Following the vast success of HBO’s ‘The Last of Us,’ a second season is already in pre-production, with its principal filming location set to be in Vancouver, British Columbia — despite the setting taking place almost entirely in Seattle.
‘The Last of Us’ is a television adaptation of the acclaimed video game series of the same name, with Neil Druckmann, the video game’s writer and creative director, operating as one of the show’s lead showrunners.
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While the first season followed a cross-country journey through Texas, Wyoming, and Missouri, the filming took place primarily in Calgary, Alberta.
British Columbia has played host to many filming sets for American television and film projects due to the country’s tax breaks and abundant production industry.
But Seattle, and the state as a whole, is trying to expand its film prowess to become a staple in the entertainment industry. Last year, the Washington State Senate and House passed a bill that thoroughly updated and expanded the state’s Motion Picture Competitiveness Program (MPCP). The bill increased the program’s funding cap by more than 400%, from $3.5 million — which ranked as one of the worst incentives in the state in the U.S. — to $15 million per year.
BREAKING📽️: The Council just passed legislation to create a Seattle Film Commission tasked with advising the City on policies that strengthen Seattle’s film and television industry. It was sponsored by Councilmember Sara Nelson (@CMSaraNelson).
— Seattle City Council (@SeattleCouncil) September 20, 2022
California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and New York provided the largest incentives in the United States in 2022.
States offer these incentives because in-state movie productions often boost the local economy. Incentive packages vary from state to state, but many include production rebates, which reduce the costs of making movies, TV shows, and commercials, in some states, according to Giggster.
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The videogame ‘The Last of Us II’ features many prominent Seattle locations, including the Paramount Theatre, located at 9th Avenue and Pine Street, Lumen Field in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood, The Seattle Great Wheel, the Seattle Convention Center, the historic Chinatown Gate in the Chinatown-International District, Seattle’s Central Library, the Seattle Aquarium, and yes, the Space Needle.
The video game even included little Seattle details, like a series of rainbow crosswalks that adorn Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
According to HBO Max, the series premiere was watched by 4.7 million viewers on the first day it was released — the second-biggest for HBO since 2010. By March, the first six episodes averaged over 30 million viewers. In January 2023, with just two episodes released, the series was renewed for a second season.
Fans of the series shouldn’t expect to see ‘The Last of Us’ second season until late 2024 or early 2025.