Bella Ramsey and major video game differences: What to expect from The Last of Us season two

The Last of Us

Here’s everything the creators and cast of The Last of Us have said so far about the apocalyptic survival series’ second season.

The Last of Us‘ won over die-hard fans of the 2013 video game by sticking closely to its source material, but, according to its creators, season two will, at times, be radically different from the game’s 2020 sequel.

The show was picked up for a second outing after just two episodes of the first season were aired, leaving season one to continue to emotionally devastate fans week after week, right up until the finale.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann revealed a whole host of The Last of Us information regarding season two.

Will Ellie be recast in season two of The Last of Us?

While some viewers have called for the role of Ellie to be recast in season two due to the five-year time gap between the events of the first and second game, with Ellie ageing from 14 to 19, Mazin and Druckmann have confirmed that they’re sticking with Bella Ramsey (as they should).

“When we made the game, I felt we were incredibly lucky. It was like lightning in the bottle that we found Ashley Johnson and I can’t imagine that version of Ellie being anybody else,” Druckmann said, referring to Ellie’s original voice actor in both The Last of Us and The Last of Us: Part Two. “And then somehow we got lightning in the bottle again with Bella.”

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“The only way we would ever, ever consider recasting Bella is if she said, ‘I don’t want to work with you guys any more,'” he added. “And even then, we’re not sure we would grant her that. We might still force her to come back to season two.”

Bella Ramsey as Ellie Williams in The Last of Us. ( Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Will it stick to the events of The Last of Us: Part Two?

While The Last of Us has been pretty faithful to its video game counterpart, save for a logical expansion of the story here and there (namely with Ellie and Riley‘s tragic flashback, Bill and Frank‘s gorgeous love story and Ellie’s birth), it looks like series two may take more artistic licence.

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In the same interview with EW, Mazin and Druckmann said that it will sometimes be “radically different” from its source material.

“It will be different just as this season was different [from the first game],” Mazin stated.

“Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be [barely] different at all. But it’s going to be different and it will be its own thing. It won’t be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make.”

An important point to note is that not all of the events of The Last of Us: Part Two will be covered in season two, with Mazin and Druckmann confirming that the story will need to span a number of seasons.

“No. No way,” Mazin told GQ when asked if all of TLOU:P2 would fit into season two. “You have noted correctly that we will not say how many. But more than one is factually correct.”

Druckmann added: “It’s more than one season”, seemingly confirming their intention for a third season of the show.

The Last of Us finale left fans emotionally devastated. (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Has any casting for season two been announced yet?

Casting wise, nothing has yet been announced despite fan theories that The Wilds actress Shannon Berry could be up to play protagonist Abby, and that fans thought they spotted Dina in episode six of season one. Druckmann and Mazin are keeping tight-lipped on that front, too.

Similarly, although original voice actor for trans character Lev, Ian Alexander, has stated his interest in reprising the role in season two, there’s been nothing but silence from the show’s creators.

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The characters of Jesse, Owen and Yara (Lev’s sister) are also key players who are yet to be cast.

Paolina van Kleef as 'Staring Girl', possibly Dina, in The Last of Us episode 6 (left) and Ellie, played by Bella Ramsey
Viewers are convinced that Dina from The Last of Us: Part 2 had a cameo the TV series. (HBO)

What else do we know?

Aside from storylines expected to seen in the season – covered here – not that much.

New characters Dina and Abby are, of course, expected to feature, and the creators have hinted at new varieties of the “infected” (the show’s zombie-like hosts to the cordyceps fungus).

It’s unclear whether they are referring to The Rat King – a name that should strike fear into the heart of every TLOU:P2 player – or an entirely new type of infected.

Speaking to Variety, Mazin said: “It’s quite possible that there will be a lot more infected later. And perhaps different kinds.”

More daddy bloaters, please!

This image features stuntman Adam Basil with the progress pride flag, against a background still of The Last of Us' 'Bloater' monster.
Adam Basil has turned The Last of Us‘ Bloater into a “sex legend”. (HBO/Getty)

Do we have a release date for season two?

Also no, at the time of reporting. The season has not started filming yet.

According to Mazin, speaking to The Washington Post, season one took around 200 days to film, and the second game is longer than the first, spanning more locations and character viewpoints, so expect at least that length of time (probably longer) for filming to be completed.

According to Digital Spy, the total length of time from first shot to premiere was 18 months – and that’s not taking into account the writing of the script and casting.

So, long story short, expect a mid-to-late 2024, or even 2025, release date.

Bella Ramsey as Ellie (L) and Storm Reid as Riley (R) in The Last of Us. (HBO)
Bella Ramsey as Ellie (L) and Storm Reid as Riley in The Last of Us. (HBO)

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