CUT TO BLACK. THE END.
Update 4/18: Following yesterday’s update that the final scene for The Last of Us Part II has been shot using performance capture, the last scene with Joel and Ellie is now finished as well, and “the most ambitious cinematic shoot” ever for Naughty Dog has wrapped.
Posted by writer and director Neil Druckmann on Twitter, the announcement comes with a picture of Joel actor Troy Baker and Ellie actress Ashley Johnson in their motion capture suits with a champagne flute in hand. Druckmann included the caption “And that’s a wrap on Ellie, Joel, and the most ambitious cinematic shoot we’ve ever done. Tears were shed…”
The original story follows.
The final scene for The Last of Us Part II has been shot, suggesting production on the game is fairly far along, but not quite reaching an end point.
Revealed by writer and director Neil Druckmann on Twitter, he wrote “Just shot this scene… so…” accompanied by the final page of a script with the words “CUT TO BLACK. THE END.” Druckmann also revealed on Instagram last week that Laura Bailey, who plays an undisclosed character, filmed her final scene.
Of course, simply filming the performance capture of the game’s final scene isn’t a concrete indication that the game is nearing the end of development, as performance capture proceeds large chunks of game development. Additionally, scenes in games and films are shot out of order frequently for budgetary and logistical reasons, so just because Naughty Dog has shot the final scene of the game doesn’t mean there isn’t still plenty of footage left to capture, regardless of potential reshoots.
So what does this mean for the game’s release date? Because performance capture is still being done, or has potentially just wrapped, it’s fairly unlikely the game will be released in 2019 – though it’s certainly not impossible.
The last major look we had of The Last of Us Part II was at Sony’s E3 2018 conference, which featured new gameplay and story details. We know Ellie will have an NPC companion, and one of the latest pieces of media surrounding the game we’ve seen is a poster of Joel and Ellie from September 2018.
The Last of Us Part II is one of several PlayStation 4 exclusives that doesn’t have an official release date, and could potentially be released in 2020, or even make it to the recently teased next-generation PlayStation. This includes Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima and Kojima Production’s Death Stranding. Additionally, reports from January indicate that Sony is shifting first-party development focus onto PlayStation 5.
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Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.