Zelda fans already got a stellar new game with “Tears of the Kingdom” this year, but Nintendo just dropped another exciting nugget of news: the gaming giant is working on a live-action movie based on the Legend of Zelda franchise.
Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of the 37-year-old franchise, announced the news this evening.
“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,” he wrote on X in a statement translated from Japanese. “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.”
Avi Arad has produced films like “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, along with dozens more Marvel movies.
While unexpected, this move makes a lot of sense for Nintendo. Though Link’s story has been unfolding for decades, the franchise is hotter than ever. Breath of the Wild, the 2017 game released on Nintendo Switch, has been hailed by both fans and critics as one of the greatest video games of all time (more realistically, it’s one of the best games to come out on Nintendo Switch, which is still high praise). When the sequel, Tears of the Kingdom, dropped earlier this year, it somehow managed to live up to fans’ huge expectations, selling 20 million copies from May through September.
So, if Nintendo saw fit to make a movie all about Mario, a working-class plumber, why not tell the story of Link, a legendary hero spanning time and space?
When Nintendo announced it was making “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” a few years back, fans seemed a bit jaded — and also confused as to the casting of Chris Pratt as Mario. But the movie was shockingly successful, even for a product built on such iconic IP. The movie grossed more than $1.3 billion, surpassing “Frozen” as the second-highest-grossing animated film ever (“Frozen II” holds the crown). The Pokémon franchise, another Nintendo cash cow, has been churning out movies and television shows at breakneck speed for decades, even tapping Ryan Gosling to be Pikachu… So why not give Link the spotlight this time?
We’re just hoping Chris Pratt doesn’t audition to play Link.