Writers’ strike likely to push The Last of Us Season 2 filming in Vancouver to 2024

There are currently no scripts for the second season as thousands of unionized writers call for better pay in the streaming era

Pedro Pascal Bella Ramsey The Last of Us

If you’ve been chomping at the bit for more of The Last of Us, you’ll likely be waiting a little longer than expected.

Variety reports that the development of the second season of the acclaimed HBO series has been put on hold amid the ongoing Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike. According to the outlet, casting had been underway, although no completed scripts for the show are currently available. Instead, the crew had to use direct lines from The Last of Us Part II game upon which Season 2 is based.

As a result, Variety notes, citing sources, that The Last of Us Season 2 likely won’t begin filming until early 2024. As previously confirmed, production on the series will move to Vancouver for the second season after the entire first season was shot across Alberta.

As Variety points out, the lack of Season 2 scripts isn’t surprising considering series co-creator Craig Mazin has been seen on the picket line alongside other WGA members. The outlet adds that Mazin, who is also the co-showrunner and a producer and director on the show, hasn’t been doing any non-writing work on the series in keeping with strike guidelines. Neil Druckmann, meanwhile, the co-creator of both The Last of Us game and TV series, also isn’t currently working on the show amid the strike. (His main job, however, is co-president of The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog, where he is also working on a yet-to-be-revealed game.)

With Druckmann’s primary commitments being to Naughty Dog, Mazin, the creator of HBO’s hit Chernobyl series, handled the majority of writing duties on The Last of Us‘ first season. It’s unclear to what extent the writing for the new season will be split between the pair.

It’s worth noting that the first season of The Last of Us was filmed between June 2021 and 2022, with the series eventually releasing in January 2023. While much of that was during significant COVID-19 restrictions, it was nonetheless still a lengthy shoot. Given that timeline, then, it doesn’t seem likely that we will see Season 2 until well into 2025 at the earliest. Season 2 is also only set to cover some of The Last of Us Part II, with at least one more season planned to fully adapt the ambitious sequel.

The Last of Us is one of many shows that have closed up shop amid the writers’ strike, including Netflix’s Stranger Things and Cobra Kai, HBO’s Hacks and Showtime’s Yellowjackets. Notably, this is the first WGA strike in 15 years, with thousands of unionized writers arguing that they’re not paid fairly in the streaming era.

For now, though, the first season of The Last of Us is streaming on Crave in Canada.

Image credit: HBO

Source: Variety