Abby, are you ok?
This past weekend saw fans, fervent with anticipation, tune in for the season finale of HBO’s The Last of Us, bringing to an end the first season of the acclaimed adaptation of Naughty Dog’s 2012 video game — And according to new comments from the show’s runners, they’re only just getting started.
Speaking in an interview with GQ, (contains season one spoilers), game director Neil Druckmann and show writer/director Craig Mazin expressed their intentions for the grim tale to continue for at least two further seasons. The exceptionally dark events of video game sequel The Last of Us Part II are not expected to be encapsulated in the show’s second season, with plans to expand the tale out into a third season, at the very least.
Mazin spoke of the adjustments that will be required in order to bring The Last of Us Part II‘s shifting protagonist/antagonist structure and timeline division to the TV screen.
“I think we know what we’re doing on this one,” said Mazin of the task. “I’m not saying that in a snarky way, I’m saying that in a hopeful way. There are going to be things that are going to be different, and there are things that are going to be identical. There are things that are going to be added and enriched. There are some things that are going to be flipped. Our goal remains exactly what it was for the first season, which is to deliver a show that makes fans happy.”
“We’ve got an incredible returning cast. It’s a daunting task. But Jesus, so was the first season. You can’t make everyone happy. But we’ve made a lot of people happy and that’s our intention to do it again.”
The Last of Us Part II, which launched in 2020, famously introduces secondary protagonist Abby Anderson, a member of the Firefly militia who is fueled by vengeance over the death of her father. The arrival of Abby in the series introduced a methodology of vengeance, and redemption, attempting to portray the cyclical nature of violence itself — especially in regard to revenge — as well as the shifting perspective of who is “right”. Though ambitious in intent, it, unfortunately, was not a thread that impressed all, leading to some absolutely shocking behavior from certain members of the gaming community.
In the GQ interview, Druckmann and Mazin also speak about their overall thoughts on season one, the audience reaction to the highly praised third episode, and the ways in which they consider altering the narrative. The interview contains major spoilers for the finale of season one. So consider yourself warned.
The Last of Us finale writers on that cliffhanger ending [GQ]