HomeEntertainment"Last of Us" S2 To Up The Action, Keep Ellie

“Last of Us” S2 To Up The Action, Keep Ellie


HBO’s “The Last of Us” wrapped its first season run on the premium cabler, ending just like the game did albeit with a slightly different overall tone. Namely, the game’s morally ambiguous final moments were a proper ending and a sequel was certainly not guaranteed at that time.

The scene plays out in the TV series on the other hand as very much a season finale – an ending ‘for now’ and with the second season already greenlit, that’s likely how it will be seen by those watching both now and in the future.

The makers of the series have already begun planning the second season and whilst they have been enjoying all the praise being thrown around about the series, they’re also taking on board the criticisms that have been levelled against the show by both the game and non-game fans.

One of the most common has been the lack of action and infrequency of the use of the infected such as the Clickers. Both had their place in the TV series but took a back seat to the more human drama elements as opposed to the game where there is a lot more of both.

At a recent press event (via Deadline), series co-creator Craig Mazan promises there’ll be more infected in the show’s second season. He also explains why the action was limited to short bursts in this first season run:

“Part of the adaptation process is trying to figure out how to take source material that was built around gameplay and port it over to a medium that is passive. And a lot of the gameplay centered on non-playable characters that you have to get around by either avoiding them or stealth killing them or just confronting them head on.

That’s sort of your choices when you’re playing. And the NPCs were either raiders or cannibals, or they were the infected. So there’s a lot of fighting. I don’t know what your ultimate kill count is on a typical run of The Last of Us, but it’s in the triple digits for sure.

So we did at times have choices to make about how we wanted to present the infected. I will say that even though we were green lit for a season of television, Neil and I felt like we couldn’t just make a season of television without considering what would come after. There is more The Last of Us to come.

I think the balance is not always just about within an episode or even episode to episode, but season to season. It’s quite possible that there will be a lot more infected later. And perhaps different kinds. But within the episodes that we were concentrating on, I think ultimately we generally stressed the power of relationships and trying to find significance within moments of action.

So there may be less action than some people wanted, because we couldn’t necessarily find significance for quite a bit of it, or [they had a] concern that it would be repetitive. After all, you’re not playing it, you’re watching it. And although a lot of people do like to watch gameplay, it needs to be a little bit more focused and and purposeful when we’re putting it on TV.”

Mazin also definitively brushed aside any talk about recasting Ellie for the second season, which jumps five years ahead, saying: “We are making it with Bella.”

Bella Ramsey was 17 when she filmed the show’s first season as a 14-year-old Ellie. The actress is currently 19, the same age Ellie is in the second game, and with shooting likely not for a while yet – she’s only going to grow more fitting for the part. Mazin understands some have anxiety as he shares that those involved in the show’s making are anxious about the adaptation in the same ways:

“I think there is still this anxiety, this constant drumbeat of anxiety. And all I can say to people is, I have so much anxiety myself about doing a good job on this. If you’re anxious about something, I’m probably anxious about it, which means we’re talking about it and thinking about it.

We will present things, but it will be different. It will be different just as this season was different. Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be fairly different. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I wanna make.”

The series was renewed at the end of January after only a few episodes had aired. As previously revealed, the second game will take over a season to adapt with the filmmakers confirming they simply can’t fit “The Last of Us Part II” into a single season.

Check out the ‘Inside the Episode’ clip for the ninth and final episode now. The full first season of “The Last of Us” is now up on HBO Max.




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