We're Betting on HBO Renewing The Last of Us for Season 2
It’s the wild wild west out there for new series on streaming platforms. Shows are getting canceled left and right, but one show we’re betting won’t get the axe is The Last of Us. We’re only two episodes into the HBO series, but we already know it’s the best original series HBO will drop this year.
Based on the hit video game of the same name, The Last of Us stars Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsay as Ellie, two survivors in post-apocalyptic America trying to dodge the Infected, or lethal zombie-like creatures infected by the Cordyceps brain infection. Hardened by the pandemic, Joel is forced to help Ellie on her journey when she reveals her immunity to the fungal infection killing the planet.
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Dropping just as the world returns to normal post-pandemic, The Last of Us couldn’t have arrived at a better time. Warner Bros. Discovery might be undergoing an overhaul, what with the DCEU being reshuffled, but we’d bet our last centavo that The Last of Us is getting a season two. Its pilot episode became the second-largest premiere on HBO since Boardwalk Empire in 2010, over 10 million people in the U.S. tuned in to the pilot, and Episode 2 experienced a whopping 22 percent increase in viewership, which is almost unheard of.
The data reflects audience demand, and for once, it matches what the critics have to say. The Last of Us is sitting at 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and 96 percent from audiences. Every entertainment column from New York to Manila is raving about The Last of Us, but the show’s most impressive feat is meeting the expectations of the game’s cult-like supporters.
On the topic of the show’s renewal, co-creator Neil Druckmann said, “We have had conversations about where we would go if we get renewed. Nothing has been official yet. The response so far has been incredible — reviews, fans, coming off the first episode — so we just pray that people will keep watching, we'll keep having this response, and there'll be more story to tell.”
WB Discovery might be tightening its purse, but there’s simply no way that The Last of Us won’t receive a green light for a second season. Based on the first season’s flow, we can expect the first season to cover all of the events of The Last of Us Part 1 video game. The Last of Us Part 2 would likely be adapted to Season 2 and even Season 3 given the scope of the game’s plot. But unlike other shows that went beyond the source material (Game of Thrones, we’re looking at you), the co-creators of The Last of Us are committed to sticking to the source material.
“We only want to adapt to games, so we don't want to go outside of them,” said Druckmann.
When it comes to The Last of Us’ renewal, the question is not “if” but “when.”