The Last of Us Season 2 grinds to a halt amid the Writers Guild of America strike.
Per Variety, the next installment of the wildly-successful post-apocalypse series has ceased all development and production as casting, which was primed to begin in early 2023, has ceased. It’s currently unknown whether this is an act of solidarity with the protest or if the crew was unable to continue working due to the strike. Sources familiar with the project noted that actors who were auditioning for the show were reading scripts from The Last of Us Part II, the video game sequel created by Naughty Dog, as official scripts for Season 2 have yet to be submitted. Series co-creator and writer Craig Mazin has been actively involved with the WGA strike, halting all work on the show while picketing. Neil Druckmann, the creative director of The Last of Us game and director of the HBO series, has also suspended work on Season 2.
The Last of Us isn’t the only major TV series that has ceased production in accordance with the WGA strike. As writers picket for increased pay and improved working conditions across the board, series such as Andor Season 2, Stranger Things Season 5 and various Game of Thrones spinoffs have all halted in the wake of the protest. It remains to be seen when the strike will come to an end as the WGA has said that previous negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers were fruitless.
The Last of Us’ Success and Future
The Last of Us was a huge success when it debuted in early 2023, quickly going on to earn a second season before the first had even concluded. Spurred on by overwhelmingly positive critical reviews and massive audience numbers on both HBO and HBO Max, both Mazin and Druckmann have their sights set on a long tenure for the series. “Our plan is to do it not just for one more season,” he said. “We should be around for a while.” Given that there are currently only two The Last of Us video games, it remains to be seen how the show will adapt the storyline for several other installments.
The creative team behind The Last of Us has admitted that they’ve already done plenty of work on more than Season 2. “We know where a lot of Season 2 and 3 will go, so we could start laying things in earlier,” Druckmann said. “Because we’re making the show, we know Left Behind, we know Last of Us Part II, so there are things, like we could have Marlene talk about Riley early on, because we have a better understanding of who Riley is, because Left Behind has already come out.”
The Last of Us Season 1 is available to stream on HBO Max.