A few days back, both “The Last of Us” game creator Neil Druckmann and writer/producer Craig Mazin said there are no plans for the upcoming HBO series adaptation of the title to become a franchise or stretch beyond the narrative told in the two games released.
They also indicate the upcoming nine-episode series will cover the entirety of the first game in its run, including some elements that weren’t in the game, such as the third episode expanding upon the Bill-Frank relationship.
Doing this will be tricky. The first game runs around 14 hours long, though specific gameplay segments can be trimmed. Even so, there will be some compression to get it down to nine episodes and incorporate some new content at the same time.
At the same time, “The Last of Us Part II” is nearly twice as long as its predecessor and requires around 25 hours to complete, along with having a unique structure. Could that be done in a single second season? Unlikely.
Mazin agrees, telling Collider they have plenty of material to make further seasons if they wish, but they continue their message that they have no desire to pad this out:
“The story that remains, that continues forth in the work that Naughty Dog’s done on the second game is a lot. Probably the amount of remaining story would take us more than a season to tell. But definitely, I don’t see this as something that runs on and on and on. We don’t have that ambition. Our ambition is to tell the story that exists, as best as we can, in a different medium.”
Druckmann adds that the plan is to not drag on the series overly long and focus on reaching endpoints laid out by the games in however many episodes and seasons it takes:
“Yeah, I remember, early on, I asked Craig and HBO, ‘How many episodes does this season need to be’ And the answer was, ‘As many as the story requires, and no more.’ And likewise, that would be our approach for future seasons to say, ‘Okay, this will be as many seasons as required to reach that ending and no more.’”
“The Last of Us” premieres on HBO on January 15th with a 74-minute long season premiere.