Nintendo Announces Live-Action LEGEND OF ZELDA Movie in Development


Shock of shocks! Hot on the heels of The Super Mario Bros. Movie making—conservatively speaking—a s**t-zillion dollars earlier this year, it seemed only reasonable for Nintendo to keep that ball a-rolling. However, while an animated Mario movie was a sure bet, the next project might prove a bit trickier. In Japan on Wednesday, Nintendo announced it will develop a live-action film of The Legend of Zelda, arguably the game manufacturer’s second most important property. The franchise began in 1986 and has continued to this very year with Tears of the Kingdom.


The news is very scant at the moment. Nintendo’s Representative Director, Shigeru Miyamoto, will produce the movie alongside Avi Arad’s Arad Productions. Arad’s name should be familiar to our readers, having executive produced all of the Spider-Man films, many of the X-Men films, and a number of other Marvel properties. Nintendo will co-finance the movie with Sony Pictures Entertainment, with Sony handling worldwide theatrical distribution. The press release also points out Nintendo will put up “more than 50%” of the money for the movie, assuring they retain the most creative input.

The release also mentions director Wes Ball, of The Maze Runner movies and the upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, will direct. However, no word yet on a writer, cast, or any of the other fun stuff.

The title card for 1986's original Nintendo game of The Legend of Zelda.

Over the years, many Zelda films and TV series, both live-action and animation, have been in development. None have managed to make their way much beyond that point. This, however, feels a bit different. Nintendo is in its own driver’s seat and coming off a monster global hit movie. The big question is which of the many Zelda games will be the basis of the film, or if it’ll end up as a totally separate story that doesn’t remake or contradict any previous game. The Legend of Zelda game timeline is one of the most complex in gaming, so probably they’d be smart not to mess with that.

And as long as we don’t get a Link saying “Well excuuuuuuuse me, Princess,” we should be in good shape.

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. He hosts the weekly pop culture deep-dive podcast Laser Focus. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Instagram and Letterboxd.


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