The Last of Us finally arrived on HBO in 2023 after years of development and quickly became a massive hit with its combination of post-apocalyptic storytelling, character depth, and performances by Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey. The video game adaptation was quickly renewed for a second season, so fans have had something to look forward to since the finale back in March... even though there was no news of when The Last of Us Season 2 could happen. Now, HBO has reportedly locked down a date to start production, and it's not too far off.
A report from the Film & Television Industry Alliance's productionlist.com states that The Last of Us is currently in the development and pre-production stages of Season 2, and shooting will begin in Vancouver, Canada on January 7, 2024. While a January start is much later than shows like Grey's Anatomy and Chicago P.D. that are expected to begin before the end of November, the series undoubtedly has plenty to do in advance of filming. It appears that HBO is wasting no time in moving forward on the next stage of Joel and Ellie's adventure now that the SAG-AFTRA strike has ended.
There aren't many other details to glean from the report, although Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey are the two cast members listed. That's not shocking in light of how Season 1 ended with Joel and Ellie together again, with Joel hiding the massive secret of what he did to the Fireflies. Still, fans of the video games know that Joel has less of a key role the second time around. While Pascal will evidently be around when filming begins in early January, the question remains of how much we'll actually see him as Joel in Season 2.
It's worth noting that the show wasn't starting on Season 2 from scratch once the WGA writers strike and SAG-AFTRA actors strike ended. Showrunner Craig Mazin confirmed months ago that he'd completed one script prior to the WGA strike beginning, and passed along some information so that scouting could begin. There's no saying at this point when the second season will be ready to premiere on HBO, but fans can always celebrate the forward progress.
Plus, there's more for fans to look forward to sooner than we can expect even a glimpse of the new episodes. The Last of Us was nominated for no fewer than 24 Emmys, several of which were for the episode that moved Steven Spielberg so much that he reached out to the showrunner. The show can't take 24 trophies, however, as four of the nominations are for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama and three are for Outstanding Guest Actress. Still, I'm looking forward to seeing how successful the show is on the awards circuit, particularly in light of the 75th Emmys being delayed to January 2024 instead of airing in September 2023 as usual.