Pedro Pascal Stars In SNL’s Dystopian Mario Kart Adaptation

Video game adaptations have received a second wind, now that people know how to make them well. It was the animated adaptations that first got it right, and soon, live action movies and TV shows figured it out as well. Eventually, we received HBO's The Last of Us, which is on course to become one of the very best video game adaptations ever made. Considering the success HBO has had with just three episodes, other networks are probably scrambling to sign-on a big video game IP. However, it seems Saturday Night Live has already roped in the biggest one of them all, Mario.

In one of its trademark skits SNL brought in the star of the moment, Pedro Pascal, to create a dark and gritty trailer for an HBO adaptation of one of the most popular video game IPs, Mario Kart.

It's been ten years since the Mushroom Kingdom fell, and someone needs to smuggle some precious cargo. Pascal plays the titular Mario, who looks weary of the world, takes the job – smuggling Princess Peach to the Rainbow Road. However, with Bowser now ruling the kingdom, moving on foot is dangerous, so Mario and Peach have no option but to kart it.

The trailer is pretty well-made, with the visual effects looking quite good – for an SNL skit. Pascal is already used to playing a worn-down man, so all he had to do was put on an exaggerated Italian accent and deliver some iconic lines. We also see appearances by Luigi, Toad, and Yoshi. However, Pascal's skill as an actor truly shines when he tells Peach that he needs to eat the mushrooms as it's the only way he can feel "big'' enough to take on Bowser.

​​​​​​​It's been a while since I've properly watched an SNL skit, but this is honestly genius by SNL. Not because of the obvious similarities between this and HBO's TLOU, but because of the more subtle takes on what it means to turn a video game into a live action production. The confused reviews by Variety and The New York Times were perhaps the most authentic part.

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