Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann, showrunners of The Last of Us, are switching it up for the second season.
While the first season of HBO’s post-apocalyptic drama closely mirrored the main events of the first game in the series, the second game will reportedly take “more than one season”.
In an interview with British GQ, the showrunners were asked if the second season will “span the entire course” of Part II, to which Mazin swiftly responded: “No. No way.”
Mazin refused to reveal how many seasons it would take, but did share that “more than one is factually correct”.
“Some of the stuff I’m most excited for [in Part 2] are the changes we’ve discussed and seeing the story come to life again in this other version,” said Druckmann. “And I think it’s exciting because it leans into those feelings you had from the game, really heavily, in a new way.”
GQ also questioned the creators on backlash from fans, who took issue with the lack of scenes with the infected as opposed to the game.
“One of my least favourite notes as a screenwriter to receive from a studio is, ‘we really liked this, give us more of it.’ And I always think, well, I’m going to give you more good until you’re like ‘ah it’s too much of it,'” explained Mazin.
“I learned that lesson as much from watching Game of Thrones as anything else. That series had such a slow and interesting build to the presence of the wights and the white walkers. Every time you saw them, your blood pressure skyrocketed. They were special.
“Had Game of Thrones been a game first, as opposed to a set of novels, there’s no doubt that in the game, you’d be fighting White Walkers all the time. And som of course you would want more of them [in a TV adaptation].”
However, Mazin has “noted how much [fans] liked those encounters” by “watching the audience watch the show”, adding: “And I think we have some really interesting things coming that will be very satisfying without burying you.”
The Last of Us takes place 20 years after a mass fungal infection, caused by a mutation in the genus Cordyceps, sparks a global pandemic. Petro Pascal stars as Joel, a smuggler tasked with escorting teenager Ellie (Bella Ramsey) out of a quarantine zone across a post-apocalyptic wasteland in the United States.
The series has been met with universal critical acclaim, particularly episode three – titled Long Long Time – which shifts focus from Joel and Ellie to chronicle the love story between paranoid survivalist Bill (Nick Offerman) and his partner Frank (Murray Bartlett).
It has since been hailed as one of the best episodes of television ever broadcast.
The Last of Us, which aired its final episode on 12 March, was renewed for a second season shortly after the premiere.
At the time, Druckmann said in a statement: “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. The collaboration with Craig Mazin, our incredible cast & crew, and HBO exceeded my already high expectations.
“Now we have the absolute pleasure of being able to do it again with season two! On behalf of everyone at Naughty Dog & PlayStation, thank you!”
Mazin continued: “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.”
The Last of Us is available on Sky Atlantic and NOW.