Pedro Pascal and Craig Mazin are currently the powerhouse duo of HBO having worked on critically record-shattering shows, i.e. Game of Thrones and Chernobyl respectively. But when an opportunity strikes that makes it possible for the two to be in the same room, work alongside each other and breathe life into one of the most popular video games in existence, it sounds almost too good to be true.
But then there is the arrival of Pascal, an actor who has never starred in a show that garners ratings below 89% (as claimed by Rotten Tomatoes), and another Game of Thrones alumni, Bella Ramsey, who delivered an incredibly powerful, if not convincing, performance as a young Lady rising to authority too early in life.
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Craig Mazin, for his part, is an impossibly brilliant mind hiding for years behind spooky parody films like Scary Movie and Superhero Movie (yes, the names should’ve been a warning in and of itself). The Last of Us was already meant for success, without it having to be explicitly told.
Pedro Pascal Talks About Wanting to Work With Craig Mazin
Pedro Pascal’s wish to work with Craig Mazin rose out of the necessity to be close to greatness – the genius mind that worked onto the screens, one of the most horrific natural disasters in the history of mankind, and did it justice from every possible angle. In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Pascal claims:
“I knew ‘Chernobyl,’ which is unrelated to the game, is Craig Mazin’s show, and I would’ve, I don’t know, murdered somebody to work with Craig I suppose. That’s a horrible public confession to make, but that was my introduction.”
Also read: HBO Forbade Pedro Pascal from Playing The Last of Us: “Don’t play the game… I ignored it.”
For Mazin, the vision for the HBO documentary was clear to him from the get-go. The world knew about the calamity of 1986 that struck the unwitting town near the northern borders of Ukraine. But none realized the extent of the sheer horror that haunted Chernobyl since the morning of the 26th of April. And Mazin worked to bring that feeling of fear and distraught onto the screens. When the limited series aired, it managed to win 3 Emmys for Outstanding Writing, Outstanding Directing, and Outstanding Limited Series – a trifecta of honors seldom received in unison.
It made sense then why Pedro Pascal would be desperately in want of a refresher after his long stint at The Mandalorian and why it had to be Craig Mazin of all people, even if it meant venturing into the forsaken lands of video game adaptations.
Craig Mazin’s Foray Into Video Game & Zombie Adaptations
The unlikely and unexpected success of Chernobyl thrust its creator Craig Mazin into mainstream television and then into the collective consciousness of millions of fans waiting for the adaptation of The Last of Us and hoping for it to not turn out like every other big-budget, one-time-watch, critical and commercial failure like its predecessors in the genre. Not surprisingly enough, the writer-creator managed to deliver upon that promise with excruciatingly detailed and visually striking clarity.
Also read: “They don’t want to come back”: The Last of Us Creator Was Afraid Fans Might Not Return to Watch Series Before Making One Major Change
Throughout the harrowing bleakness that defines The Last of Us, Craig Mazin’s story stands out in all its essential elements that dictate quite early on why a moody Pedro Pascal and a snarky Bella Ramsey are the ones to root for. For those who do not know the game itself, the adaptation soon becomes a grueling tragedy in itself. But despite the plot that shrieks zombie apocalypse, the process of stepping through meadows filled with skeletons of a mother and child separates this HBO adaptation from every other evil undead film and show in existence.
Chernobyl and The Last of Us are now streaming on HBO Max.
Source: BBC Radio 1