HBO announced today that The Last of Us has been officially renewed for Season 2. It comes after a premiere that drew 22 million domestic viewers and rapidly went viral on social media.
After the news broke, executive producer and Naughty Dog co-president Neil Druckmann stated in a tweet (below) that the second season will be based on The Last of Us: Part 2 game, much like the first season was based on The Last of Us (later rebranded as Part 1).
Part II —> HBO https://t.co/dJxiggcFDR
— Neil Druckmann (@Neil_Druckmann) January 27, 2023
Even though The Last of Us had only two episodes air, there were already rumours of a second season, led by actor Bella Ramsey who stated that a renewal was likely provided viewership remained high.
The network reportedly decided to lock in a second season after Episode 2 garnered 22% more viewers on its debut night than Episode 1 – the highest week two audience rise for any HBO original drama ever.
“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,” said Druckmann. “The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast and crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations. Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with Season 2! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog and PlayStation, thank you.”
Fellow executive producer Craig Mazin added: “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.”
In an effort to increase interest in HBO’s adaptation of The Last of Us, the first episode of the game was posted for free on YouTube prior to the announcement of Season 2. Fans can watch how the narrative of Joel and Ellie continues (along with Nick Offerman’s Bill) in Episode 3 on January 29. The programme has kept fairly loyal to the original PlayStation game, but it has also not been hesitant to alter things up.
In the review of Season 1, IGN said: “HBO’s The Last of Us is a stunning adaptation that should thrill newcomers and enrich those already familiar with Joel and Ellie’s journey alike.”