As the Hollywood writers’ strike closes out its second week, another show is hitting the breaks. Variety reports that HBO’s The Last Of Us will not move ahead with production on the much anticipated season two, which was originally projected to begin filming early in 2024.
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The show had apparently been in the middle of preparing to cast the second season when work was halted. That’s not surprising considering Variety also reports that there are no scripts for the second season yet, and the casting team was instead asking actors to read lines taken directly from The Last of Us Part II, the PlayStation sequel upon which the new season’s story will be based.
Writer and showrunner Craig Mazin has been on the picketing line with the rest of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) writers who are striking after negotiations for better pay with companies like Warner Bros. and Netflix broke down earlier this month. Neil Druckmann, the games’ director and co-creator of the HBO adaptation, isn’t working on the show either right now, Variety reports.
One of the major points of contention in the labor dispute is how much writers earn from streaming royalties. While companies collect hundreds of millions in profits, some writers can still barely make ends meet, even when their shows get picked up by major streaming platforms. The first season of The Last Of Us was an especially big hit for HBO Max, garnering over 32 million viewers per episode across both cable and streaming.
Other popular shows have also come to a halt amid the strike, including Netflix’s Stranger Things and Disney’s Star Wars series, Andor. But a couple big productions are still plowing forward. Warner Bros. claims that scripts are already complete on season two of HBO’s House of the Dragon, the Game of Thrones prequel. Though as many professionals in the industry have pointed out, show writing continues throughout the filming process.