The Last of Us showrunner on season 2: "I don't fear killing characters"

Pedro Pascal as Joel and Bella Ramsey as Ellie in The Last of Us
(Image credit: HBO)

The Last of Us's actors and showrunner have commented on a huge, and divisive, scene making the jump from the sequel game to the show's second series.

Be warned: spoilers for The Last of Us 2 and potentially the TV series follow!

If you've played The Last of Us 2, you'll know a pretty Earth-shattering event happens near the beginning of the game: Joel dies. Speaking to Esquire in a new interview, actors Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey, as well as showrunner Craig Mazin, have commented on the scene making it into the HBO adaptation's second season.

"If that does take place in the show, I don't know I'm emotionally ready for it," Ramsey told the outlet. Mazin, meanwhile, says "this should be fairly obvious to anyone by now, but I don't fear killing characters." The showrunner also adds that neither he nor Neil Druckmann (writer/director on the show and games) "feel constrained by the source material."

It's true that The Last of Us's debut season deviated hugely from the source material at several points, in particular with the Bill and Frank-focused third episode. One could argue, though, that the most critical story beats stayed intact, like Joel gunning down an entire regiment of Firefly troopers to reach Ellie at the show's conclusion.

"It wouldn't make sense to follow the first game so faithfully, only to stray severely from the path," Pascal says of Joel's death scene making the transition to the HBO show's second season. "So yeah, that's my honest answer," the actor adds with an innocent shrug. Right now then, it seems opinions are split on whether the scene could, or should, make the second season.

The Last of Us season 2 will be shot in Vancouver, and production is said to begin near the end of this year. Additionally, Bella Ramsey isn't being recast as Ellie for the sophomore season, as the actor will once again be stepping into Ellie's shoes for the continuation of her journey.

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.