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The Last of Us TV Series Renewed for Second Season at HBO

The Last of Us TV series has been renewed for a second season. In a tweet, HBO confirmed the next chapter in its live-action adaptation of the renowned PlayStation video game, merely two episodes into season 1. The original game writer and now co-President of Naughty Dog responded to the tweet, claiming that the new season will chart the events from the polarising gory sequel, The Last of Us Part II. Craig Mazin — co-writer on the show — previously hinted that an adaptation of the sequel was likely if enough people watched it, convincing the studio to lock in a new season.

While Disney+ Hotstar — India’s destination to watch The Last of Us series — hasn’t provided details on the viewership count, HBO has been doing it on an episode-by-episode basis. The second episode, adored by fans and critics alike, reached 5.7 million viewers across HBO and HBO Max in the US, representing a 22 percent jump over the 4.7 million viewers it gained for the pilot. As per HBO, the numbers mark ‘the largest week two audience growth for an HBO Original drama series in the history of the network’. Clearly, the studio loves the attention, and has now greenlit a second season to continue Joel and Ellie’s arc. While there are no cast details yet, it is likely that the current leading actors will reprise their roles in season 2.

“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,” Mazin, executive producer and showrunner, The Last of Us, said in a prepared statement. “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, much like the original 2013 video game, tracks the emotional journey of a hardened survivor and smuggler Joel (Pedro Pascal), as he escorts a teenage girl Ellie (Bella Ramsey) through the post-apocalyptic US, swarming with infected mutants, desperate survivors, and some insolent jerks. The series also stars Nick Offerman as the greasy-haired ally Bill and Merle Dandridge as Marlene, the leader of the rebel group Fireflies. The latter also voiced the same character in the original game.

The Last of Us season 2 will likely follow the story of The Last of Part II in a similar effect. Set five years after the events of part one, the PS4 game followed two playable characters in a similar post-apocalyptic setting, whose lives intertwine to create some of the best revenge stories ever told in a video game. Despite getting review-bombed on several sites due to some narrative choices — avoiding specifics for spoilers — it went on to become the fastest-selling PS4 exclusive, with over four million copies sold in its release weekend. The title was also hugely honoured at The Game Awards 2020, including the prestigious Game of the Year trophy.

There’s also a possibility that season two might end up being a two-parter. Speaking to IGN last week, Mazin explained that the story in The Last of Us Part 2 is “more than a season’s worth of television.” “It’s a big animal to take apart, you know?”, he said. “Because it’s a much bigger story, and it’s a more complicated story, I think it’s a beautiful story.”

New episodes of The Last of Us stream every Monday on Disney+ Hotstar, at 8:30am in India.

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