The Last of Us co-showrunner Craig Mazin is prepared for an intense reaction toward the upcoming second season.
The Last of Us was a massive success for HBO, but showrunner Craig Mazin told Entertainment Weekly that he’s accepted that the second season will piss some people off. I won’t dive into any spoilers, but if you’ve played The Last of Us Part II, you likely know what Mazin is referring to.
It’s too early to say just how closely The Last of Us season two will follow the second game, and Craig Mazin isn’t about to say. “I’m never gonna say there are things that are gonna happen in the show that happened in the game. You never know what we’re gonna do,” Mazin said. “But I will say that it is the adventure, the journey is the point. There are things that will shock people, things that were in the game, things that were not in the game, and that’s okay. As long as they’re purposeful, they’re not there to just simply shock. We are not interested in creating social media fear. We just want to tell the story the way we think it should be told.“
Craig Mazin added, “Will there be furor? Yeah, probably. I mean, there usually is, starting even with casting.” Before audiences had even seen a second of The Last of Us, some fans were very vocal regarding the casting of Bella Ramsey as Ellie. “We knew they were the exact right person to cast and they had to go through quite a few months of people being awful on social media until they saw what we saw,” Mazin said. “That, to me, is the point. We don’t operate to either make people happy on social media or avoid making them upset. We just do what we think is right, and we hope that people come along for the ride and enjoy it.” Ramsey recently scored an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Best Actress in a Drama Series, one of twenty-four the show received.
The avalanche of Emmy nominations proved to Craig Mazin that what they did in the first season worked, and he aims to take the same approach with season two. “I have great partners,” Mazin said. “We are all very humble with each other. Objections are always carefully considered. Nobody in our group operates out of ego or being defensive. We just try to make things better all the time, and we take care of each other. I think as long as we keep doing that, and we have more incredible source material to work with, we’re gonna continue to adapt the way we do, which is to surprise people that have played the game. But also, I don’t think anybody who has played the game is gonna watch a second season and go, ‘Wait, what is this?’“
Production on the second season of The Last of Us has been delayed due to the WGA strike, which means that we probably won’t see the series return until 2025. The likelihood of SAG-AFTRA going on strike is also high, which could bring what’s still operating in Hollywood to a halt.