The Legend of Zelda is heading to the big screen. After Universal’s $1 billion hit adaptation Super Mario Bros. Movie, Nintendo is developing the new Zelda project with Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Wes Ball, the director behind the Maze Runner trilogy, will helm the live-action feature, with Sony distributing. Nintendo and Avi Arad’s Arad Productions, Inc. are behind the film that will be co-financed by the gaming giant and Sony.
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Nintendo representative director and fellow Shigeru Miyamoto, who is set to produce the movie, posted Tuesday to X (formerly Twitter) that he and Arad have been working on a live-action version “for many years now.”
Miyamoto continued, “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.”
Ball made his feature directorial debut with 2014’s The Maze Runner, shepherding the adaptation of the dystopian novels by James Dashner across three movies, each one gaining an ever larger scope. His next movie will he his biggest canvas yet: a new Planet of the Apes move. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes opens May 24, 2024.
Zelda is a crown jewel of the Nintendo empire that dates back to the first game in 1986. Spanning thousands of years, the fantasy-inspired games usually tell the tale of a boy named Link who must save the Kingdom of Hyrule as well as its princess, the titular Zelda, who sometimes is a hero in her on right. Link must defeat the evil Ganon, who seeks to collect all three pieces of the Triforce in order to obtain ultimate power.
The games are known for pushing the boundaries of both story and technology, with 2017’s The Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild and its 2022 sequel Tears of the Kingdom considered to be among the greatest video games of all time. There have been 20 games in the main series to date.
Nintendo is extremely protective of its properties and before this year, had not released a film adaptation since 1993’s Super Mario Bros., the critically panned film that starred Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as the famous plumbers. But that film, distributed by Universal and voice starring Chris Pratt, became an outsized hit, grossing $1.3 billion. Netflix previously tried to get a Legend of Zelda animated series off the ground, putting it into development in 2015, but it never materialized. It previously was adapted as a 1989 American animated series.
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