant part of the story in The Last of Us Part II video game is set in the Pacific Northwest. The series is a co-production between HBO and Sony Pictures Television.

Will there be new characters in The Last of Us Season 2?

If videogame characters not yet featured in the show can be counted as new, then yes.

First announced in the new cast lineup was Kaitlyn Dever, who will portray Abby, one of the two playable characters in The Last of Us Part II game. Dever’s Abby is a skilled soldier whose black-and-white view of the world is challenged as she seeks vengeance for those she loves. In the game, the character was portrayed by Laura Bailey.

Next in the newcomer lineup is Young Mazino, who received an Emmy nomination for his breakout role of Paul in Beef. Mazino will play Jesse, a pillar of his community who puts everyone else’s needs before his own, sometimes at a terrible cost. In The Last of Us Part II game, which the TV series’ second season is based on, Jesse is portrayed by Stephen Chang.

RELATED: ‘The Last Of Us’ Co-Creator Craig Mazin Extends Overall Deal With HBO & Max

Isabela Merced was the last of three major additions to the upcoming second season of the post-apocalyptic drama series. She will play Dina, Ellie’s new romantic interest and Jesse’s ex. Dina is a free-wheeling spirit whose devotion to Ellie will be tested by the brutality of the world they inhabit. Dina is portrayed by Shannon Woodward in the game. This marks a reunion for Dever and Merced who starred together in the 2022 movie Rosaline.

Catherine O’Hara has been cast in an unknown guest role for Season 2. In March 2024, Max revealed the addition of four more characters played by Danny Ramirez (Top Gun: Maverick), Ariela Barer (How To Blow Up a Pipeline), Tati Gabrielle (You) and Spencer Lord (Riverdale).

Ramirez will play Manny, a loyal soldier whose sunny outlook belies the pain of old wounds and a fear that he will fail his friends when they need him most. Barer portrays Mel., a young doctor whose commitment to saving lives is challenged by the realities of war and tribalism.

RELATED: Much Anticipated ‘Last Of Us’ Multiplayer Game Canceled By Naughty Dog

Gabrielle is Nora, a military medic struggling to come to terms with the sins of her past. Lord plays Owen, a gentle soul trapped in a warrior’s body, condemned to fight an enemy he refuses to hate.

Jeffrey Wright marks the most recent addition to The Last of Us Season 2. He will portray Isaac, the quietly powerful leader of a large militia group, known in the video game as the Washington Liberation Front, who sought liberty but instead has become mired in an endless war against a surprisingly resourceful enemy. Wright also voiced this character in The Last of Us Part II game.

Will Bill and Frank be back in Season 2 of The Last of Us?

Murray Bartlett is Frank
Murray Bartlett is Frank

Executive Producer Craig Mazin ruled out a return of the characters whose episode and love story became super popular early on in the season.

“I’m very proud of the episode we did with Bill and Frank,” Mazin, who wrote that episode, told Deadline. “There won’t be more Bill and Frank.”

RELATED: Nick Offerman Slams “Homophobic Hate” Aimed At His Episode Of ‘The Last Of Us’ In Indie Spirit Awards Speech

Nick Offerman, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Bill joked that the possibilities are endless for more material centering the duo, completed by Murray Bartlett in the role of Frank.

It certainly has been pitched. I think we pitched a whole mini-series of a prequel of their lives before they met each other. It could be a musical. We’re not short on ideas. We’ll just we’ll see what Craig [Mazin] and Neil [Druckmann] come up with,” he said.

Mazin later emphasized that the actor was joking. Offerman did say he was open to returning to the role in the future, though.

RELATED: ‘The Last Of Us’: Josh Brener On Whether His Character Murray Is Coming Back For Season 2

Who will direct Season 2 of The Last of Us?

Mark Mylod, winner of Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series award for "Succession," poses in the press room at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards on January 15, 2024.
Mark Mylod, winner of Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series award for “Succession,” poses in the press room at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards on January 15, 2024.

In addition to Mazin and head of the video game developer Naughty Dog Neil Druckmann as well as Peter Hoar who helmed Episode 3, “Long, Long Time” Deadline broke the news in January of new directors boarding the show’s second installment.

Successiondirector Mark Mylod has boarded Sesaon 2 in addition to  Nina Lopez-Corrado (Perry Mason), Stephen Williams (Watchmen) and Kate Herron(Loki).

Who else is creating The Last of Us Season 2?

Written and executive produced by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann the series is also executive produced by Carolyn Strauss, Jacqueline Lesko, Cecil O’Connor, Asad Qizilbash, Carter Swan, and Evan Wells. The series is produced by PlayStation Productions, Word Games, The Mighty Mint, and Naughty Dog.

RELATED: ‘The Last Of Us’ Actor Nick Offerman Shares Full Flub-Free Speech Following Creative Arts Emmys Win

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