The Last of Us season 2 potential release date, cast and everything we know so far

Isabela Merced is the latest to join the cast as Ellie's love interest, Dina.
The Last of Us season 2 potential release date cast and everything we know so far
HBO/Warner Media

The Last of Us caught us off-guard in the best way possible back when it premiered in 2023, being the post-apocalyptic drama we never knew we needed but completely devoured. Based on the incredibly popular 2013 video game of the same name, the series features a beautiful blend of heartfelt moments and human connections amidst the pure horror of a zombie apocalypse.

The series became the most-viewed title ever on HBO's Europe streaming service as well as receiving three Golden Globe nominations and 25 Emmy nominations along the way.

Given its astronomical success, it should come as little surprise that Bella Ramsey, Pedro Pascal and many new faces will be returning to make The Last of Us season 2 a reality for us. With the series exceeding expectations in viewership, the show was renewed by Warner Brothers just two episodes into the first season of the show.

Speaking on its renewal, series co-creator and executive producer Craig Mazin released a statement in which he said “I’m so grateful to [co-creator and original game developer] Neil Druckmann and HBO for our partnership, and I’m even more grateful to the millions of people who have joined us on this journey. The audience has given us the chance to continue, and as a fan of the characters and world Neil and Naughty Dog created, I couldn’t be more ready to dive back in.”

Season 1 stayed in large part true to the game's storyline through its nine episode stint, though featured some key differences, including the fleshing out of the characters Bill (Nick Offerman) and Frank (Murray Bartlett) in the devastatingly moving episode 3. While certain scenes were carefully recreated shot for shot in the first season, season 2 it set to be based at least in part on the game's sequel The Last of Us Part II which unfolds several years after the events of Part I.

With Isabela Merced having just been announced as a new cast member for The Last of Us season 2 alongside Beef star Young Mazino and Kaitlyn Dever, we delve into everything we know so far about the second season, from a potential release date to likely plot lines.

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Is there a The Last of Us season 2 release date yet?

While there's no official release date for season 2 yet, unfortunately it seems like we'll be waiting a little while still given the WGA writers' strike and SAG-AFTRA strikes last year.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly in August 2023, the show's co-creator Craig Mazin said “I think it's becoming essentially a near certainty that we won't be able to start [filming] when we were hoping to start, which is upsetting,”

However, he added "We are all raring to go. This is what we are born to do."

Mazin explained that he and the show's co-creator and original game developer Neil Druckmann have all of season 2 mapped out, though it's likely that a second season would take years to complete.

Prior to the strikes, HBO had previously shared that it was looking at a 2025 premiere date, so with production delays in mind it may mean that the second season won't land until 2026.

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The Last of Us season 2 cast

As the central characters to the series, fan favourites Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal will return as Joel and Ellie for season 2. Pinning down other specifics for the cast of the second season gets a little trickier given that it depends on how closely the team intend to follow the storyline of the game's sequel The Last of Us Part II.

That said, from what we've heard so far it looks like a few key characters from the game sequel will be making an appearance and The Last of Us season 2 team have been busy building out their cast already. These are some of the actors who will be joining the second season alongside Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey:

Isabela Merced as Dina

Isabela Merced is the latest new cast member to be announced in recent days, with the actor having starred in Dora and the Lost City of Gold as well as having a key role in the upcoming film Madame Web.

Merced will play Dina, “a free-wheeling spirit whose devotion to Ellie will be tested by the brutality of the world they inhabit.”

If you played the video game, you'll know that Dina and Ellie share a very close and intimate relationship, with her ultimately being Ellie's love interest.

On the casting, Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann said “Dina is warm, brilliant, wild, funny, moral, dangerous and instantly lovable,” adding “You can search forever for an actor who effortlessly embodies all of those things, or you can find Isabela Merced right away. We couldn’t be prouder to have her join our family.”

With the announcement, Merced shared a picture of an article announcing her casting with the caption “This is very crazy/cool!!”.

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Young Mazino as Jesse

In January 2024, Variety announced that actor Young Mazino, best known for his role as Paul in the critically-acclaimed Netflix series Beef will play the character of Jesse in the second season, a character who is “a pillar of his community who puts everyone else’s needs before his own, sometimes at terrible cost.”

“Young is one of those rare actors who is immediately undeniable the moment you see him,” said series co-creators Craig Mazin and Neil Druckmann. “We’re so lucky to have him, and we can’t wait for the audience to see Young shine in our show.”

Kaitlyn Dever as Abby

Deadline revealed that Kaitlyn Dever will also be joining The Last of Us season 2 as Abby.

Described as “a skilled soldier whose black-and-white view of the world is challenged as she seeks vengeance for those she loved”, Dever has previously appeared in films such as Booksmart and Rosaline.

Of the casting, the show's creators said their process for finding actors is to “look for world-class actors who embody the souls of the characters in the source material”, adding “we’re thrilled to have an acclaimed performer like Kaitlyn join Pedro, Bella and the rest of our family.”

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The Last of Us season 2 plot

While The Last of Us season 2 plot will pick up elements from the Part II game, Mazin noted that this series will be markedly different when and where it needs to be, just as the first season differed from the game in parts.

Speaking during an online press conference ahead of the season 1 finale (via, the show's co-creator said "Sometimes it will be different radically, and sometimes it will be [barely] different at all. But it's going to be different and it will be its own thing. It won't be exactly like the game. It will be the show that Neil and I want to make."

When can I watch The Last of Us season 2 trailer?

Given that the second season of The Last of Us is yet to go into production, it will be some time until we get a trailer, but we'll be updating this page as soon as it's revealed. In the meantime keep checking back for the latest The Last of Us season 2 news, from new cast members to first look images.