You might think that there’s nothing scarier than waves of infected making their way through the streets, eager to spread the Cordyceps virus to everyone in sight. But having a huge industry not compensating one of their most fundamental components properly might be a close second, with the Writers Guild of America strike causing production for the second season of The Last of Us to shut down. Variety reports that the new episodes hadn’t begun filming yet, but preparations for the casting process for the new characters were already underway. The team behind the series had been using scenes directly from the video games as the scripts for Season 2 were not complete yet.
Even if the production for the second season of the show hadn’t been placed on hold, this audition method might’ve been unlikely to obtain the caliber of performances needed for the new faces of The Last of Us. Part of what made the bond between Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) so special was the way they communicated with each other, written masterfully by Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. Without anyone performing screenwriting duties for the audition process of the new season, the backbone of the story might’ve been a bit lacking — though the writing in the game is still some of the best in the industry.
In the television adaptation of the popular 2013 video game, Joel is left hopeless after he lost his daughter during the first night of the Cordyceps outbreak, where the world was brought down to its knees by an unstoppable force in the shape of the infected. When he is assigned the mission of protecting Ellie while they travel across the country, Joel realizes that this is his second chance of loving and protecting a daughter figure, even if he had to lie to her to protect her. The first season would end on a cliffhanger, with Ellie not knowing what actually happened the night a cure was supposed to be made from her DNA.
The Show Isn’t a Literal Adaptation of the Games
While fans of the original video games already have a clear idea of where the story is going, HBO is taking plenty of creative liberties with their adaptation, changing details from the world of The Last of Us if they couldn’t translate well into the new medium and fleshing out stories that they couldn’t in the previous format. Even if someone has played the second game in the franchise plenty of times, they might still find surprises when it comes to the television show, keeping everyone on the edge of their seats. It remains to be seen if or when Ellie will learn what actually happened to her during the finale of the first season, or if Joel will continue to hide it from her for as long as he can.