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The Last of Us 3 already has a story — what you need to know

Eli from Last of Us Part II playing guitar
(Image credit: Naughty Dog)

Naughty Dog hasn’t committed to making The Last of Us 3 just yet. However, there’s good news for sequel-hungry fans: There’s already a pretty solid idea in place for the prospective game’s story. The two lead writers for The Last of Us, Part 2 have the major plot ideas worked out for another game set in Sony’s dark, fungal post-apocalypse. The big catch, of course, is that there’s no game to go along with it — and there’s no guarantee that there ever will be.

Information comes from IGN, which honed in on an interesting exchange from the Script Apart podcast. In Script Apart, host Al Horner interviews screenwriters for various movies. The most recent episode, “The Last of Us Part II with Neil Druckmann and Halley Gross” was a bit of a departure, as Horner and his guests discussed a video game script instead.

First off: The majority of the podcast is about how the script for The Last of Us, Part 2 came together. Speculation about a sequel involved only a few minutes of the show’s 43-minute runtime. But it’s interesting to know that The Last of Us story does not necessarily have to end with Part 2.

“[Co-writer Halley Gross] and I did write an outline for a story, that we’re not making — but I hope one day can see the light of day — that explores a little bit what happens after this game,” Druckmann said. “We’ll see.”

The “not making” part of the quote seems important, but only insofar as The Last of Us 3 is not in production yet. Whether Druckmann’s current outline would become the actual story for The Last of Us 3 seems highly unlikely. Any game story has to adapt and modify to suit the gameplay, the production schedule, the voice actors and so forth. But it’s interesting to know that, if nothing else, Naughty Dog seems to think that The Last of Us setting has more territory to explore.

“We’ve now had two games that I feel speak to something universal as well as telling a very personal story for these characters,” Druckmann said. “With two games, now there’s starting to be a pattern — now I feel like there are some structural and thematic themes you’d have to stick to if you’re making a third game.”

At any rate, it doesn’t seem like The Last of Us 3 is coming anytime soon. Druckmann reminded listeners that The Last of Us, Part 2 took seven years to complete, and that Naughty Dog hasn’t publicly committed to any new projects — based on The Last of Us or otherwise — just yet. In the meantime, fans can look forward to the upcoming The Last of Us TV series on HBO.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is an editor for Tom's Guide, covering gaming hardware, security and streaming video. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.