It’s official: The Legend of Zelda is getting the live-action treatment. Nintendo shared the news via its official website earlier today, writing that the film will be co-financed by Nintendo and Sony Pictures Entertainment, with Nintendo veteran and The Legend of Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto overseeing production alongside Marvel Studios’ Avi Arad.
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. https://t.co/2H9lzzS5Pv
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) November 7, 2023
According to the press release, Nintendo has already found The Legend of Zelda’s director in Wes Ball. Ball’s work includes The Maze Runner trilogy, as well as the upcoming Planet of the Apes film, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.
Nintendo also stated that the company will be “deeply involved in the movie production, with the aim to put smiles on everyone’s faces through entertainment.”
“By producing visual contents of Nintendo IP by itself, Nintendo is creating new opportunities to have people from around the world to access the world of entertainment which Nintendo has built, through different means apart from its dedicated game consoles,” the press release said.
The news comes after years of speculation that a live-action version of the legendary story was in the works. Back in 2015, The Wall Street Journal cited an anonymous source in its report that the studio was working on a live-action The Legend of Zelda tv show for Netflix. However, former Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Time Magazine that the claim was “not based on correct information.” The rumor surfaced again in 2018, this time with Castlavania director Adi Shankar attached to the series.
In 2021, comedian and voice actor Adam Conover revealed there was a bit more truth to these rumors than previously thought. According to Conover, Nintendo had reached out his employer at the time, CollegeHumor, to ask the studio to create a stop-motion show based on Star Fox. Conover stated that Miyamoto then came to the office to discuss the project, before ultimately scrapping both the Star Fox show and a live-action The Legend of Zelda series due to leaks. In May 2023, however, longtime The Legend of Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma told Polygon the team he was still interested in creating some form of Zelda adaptation in the future.
The studio has not yet revealed any details pertaining to the film’s cast or plot, or the year its expected to release. Considering the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes, it could be awhile before we hear any additional information regarding the project. The most recent entry in The Legend of Zelda series, Tears of the Kingdom, released earlier this year to critical-acclaim, with GameSpot’s review calling it, “a triumph of open-ended game design that pays homage to the best parts of the Zelda franchise’s own storied history.”