The Last Of Us was one of the biggest break-out TV shows of 2023, having bagged several nominations and awards (including eight Primetime Emmy Awards) and an average viewership of 32 million people per episode. It’s no wonder then that the series was renewed for a second instalment just two episodes in. Here’s everything you need to know about season 2 of The Last Of Us – including how Catherine O’Hara will be joining the cast.
Please note that this article does contain some spoilers
The Last Of Us Season 2: Everything We Know So Far
What Is The Last Of Us About?
Based on a video game franchise of the same name, The Last Of Us is a post-apocalyptic drama where a mass fungal infection, known as Cordyceps, has turned a huge percentage of the American population into zombie-like creatures. Set 20 years after this pandemic first began, the show highlights how society has since collapsed as it scrambles to survive and find a cure.
In the first season, the show primarily focuses on Joel (Pedro Pascal), a smuggler who is tasked with escorting infection-immune teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across the US to a safe point.
As HBO summarises: ‘After a global pandemic destroys civilization, a hardened survivor takes charge of a 14-year-old girl who may be humanity’s last hope.’
Where Does Season 1 Leave Off?
The finale of season 1 saw Joel and Ellie reach the Fireflies’ Salt Lake City outpost, with Ellie choosing to undergo the operation that could help find a cure for the Cordyceps pandemic. But after they find out that the procedure killed her, Joel sets out to rescue her – mowing down the Fireflies members and their leader, Marlene. He takes an unconscious Ellie out of the outpost, and when she awakes tells her that things went south at the hospital and that the cure is a lost cause.
The season ends with Joel and Ellie hiking to Jackson, a commune led by Joel’s brother Tommy. Here, Ellie asks Joel if what he told her was true, but Joel doubles down on his lie to protect Ellie from the truth. She simply responds with, ‘Okay.’
What Happens In Season 2?
It’s expected that the show will follow a similar timeline to the games, which feature a five-year time jump between the first and second instalment. But, other than that, the plot of season 2 of The Last Of Us is going to differ somewhat from the Part II game.
‘It will be different just as this season was different [from the first game],’ said show creator Craig Mazin during a virtual press conference ahead of the season one finale. ‘Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be [barely] different at all. But it’s going to be different and it will be its own thing. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make…’
With the confirmation of new characters, however, we expect to see some similarities to the main plot of Part II. The second season is set to introduce Dina (Isabela Merced) as Ellie’s romantic interest, as well as Dina’s ex Jesse (Young Mazino) and vengeful soldier Abby (Kaitlyn Dever) – but how closely these characters adhere to their original storylines is yet to be seen.
Who Stars In The Show?
First things first: let’s talk new arrivals. Schitt’s Creek star (and all-round icon) Catherine O’Hara was recently revealed as the newest cast member to join The Last Of Us, alongside fellow actors Isabela Merced, Young Mazino and Kaitlyn Dever. While the role O’Hara will have in the show has been kept under wraps, we’re excited to see what she’ll bring to the story.
‘Our casting process for season two has been identical to season one: we look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material,’ said showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. ‘Nothing matters more than talent.’
They’ll be joining Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, who play central characters Joel and Ellie. While some characters from the first season could pop up again in the second, there are some – who have sadly already met their end on the show – who are less likely to make a return (unless it comes in the form of a flashback).
Read on for the confirmed season 2 cast list below:
- Pedro Pascal as Joel
- Bella Ramsey as Ellie
- Kaitlyn Dever as Abby
- Young Mazino as Jesse
- Isabela Merced as Dina
- Catherine O’Hara (role not yet disclosed)
Where Is The Last Of Us Filmed?
Season 1 was filmed in Alberta, Canada between July 2021 and June 2022; season 2 locations are yet to be revealed. You can read all about the various filming locations with our guide here.
When Will The Last Of Us Season 2 Be Released?
No concrete dates have been announced for season 2 just yet, so make sure to watch this space for updates.
While it’s thought that last year’s strike action delayed work on The Last Of Us, we do know that show creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann had already mapped out the second instalment by August 2023 (as revealed on Entertainment Weekly‘s Awardist podcast). Since then, episodes have been written and some scripts submitted.
Production is expected to pick up again in February 2024 – as noted by HBO boss Casey Bloys – so our best guess is that the season 2 of The Last Of Us will hit screens sometime around early to mid 2025.
Is There A Trailer?
Since production has only just started on the show, we’ll still need to wait a while for any trailers or teasers. We’ll keep you posted with updates here.
Where To Stream Season 1
Images courtesy of Sky