The Last of Us is going to go beyond two seasons.
Season one of HBO‘s hit video game adaptation The Last of Us, more-or-less faithfully covered the events of the first video game. Season 2 will, more likely than not, cover the events of the second game in the series — though the creators have confirmed the storyline will differ from the game somewhat. There is no third game, but CBR reports that showrunner Craig Mazin has no plans of stopping after just two seasons.
“Our plan is to do it not just for one more season,” he said at a National Association of Broadcasters panel. “We should be around for a while.”
It’s very little wonder why Craig Mazin wants to keep The Last of Us going. The series is the only HBO Max show to make it into Nielsen’s Top 10 streaming programs in recent months, and it has managed to stay on that list throughout its run. The show has also received high praise for its acting, writing, direction, and worldbuilding, which are fairly rare for a video game adaptation to get right.
The Last of Us stars The Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal and Game of Thrones actress Bella Ramsey as the smuggler Joel Miller and the teen girl Ellie Williams as they navigate an apocalyptic landscape infested by creatures called “the infected” — shambling, feral monsters that were once humans before the Cordyceps fungus took over their brains. Ellie is mysteriously immune to Cordyceps infection, and Joel has been charged with delivering her to a militia group called the Fireflies in hope of finding a vaccine.
The grim, almost hopeless world of The Last of Us has left Joel a distant, gruff man who avoids getting close to others. His time guarding Ellie manages to make him start caring about her, which affects the ending of Season 1 in ways that… aren’t necessarily positive, depending on your outlook.
Without getting too much into spoiler territory, the second The Last of Us game follows Ellie as she learns to deal with the consequences of Joel’s choices — though it’s made clear that Joel hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Ellie about what he did in the finale of the first game. The result is a storyline that’s somehow even bleaker (and more violent) than the first game and an ending that is brutal, ambiguous, and heart-wrenching in a way that has left many people feeling empty inside.
It’s not clear how Season 2 will differ from The Last of Us 2 — it’s possible that the showrunners will find a way to keep the ever-popular Pedro Pascal around for longer, which could greatly affect the series’ plot. But, given Craig Mazin’s comments about future seasons, it’s also possible that the changes will help provide reasons for a Season 3 to exist. However, the ambiguous ending of The Last of Us 2 leaves plenty of room for future stories, so changes wouldn’t exactly be necessary for that purpose.
The Last of Us is the latest in a surprising number of well-done video game adaptations, proving that the genre can, in fact, be adapted to different mediums. Season 2, and any future films that Mazin has up his sleeve, will hopefully match the first season’s quality.