During a Q&A panel this week, Nolan North made a shocking statement that took the Internet by storm. He had seemingly confirmed that Naughty Dog was working on The Last of Us 2, but was his claim entirely true or is Naughty Dog trying to cover their tracks and plug up an unintentional leak?
During the panel, North was asked if he had any upcoming projects lined up with Naughty Dog aside from the upcoming fourth installment to the Uncharted franchise with Uncharted 4 to which North replied, “For now the last one, I know they are doing The Last of Us 2 but my character in the last one kind of had an untimely demise.” Speaking during a panel at the Indy PopCon, Troy Baker, the voice actor for Joel in Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us, has denied knowing anything about an upcoming sequel in the works for the critically acclaimed post-apocalyptic title. This statement comes contradicting of North’s that was made earlier, but could this be an attempt to cover up North’s unintentional leak?
“I know nothing.” Baker said, “I don’t know if we’re gonna do another one or not, if we do, then I trust Neil Druckmann, and Bruce Straley, and everyone at Naughty Dog to tell a story that needs to be told.” Baker didn’t stop there as he continued to defend the fact on why the story of Joel and Ellie are probably over after he was asked on the potential setting for a sequel. “You know, spoiler, when you go from the prologue and then credits and then cut to 20 years later, you see a completely different guy,” said Baker.
Baker’s comments on the potential setting for The Last of Us sequel setting could be taken in many different ways, one of which being that there is no sequel for The Last of Us and the other being that Joel’s story is over. In the game, Joel has come full circle and yes we were left with an unsatisfactory cliff hanger but Naughty Dog does not do anything without a purpose when telling they’re carefully crafted stories. It could be possible that we see Ellie 20 years after Joel’s death at Tommy’s compound, or we only hear a character make stubble comments about a girl who could have been the cure to the virus as we follow a new survivor in this bleak version of the apocalypse.
If you were to read into both statements, you can see that Baker’s comments don’t necessarily disprove North’s statements. He could be trying to plug a leak before it gets to big to handle or he could simply have no knowledge of its existence yet. North has been spending more time at Naughty Dog than Baker while working on Uncharted 4, so he could have overheard or been told by a staff member about the project’s existence. Either way, a sequel would be most welcomed whether it is with new characters or old; building up on the lore and the mythology of this beautifully crafted world could not go wrong.