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The Last of Us Part II Co-Writer Has Joined Second Season of HBO Series

The Last of Us Part II writer Neil Druckmann is already heavily involved with the Emmy-nominated HBO series. And now its other writer, Halley Gross, is joining the show, too, meaning she will be part of the team responsible for adapting the game she helped write.

The Last of Us Season 2 might still hit its original release window

Craig Mazin, co-creator of the HBO series, told Deadline this in a recent interview. He spoke about the new season and that the team had gotten “pretty far, actually” and was “doing great” before talking about the new additions.

“Neil and I had been sitting and talking with Halley Gross, who also worked on the second game as a writer, and Bo Shim, the new writer that was in our little tiny room with us,” said Mazin.

Gross is known for writing The Last of Us Part II, as well as HBO’s Westworld. Gross has not tweeted about or mentioned her involvement with the show so far, though. Shim is a relatively new face and doesn’t have anything in the video game space so far, but they have produced a few short films.

Mazin also revealed that the first episode of the new season was written just before the writers strike, and the creative team knows what the whole season will be. He noted that he was “brain-writing” and mentally pre-planning during the strike so he can get going quickly when a deal is reached between the unions and studios. He stated he still wanted to hit the original release window in 2025, which he said he thinks is possible if the strikes don’t go on for much longer. The shooting schedule hasn’t been impacted too much so far since the crew was trying to line up production with the weather.

“We had a little more flexibility I think than normally just because we had to wait a little bit longer anyway to line up production with the weather,” said Mazin. “A lot of what we do is outside, and so we had a schedule that weirdly hasn’t been immediately impacted. But we’re getting pretty close; wе can’t keep our original start dates forever obviously.

“If these strikes go much longer we inevitably will have to push and that hurts us, and it hurts the audience, and it hurts HBO. We all, everybody wants to get back to work; I think everybody that’s actually doing the work, including the network people who are with us on the ground, I think everybody just wants to get this solved. So fingers crossed.”

Mazin reiterated the plans for another season following this upcoming one, and how there will be scenes that are different from the game and ones that will stay the same.

“It’s going to be more than one season,” said Mazin. “There’s more story, so this show will not end with Season 2 unless people don’t watch it and we’ll get canceled. Barring that, we will be doing some things exactly the way they were in the game. We’re going to do other things that are in the game and we’re gonna do some things that are in the game but we’re gonna do them differently in our own method. No matter if you have played the game or not. You will be surprised as the season unfolds. We have some interesting twists and turns.”

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