Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann has teased that The Last of Us Season 2 has been fully outlined, though production cannot actually begin until the ongoing Hollywood strikes come to an end. In the same interview with Entertainment Weekly, Druckmann was asked about Naughty Dog’s next game, but he didn’t give anything away.
“We’ve outlined all of Season 2 and we’re ready to go as soon as the strike ends,” Druckmann said, referring to the ongoing writer and actor strikes.
This follows on from what showrunner Craig Mazin recently said, when he explained that Season 2 was already mapped out. Mazin said the first episode was written and sent to HBO, just hours before the strike was called.
Going back to Druckmann, he was asked directly about a third Last of Us game, but he didn’t give anything away. “As far as the next game at Naughty Dog, I can’t say anything,” he said. “My comms director over there will slaughter me.”
Naughty Dog confirmed in March this year that it had chosen its next game. Druckmann acknowledged the hype for a potential Last Of Us Part 3, but stopped short of confirming if that will indeed be the team’s next project.
In addition to working on the Last of Us TV series and the next Naughty Dog game, Druckmann is consulting on the Universal Studios haunted house attraction themed around The Last of Us.
“My job is really strange, I’m given feedback on this theme park thing, I’m working on the TV show, and I’m working on another game, so I’m just kind of jumping around on different projects,” Druckmann said.
Before the onset of the strikes, HBO management said The Last of Us Season 2 would arrive in 2025. The Hollywood strikes will almost certainly delay the start of production on Season 2, and that could mean the premiere date might move, too.
Season 2 will cover some of the events of The Last of Us: Part II, and the expected Season 3 will go further.
Regarding the strikes, Mazin previously said he was confident that labor would prevail. “This will end, and when it ends, it will end to the satisfaction of the Writers Guild. I am absolutely convinced of that. We have no other choice,” he said.
This is the first time since 1960 that unions representing writers and actors have been on strike at the same time. The SAG-AFTRA strike began during the London premiere of Oppenheimer, and actors walked out of a screening when the strike was called. The WGA strike began earlier, starting in May.
Writers and actors are seeking, among other things, better pay, viewership-based streaming residuals, and protections against artificial intelligence.
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