The Last of Us' Pedro Pascal took over hosting duties on Saturday Night Live on February 4, and marked the show's rip-roaring success with a spoof teaser for another video game adaptation inspired by the HBO show.
“HBO’s The Last of Us (opens in new tab) is a hit, proving that a video game can become a prestige dystopian drama," the teaser's dramatic voiceover claims. "In Spring, HBO is doing it again with another iconic game."
The voice then switches to what is presumably a character from the show, which says: "It’s been ten years since our kingdom fell. The only thing we have left? Hope."
There are a couple of clues scattered around the place - graffiti of a very iconic flower, for one - and then the character slams a gold coin down on a table and says: "I have important cargo I need smuggled to Rainbow Road. People say you used to drive?"
If the Rainbow Road reference isn't quite enough to get you there, the camera switches to the back of a brooding, hunched-over character wearing a red shirt and denim overalls.
"People say a lot of things," he says gruffly, and then turns to the camera: "It's a-me, Mario."
The sincerely spectacular three-minute teaser goes on to reveal that the cargo is Princess Peach herself. Expect to see a kart, numerous memorable enemies, Luigi, and even Bowser himself as it progresses, accompanied by a foreboding remix of the Mario franchise's iconic music.
"In a video game turned series, a trailer follows a group of people as they try to help a princess get to Rainbow Road," teases the video's description on YouTube.
The Last of Us star Merle Dandridge recently opened up about how she approached her character "in a new way" for the HBO show – and explained how Bella Ramsey and Pedro Pascal bring a "different twinkle" to beloved protagonists Ellie and Joel (opens in new tab).
For more on all things The Last of Us, check out our guide to the major Last of Us episode 3 changes from the games (opens in new tab), Murray Bartlett's breakdown of Frank's untold backstory (opens in new tab), and the showrunners' chat on episode 3's final shot (opens in new tab), which should be familiar to those of us who've played the game.
The Last of Us continues on Sunday, February 5 on HBO and HBO Max in the US, and Sky Atlantic and NOW TV the following day in the UK. Make sure you never miss an episode by checking out our The Last of Us release schedule (opens in new tab) and our breakdown of how many episodes are in The Last of Us (opens in new tab).
If you can't get enough of video game adaptations, here's our roundup of all the upcoming video game movies (opens in new tab).