In a surprising move, Nintendo has officially greenlit a live-action movie adaptation of their beloved franchise, The Legend of Zelda. For years, the gaming giant had been cautious about branching out into non-gaming media, given the less-than-stellar track record of video game adaptations. One notorious example is the universally panned live-action Super Mario Bros. film from years past. However, with the evolving landscape of the entertainment industry, Nintendo has become more receptive to collaborating with Hollywood to bring their cherished characters to life, driven by a deeper understanding of fans’ expectations.
The transformation began with the massive success of Universal’s Super Mario Bros. Movie in 2023, which raked in over a billion dollars at the box office, indicating a promising future for video game adaptations. Nintendo now has its sights set on another major project: The Legend of Zelda. To make this dream a reality, Nintendo is teaming up with Sony Pictures, with acclaimed director Wes Ball, known for his work on the Planet of the Apes series, set to helm the project. The movie will also be produced by Avi Arad, a veteran producer best known for his contributions to the Spider-Man franchise.
In a statement, Shigeru Miyamoto, the renowned game director at Nintendo, revealed, “I have been working on the live-action film of The Legend of Zelda for many years now with Avi Arad-san, who has produced many mega-hit films. I have asked Avi-san to produce this film with me, and we have now officially started the development of the film with Nintendo itself heavily involved in the production. It will take time until its completion, but I hope you look forward to seeing it.”
Miyamoto’s statement implies that the idea of a Zelda movie had been brewing long before the Super Mario Bros. Movie’s success. The Legend of Zelda is arguably Nintendo’s second most prominent franchise after Mario, and its latest installment, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, sold nearly 20 million copies within just six months of release. With the movie adaptation in the works, the franchise is poised to reach even greater heights. While there is no official release date, the involvement of a director is a promising step. Ball’s upcoming Apes movie is scheduled for release in spring 2024, suggesting that the Zelda movie might not be too far behind, provided smooth development progress.
As for the movie’s cast, details remain shrouded in mystery. Given Nintendo’s collaboration with Sony, speculation is rife that Tom Holland, Sony’s star known for his roles as Spider-Man and Nathan Drake, could take on the iconic role of Link. While this is a popular fan theory, fans will have to await official casting announcements to know for sure.
In the realm of video game adaptations, it seems that Nintendo is gearing up for a grand cinematic journey, and fans worldwide are eagerly anticipating the adventures of Link in the live-action adaptation of The Legend of Zelda.