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The Last of Us season 3 is a necessity according to the showrunners, and season 4 might be on the cards

The Last of Us Part 2 is just too big and dense.

The Last of Us - episode 2 - Joel
Image credit: HBO

Much like Amazon and Bethesda's Fallout, HBO and PlayStation Productions' The Last of Us was one of those huge hits that just couldn't be ignored, signaling a turn of the tide when it comes to live-action adaptations of video games. Now, season 2 is shooting, and co-showrunners Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann are already teasing what lies beyond.

While speaking to Deadline, the duo commented on season 2's expected episode count and how they're approaching a story as expansive as deep as The Last of Us Part 2's, even teasing the possibility of a fourth season if the audience is there and they've got enough material left to expand on.

Players who'd gone through Naughty Dog's 2020 sequel were well aware that it'd be impossible to cram all of Part 2's plot into a single season of television, which instantly made season 3 an almost certain possibility. It didn't take long for HBO and the creatives to confirm that, but it seems that even a fourth season may be required if Mazin and Druckmann are able to double down on their vision.

Season 2 is expected to arrive during the first half of 2025, and the show's creators have now confirmed it'll consist of seven episodes instead of season 1's nine. "The story material that we got from Part II of the game is way more than the story material that was in the first game, so part of what we had to do from the start was figure out how to tell that story across seasons...when you do that, you look for natural breakpoints, and as we laid it out, this season, the national breakpoint felt like it came after seven episodes," Mazin explained.

According to the duo, the third season will probably require a bit more time in the oven, at least when it comes to shooting it: "Season 3 will be significantly larger. And indeed, the story may require Season 4," they teased. If we take into account how big the scope of Part 2's central body is and how wild things get as the story goes on, with several major characters and factions factoring into the plot, that makes total sense. A fourth season might be a bit of head-scratcher for many though, at least until we get to see where season 2 cuts to black.

The Last of Us season 1 (Joel and Ellie)
Image credit: HBO

Regarding potential flashbacks in season 2 and revisiting past events, Druckmann said the following: "The two stories are so interconnected that inevitably we’re going to be touching on things from the first season or the first game because there is a continuation of those characters." This shouldn't come as a surprise, and might explain why the larger plan for the series is so extensive; The Last of Us will be doing the opposite of rushing through key events and character arcs, a common pitfall that many video game adaptations struggle with.

As season 2 continues production, we've recently learned (via Variety) that Jeffrey Wright is yet another actor from the games that is reprising his role in live-action. With the season count being so generous, perhaps Isaac will get a bit more screentime this time around.

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