Pedro Pascal Confirms Future 'The Last of Us' Plotline 'Will Stay True to the Game'

The actor is addressing a major open secret about what lies ahead for his character, Joel.

Potential SPOILERS AHEAD for HBO's The Last of Us.

Pedro Pascal is opening up about his future on HBO's The Last of Us

In a new cover story interview for Esquire, the actor addresses something of an open secret that surrounds the zombie apocalypse series. Based on the two-part video game of the same name, Pascal's character, Joel, could be facing a fate that leaves viewers with -- according to Esquire writer Dave Holmes -- "a show with a lot less Joel in it." 

Pascal has not played the game or watched the scene in question, but he is keenly aware of it. Asked whether he thinks a future season of The Last of Us will follow the same storyline, Pascal says in a video interview that, "It will stay true to the game, like entirely. I think."

Meanwhile, series creator Craig Mazin is stopping short of offering a confirmation. 

"This should be fairly obvious to anyone by now, but I don't fear killing characters," he says. "But the important thing to note is that neither Neil [Druckmann, who co-created and exec-produces the series with Mazin] nor I feel constrained by the source material."

Clarifying that he has no real information about where series writers are taking the second season, Pascal adds, "It wouldn't make sense to follow the first game so faithfully only to stray severely from the path. ... So, yeah, that's my honest answer." 


Bella Ramsey, who stars opposite Pascal as Ellie in The Last of Us, says of the plot event, "I don't know that I'm emotionally ready for it."

The co-stars have built a delightful bond while working together on set, with Pascal taking on a surrogate father figure role. "I've learned from him to be kinder to myself, which is a thing he's not very good at, in terms of the pressure he puts on himself," says Ramsey. "But I guess that’s something that he taught me hypocritically, then I taught to him back."

Pascal is also, apparently, offering lessons in '80s pop music. 

"He would break out in song a lot on set," Ramsey reveals. "'Xanadu' in particular. I don't think it's on the official soundtrack, but Pedro singing 'Xanadu' is the theme song of The Last of Us." 

HBO announced its renewal for a second season of The Last of Us on Jan. 27, two weeks after its series premiere became the streamer's second-highest debut ever, behind Game of Thrones

"It still feels surreal to me that it's going to go again," Bella Ramsey told ET of the renewal news, but added that "I don't want to go into it comparing it to the experience of the first season." 

Ramsey also added that she's enjoyed hearing from fans of the The Last of Us video game. "I love gamers' reactions to the show," she said. "That's the thing that feels the most validating is when gamers who are so invested in the game say, 'This is so good and it lives up to all my expectations.' That is the reaction that feels really, really cool." 

Mazin and Druckmann are currently working in pre-production for The Last of Us season 2, and it is expected to cover the game's sequelThe Last of Us Part II. In January 2023, Mazin told Collider that the game's second installment would probably "take us more than a season to tell," leaving the door open for more renewals, but both creators have made it clear they will never go beyond the narrative established by the game. 

"Our ambition is to tell the story that exists, as best as we can, in a different medium," he said. Druckmann added, "This will be as many seasons as required to reach that ending, and no more."