HBO’s The Last of Us series could be shorter than expected

HBO’s The Last of Us series could be shorter than expected
Images via HBO

Written by 

Tom Chapman

Published 

6th Feb 2024 12:20

Adapting something with the legacy of Naughty Dog's The Last of Us series was never going to be an easy task, but thankfully, HBO took it in its stride. As the network behind giants like The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, and Chernobyl, we always knew it was in safe hands. 

Hitting screens in January 2023, The Last of Us was nine episodes of TV gold, which neatly tied off the events of 2013's The Last of Us. We were promised that The Last of Us Part II was too big to tell in a single season, leading to high hopes that The Last of Us could become a staple of our screens for many years to come. 

Spoiler alert: Spoilers for The Last of Us Part 2 follow

The Last of Us could be much shorter than we hoped

While showrunner Craig Mazin has pencilled in a four-season run as the magic number for The Last of Us, it now looks like the apocalyptic adventure could roll its final credits after just three. Daniel Richtman claims that Season 2 will 'only' be seven episodes, but the bad news doesn't end there.

Why Season 2 is shorter is unclear, but it could have something to do with the WAG and SAG-AFTRA strikes grinding production to a half and pushing the series into a loose 2025 release. Still, the real kicker is that Part II will apparently cover two seasons. 

With fewer episodes and a potential three-season run, critics have already think they've worked out what will happen. Given that major death in Part II and a pivot into having Abby as the MVP of the second half, we're guessing Season 2 Episode 7 will end on a pretty major cliffhanger.

We're not quite ready to say goodbye to that certain character after just two seasons, but we always knew this day was coming. It's not confirmed that The Last of Season 3 will be coming in off the back of a cliffhanger but look at the negative reception The Walking Dead faced with its baseball bat cliffhanger in Season 6. 

There's still hope for The Last of Us

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It's important to remember filming hasn't even started on The Last of Us Season 2 yet, so there's a chance these plans will change. Mazin has said that the show will never go beyond the events of the games, but it just so happens there's been movement on a potential The Last of Us Part 3.

Discussing the franchise in a recent documentary about the making of Part II, Neill Druckmann admitted, "I've been thinking about, 'Is there a concept there?' And for now years, I haven't been able to find that concept. But recently that's changed."

Although he says he doesn't have a story, he has a concept that "is as exciting as 1, as exciting as 2, is its own thing, yet has this through-line for all three." Druckmann raised our hopes when he concluded, "So it does feel like there's probably one more chapter to this story."

Given the extended wait between seasons, there's a real chance that Part 3 will be released in time for its story to be adapted into Season 4 of the live-action series (and beyond). Either way, we're not ready to say goodbye to this world just yet. 

Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.

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