The Last of Us Season 3 isn’t a guarantee at HBO

The Last of Us Season 3 isn’t a guarantee at HBO
Images via HBO

Written by 

Tom Chapman


1st Jun 2023 12:04

When it comes to the cliché phrase of breaking the video game cure, we've got to admit that HBO's The Last of Us actually did a pretty amazing job of knocking it out of the park. A live-action adaptation of Naughty Dog's 2013 game would always be hard to pull off, but safe to say, "We did it, Joe." 

Before production was hit by the WGA writer's strike, work was well on the way for The Last of Us Season 2, which is poised to adapt 2020's The Last of Us Part 2. Showrunner Craig Mazin and Game Director Neil Druckmann teased this will roll over into a mythical third season, but according to those at the top, this isn't true.

Has HBO just debunked The Last of Us Season 3?

Pedro Pascal as Joel The Last of Us Season 3
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Speaking to Deadline, HBO Head of Drama Francesca Orsi explained the network's "big swing" with The Last of Us and whether it was pitched with a specific number of seasons in mind. There are only two games to pull from, with Druckmann saying he has no desire to go beyond that in terms of storytelling.

"I think Craig and Neil are still figuring out where they're going to come to an end," admitted Orsi. "We have loosely heard that there will be a Season 3 idea for the series, but at this point, we're taking it one season at a time."

Given the source material, we'd be surprised if The Last of Us somehow fumbled the bag in Season 2, however, Orsi added, "There's no guarantee at this point that we'll have a Season 3 but I know that they both have a vision for Season 3. Whether that lends itself to doing more [seasons], I don't know yet."

How many seasons could The Last of Us realistically run for?

The Last of Us HBO Clicker
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The beefier story of Part 2 at least lends itself to a third season, but beyond that, we struggle to see how you could move into Season 4, 5, or more. Although there's been plenty of talk about The Last of Us Part 3 at Naughty Dog, Druckmann is yet to make it gospel. 

We saw Game of Thrones flounder when it moved past George R.R. Martin's source material, and although the author told the showrunners roughly how the story would end, they botched the landing. We'd hate for The Last of Us to tarnish its lauded reputation by outstaying its welcome. 

The problem is, we're falling in love with the characters of The Last of Us, and with a major character death happening in Part 2, we're not ready to wave goodbye to them yet in live-action. The way we see it, end Season 2 with THAT golf club scene, then round things off with a brutal third season.

All of this is a long way off. Aside from production being notoriously long on HBO shows, Bella Ramsey told us not to expect The Last of Us Season 2 until at least the end of 2024/early 2025. We realistically wouldn't see a potential Season 2 until 2026/2027, meaning there's plenty of time to do the story justice.

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