The Last of Us season 2 news, filming update and everything you should know

Pedro Pascal as Joel in HBO's The Last of Us
(Image credit: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

We just learned when to expect The Last of Us season 2 (or are we calling it "The Last of Us Part II?"). So, if you're still hungry for more after the season finale, we've got an update for you. Wildly enough, though, we're already talking about The Last of Us season 3 (and potentially season 4). 

And we've just gotten a bit of a casting update that should assuage some concerns that gamers have about season 2.

HBO issued a press release announcing The Last of Us season 2 on January 27, touting the show's early success. According to the pay cable channel, the Last of Us premiere "surpassed 22 million viewers domestically, up nearly 5x from its premiere night audience," and notes that the second episode's 5.7 million viewers across HBO Max and HBO is a "22% jump" that "marks the largest week two audience growth for any HBO Original Drama Series in the history of the network."

Neil Druckmann, co-creator of the game and executive producer of the series, is quoted as saying "I’m humbled, honored, and frankly overwhelmed that so many people have tuned in and connected with our retelling of Joel and Ellie’s journey. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations ... Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!"

As for Mazin, who previously impressed with HBO's Chernobyl, he's quoted as saying "I’m so grateful to Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey ... The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in."

The Last of Us season 2 release and filming window

Bella Ramsey, on the UK comedy series The Jonathan Ross Show, revealed a vague window for the filming and release of The Last of Us season 2. 

The Independent quotes her as saying "It will be a while. I think we’ll probably shoot at the end of this year, beginning of next." with a release date of "probably ... the end of 2024, early 2025."

The Last of Us season 2 might not be called that

Just don't expect HBO to just announced The Last of Us season 2's release date, as they'll probably borrow the "Part II" naming format from the video games. Speaking of which, a The Last of Us Part III game has been rumored to happen, but Druckmann told Buzzfeed that it's not assured.

The Last of Us season 2 release date speculation

The Last of Us season 2 will probably take some time to make. The first season took a while to film, lasting from July 12, 2021 to June 11, 2022. Then, we waited six more months for post-production and such to conclude. 

Right now, we'd bet on a winter 2024 The Last of Us season 2 release date at the earliest — with 2025 seeming far more likely. The series also has to find ways to fit into its busy stars packed schedules.

The Last of Us season 2 cast

The Last of Us is currently led by Pedro Pascal as Joel, who is a survivor in the pandemic-ravaged America, and Bella Ramsey as Ellie. What follows contains notes from the story of The Last of Us Part II game, so we consider this space a spoiler-filled zone.

An image indicating spoilers are ahead.

Both Joel and Ellie are still alive as is Tommy, Joel's brother. So expect at least the following three cast members to remain:

  • Pedro Pascal as Joel
  • Bella Ramsey as Ellie
  • Gabriel Luna as Tommy

Oh, and if anyone had doubts about Ramsey staying on — there is something of a time jump — that's not happening. Craig Mazin told the press (via Screenrant) that "It won't be exactly like the game, it will be the show that Neil and I want to make. We are making it with Bella."

Druckmann confirmed that, stating "I can't imagine that version of Ellie being anybody else, and then somehow we got lightning in the bottle again with Bella. We are extremely lucky to have Bella in the stuff you saw throughout this entire season. The only way we would ever ever consider recasting Bella is if she said, "I don't want to work with you guys anymore." Even then, we're not sure we would grant her that, we might still force her to come back."

The new major character to cast is Abby Anderson, who is something of a nemesis in the game. She's a former member of the Fireflies.

Henry T. Casey
Managing Editor (Entertainment, Streaming)

Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.