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Last of Us HBO showrunner says four seasons ‘seems like a good number’

Last of Us showrunner Craig Mazin has suggested that the popular HBO series could run for four seasons.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Mazin was asked if HBO had provided a good budget bump for season two given the show’s success and scope.

“There’s always a budget bump, and then there’s a discussion about why it’s not enough of a budget bump,” he replied.

“For as long as I’ve been doing this, I have never, ever, not once, been in a situation where I was like, ‘What I need is this,’ and they’re like, ‘OK!’ It eventually gets to this (holds hands at same level), so I’m not concerned about that.

“Even if we have a principal debate about what is required to execute a second season, a third season, a fourth season, what I always know is that they are always working in good faith and appreciate the creative value of the show.”

The interviewer later followed up on this, asking Mazin if the vision for the show he and Naughty Dog president Neil Druckmann laid out to HBO was for four seasons.

“I was aware that I mentioned that,” Mazin said. “You never know. It can end up being three or five. But four seems like a good number. Some seasons, because of the story we’re telling, will need fewer episodes and some will need more.”

Over the course of nine episodes, the show’s debut season covered the events of The Last of Us, which was released at the tail end of the PS3 generation in 2013, and its downloadable expansion The Last of Us: Left Behind, which arrived the following year.

It has been a critical and commercial success, becoming one of HBO’s most streamed shows of all time and being nominated for 24 Emmy Awards.

HBO announced that The Last of Us had been renewed for a second season just two and a half weeks into the first season’s run, which concluded in March.

Druckmann, who also co-wrote and directed the game series on which the show’s based, and Mazin previously confirmed their intention to make a third season by suggesting that season two wouldn’t be able to cover the entirety of The Last of Us Part 2, which was released for PS4 in 2020.

Last of Us HBO showrunner says four seasons ‘seems like a good number’

Mazin reiterated this in the Hollywood Reporter interview, during which he was also asked if the role of Abby from the second game had already been cast.

“Maybe,” he said, before later adding, “the strike stopped us in our tracks. Things were in process. Look, Abby was the first role that we wanted to tackle. We’ve got a pretty good track record of making major cast announcements and people going, ‘Really?’ which will probably continue. So people may disagree, but I think we got it right so far and the audience seems to feel we got it right and the Academy seems to feel we got it right.”

Druckmann has previously appeared to hint at plans for a third Last of Us game, although it’s unclear if one is currently in development.