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This article contains spoilers for “The Last of Us” season 1.The first season of “The Last of Us” series has officially come to an end, and in case you’ve been isolating yourself in your own apocalyptic bunker like Bill and didn’t already know, it has also been one of HBO’s most popular series. Audiences have fallen in love with Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey), as well as their treacherous, and tragedy-fueled adventure through the post-apocalyptic alternate United States. It has its fair share of flaws, but rarely before has a video game adaptation successfully and faithfully translated the essence of its source material and mainly stood on its own.

As showrunners Craig Mazin and original director Neil Druckmann had laid out and explained before, season 1 of “The Last of Us” was composed mostly of all the story beats that make up the game, with some changes along the way to enhance or enrich the story. Following that mold, the next season will be adapting the game’s sequel, “The Last of Us Part II” — but since the scale of this sequel is much larger and more ambitious than the original 2013 game, Mazin and Druckmann believe the entire story of “Part II” could potentially take multiple seasons to adequately cover the drama of 19-year-old Ellie’s journey through a war-torn Seattle.

On the official HBO “The Last of Us” companion podcast, Mazin and Druckmann were asked what’s next for the future of “The Last of Us” series. Specifically, host Troy Baker (who voices Joel in the original games and played James in episode 8), asked the showrunners if they are excited to pull off anything specific in the epic, grand scope of season 2.

Expect Big, Radical Changes

Part of what makes “The Last of Us” a successful video game adaptation is that it wasn’t afraid of making major changes, especially in service of making it fit within the new medium of television. In episodes such as “Long Long Time” or “Endure and Survive,” they’ve added significantly more backstory to side characters like Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett), or Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Kevionn Woodard) to fill time and make up for the long stretches of gameplay that wouldn’t be so engaging to put on screen. According to Druckmann, this approach to adaptation will continue with season 2.

“You can expect us to repeat the same process, which is we will look at what made that story special and what is the soul of that story. And that needs to remain intact,” Druckmann explained. “Then, the moment-to-moment beats and characters, they might stay the same, they might change. We will do what needs to happen to that story as it transfers from one medium to another.”

As a hardcore fan of the original game, I have to admit, I thought the series was actually at its very best when it was making up its own material, especially when it actively improved what was there before, such as David and his group of survivors in “When We Are in Need.” We should expect the adaptation of “Part II” to be radically different from the game, but that’s fine — the show and the games have become their own distinct works at this point.

Playing With Perspective

“We will also take advantage of the freedom we have in television that wasn’t there in the game,” Mazin added. “Specifically, the advantage of changing perspective. So, we will use what we can use in a new medium to tell that story. And we will go through the same process of adaptation.”

Remember the powerful perspective shift from Joel to Ellie after his injury at the university? In both the game and in the show, it perfectly emphasizes the power dynamics between their relationship, and how Ellie is forced to grow into her own and become a protector in their most dire moments. Without giving too much away, “The Last of Us Part II” doubles down on that idea of perspective in a beautiful, elegant way.

The relationship between a player and a character and their perspective is much more rigid in video games (which also led to big changes in the season finale), so picturing how they will translate these memorable gameplay moments in the TV version of the story will be fascinating to see.

With no current expected release date, I’d imagine we’ll be waiting quite a bit before “The Last of Us” returns for season 2. But, if you’re new to this story and are curious to know where Joel and Ellie go next, take this as your opportunity to play or watch a play-through of both games, and admire just how far we’ve come when it comes to perfecting the live-action video game adaptation.

Read this next: How Ellie’s Room Decor In The Last Of Us Points To The Larger Story

The post The Last of Us: What To Expect From Season 2, According To The Creators appeared first on /Film.

/Film – The Last Of Us: What To Expect From Season 2, According To The Creators
Author: Tyler Llewyn Taing
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March 14, 2023

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