I’m Already Concerned About The Last Of Us Season Four
As many of us suspected, it seems the first season of The Last of Us TV show follows the first game in its entirety. That makes a lot of sense; the first game is about 12-15 hours, so it fits fairly neatly into a ten hour TV show once you cut out all the sections where Joel searches for a plank of wood. With Neil Druckmann's involvement in the series, it was guaranteed to be a faithful adaptation that avoided changing much of substance. The game always acted like a prestige TV drama, so actually becoming one is a small step. Seasons two and three are a hop, skip, and a jump. Season four though may prove to be a giant leap. Follow me as I get way too far ahead of myself.
The reviews for the series are great, and this is one of the most popular and respected gaming series in the world. Plus, aside from rare duds like The Time Traveler's Wife, HBO tends to trust series and let them develop. It's reasonable to expect that season one will be a success, and therefore also reasonable to assume season two waits on the horizon. But how exactly will that work?
My colleague Andrew King has already ruminated on this a little. Since the series is going to follow the games rather than patching up major gaps in the middle, that means a time skip to account for. With Ellie, that's a simple issue of recasting a la House of the Dragon and keeping Bella Ramsey around for the flashbacks. As for Joel, well… spoilers, but he won't be in it much, and Pedro Pascal could probably be aged up and continue the role. With Part 2 almost double the length of the first game, and less meandering (bar the Seattle town section), one season is not enough. You either dance back and forth between Ellie and Abby across two seasons until their storylines meet, changing the structure of the game, or you do Ellie season two and Abby season three, keeping the structure of the game but losing the pace of the contrast as viewers wait a year between each instalment.
There are a few options, but I'm not all that concerned by them. Whatever they pick will probably work well enough. Once it actually happens, I may have stronger opinions, but as a hypothetical, meh. They'll do it and it'll be fine. A much larger concern is where we go from here.
Also, before moving on I just have to get it out there that I don't see Florence Pugh as Abby. I love Pugh, she's one of my favourite actors working today. I have seen literally every movie she has ever been in, even The Falling, which is just terrible. But she's not Abby. Pugh is diminutive and even when she was playing a superhero in Black Widow or a wrestler in Fighting With My Family, she was never jacked. Facially, I kind of see the similarities. They wear their hair the same way sometimes. And I think if push came to shove Pugh is talented enough to even play Joel well. But I don't think she's well suited to the physically imposing stature of Abby, as well as likely being far too booked and busy for the time commitment it would take. She hasn't done TV since 2018's The Little Drummer Girl (ignoring Hawkeye, which is part of a movie universe), and I don't see her going back any time soon.
Moving onwards. Let's give HBO the benefit of time and say they do agree that Part 2 is two seasons long. As a ten episode season of high priority, we can look at HBO shows of the past and assume yearly releases. That means the first season 2023, the Ellie season 2024, the Abby season 2025. What happens in 2026? The Last of Us Part 2 took six years to make, so by that metric TLOU3, assuming work began immediately after Part 2 shipped, would arrive with the show. However, the typical working theory is that each generation, development time doubles, meaning 12 years for TLOU3. Even if we feel we have reached critical mass and doubling is no longer accurate, Naughty Dog is technically still making Part 2 via Factions, has just remastered Part 1 (again), and is rumoured to be working on a non-TLOU project. That's before you speculate on delays caused by the pandemic and Druckmann making the TV show.
In short, season four will have no game to adapt. What happens then? If the series hits its potential of being HBO's next darling, three seasons doesn't seem like enough. Remember the studio wanted ten seasons of Game of Thrones, and then commissioned (though eventually cancelled) several spin-offs. Will we see The Last of Us spin-offs? Stories for background characters, or unrelated stories set in the same world? Young Joel, like Young Sheldon but grittier? The series continuing based off scripts of the unmade game? I'm not sure I want that for The Last of Us, but just as it did when it adapted Game of Thrones before the books were finished, HBO may have backed itself into a corner. It won't reach that corner until 2026, but the warning signs are already there.
Source: Read Full Article