The Last of Us Season 2 has been delayed

Cameron Frew
Pedro Pascal as Joel in The Last of Us HBO series

The Last of Us Season 2 has been put on hold due to the writers strike, with early casting talks halted and production set to be delayed.

The Writers Guild of America began its strike at the start of May, with screenwriters across the country gathering at picket lines to campaign for fairer pay and firmer regulations around AI in the streaming era.

A number of shows have already been affected: while Andor Season 2 was reported to be continuing production, Tony Gilroy brought the show to a standstill; Stranger Things Season 5 won’t proceed until a “fair deal” is reached; and Severance Season 2 has shut down its shoot until further notice.

Unlike House of the Dragon, which opened itself to criticism after it was announced the show would be continuing with production, The Last of Us won’t be going ahead during the strike.

The Last of Us 2 casting halted during writers strike

As reported by Variety, The Last of Us team were looking at casting for Season 2 earlier this week, but the process has been been halted as a result of the writers strike.

In lieu of any scripts, the casting team was reportedly asking actors – none of whom have been named – to read dialogue straight from The Last of Us Part 2, the game which will serve as the source material for the second season.

While Pedro Pascal, who plays Joel alongside Bella Ramsey’s Ellie, earlier expressed hope that filming would kick off later this year, it’s now more likely that shooting will begin in “early 2024” in Vancouver.

Craig Mazin, who serves as co-showrunner with Naughty Dog’s Neil Druckmann, has been seen with his fellow WGA members on the picket line. As per the guild’s guidelines, he’s not working on The Last of Us in any capacity, nor is Druckmann.

So, we’re no further forward in knowing who’ll be joining the ensemble – but there have been rumors. Shannon Berry of The Wilds fame appears to be the sensible bet for Abby, while we spoke to Mary Krantz about her desire to reprise the role in the next series.

The Last of Us Season 1 is available to stream on HBO Max. You can find out more about Season 2 here.