'The Last Of Us 2' theory: Cast's online updates confirm Joel's living participation

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The Last Of Us 2
"The Last Of Us 2" was officially announced during PlayStation Experience in December 2016. YouTube/PlayStation

When the reveal trailer for “The Last Of Us Part 2” was released last year, fans of the franchise were quick to pick up on the possibility that Joel, one of the game’s main protagonists, will no longer be alive in the sequel. However, recent updates from the cast members seem to confirm just the opposite.

The cast and crew are hard at work for the highly-anticipated game, but they are also having fun with each other. Creative director Neil Druckmann and actress Ashley Johnson, who portrays Ellie in the series, have been uploading harmless photos to their social media accounts. But one particular photo posted by Johnson has revived the hope that Joel is alive and well.

The image, which can be seen below, is of Johnson and Troy Baker, who respectively play Ellie and Joel. The two were participating in a motion-capture session for the game. Others have taken Baker’s clear participation as an indication that his character still exists in the world and is not just a mere figment of Ellie’s imagination. A photo, however, is no confirmation to whether or not Joel plays a physical role in the game.

Moreover, even if Ellie is just imagining Joel in “The Last Of Us 2,” Baker would still be needed to act those parts -- they might just not be as physically demanding. So whichever theory eventually proves to be true, there is no denying that Baker will have a notable role in the game.

With Naught Dog’s infamous skill of keeping things under wraps, it is unlikely that fans and players will know any real answers until the game is actually released. Since the reveal in PlayStation Experience, very few details have been provided by Druckmann or any of the cast members.

However, what is certain and has been confirmed is that the sequel will take place five years after the ending of the original title. Ellie will also be taking the reins this time, as she will be the main protagonist of the story. And while “The Last Of Us” was mostly about the love between a father-figure and a girl, the sequel’s theme will centre on hate.

“The Last Of Us 2” currently has no release date scheduled. Druckmann previously confirmed that more details and trailers will be revealed as the launch date is announced.

Watch the reveal trailer of "The Last Of Us Part II"

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