As Giant Freakin Robot posted last week, the latest rumor is that Tom Holland, star of Spider-Man: Far from Home and the recent Netflix film, The Devil All the Time, is being discussed to play the lead role of Link in a Legend of Zelda movie.
Back in 2015, Forbes reported that Netflix was partnering with Nintendo for a live-action series, which would certainly be a huge franchise to the streaming giant. Netflix has been very interested in video game properties lately, having released series based on The Witcher and Castlevania in recent years, with shows based on Devil May Cry and Resident Evil currently in development.
Considering the popularity of The Legend of Zelda franchise, the series has rarely left the console, with the exception of a one-season animated series back in 1989. Rumors have flown for over a decade now that a Legend of Zelda movie or series could be in the works. According to IGN, an animated Legend of Zelda movie was pitched by Imagi Animation Studios – who made TMNT and Astro Boy – with a terrible animated trailer that Nintendo turned down.
In a Kotaku interview from 2013, Eiji Aonuma, current producer of The Legend of Zelda series, said of a potential film, “If we were to make a Zelda title, if we had interest in doing that, I think really what would be most important to us is to be able to play with the format of a movie, make it more interactive, like you’re able to take your 3DS into the theater and that leads you into participating in it somehow.” With the 3DS ending production this year, it seems unlikely that will be the case, but maybe Nintendo could utilize their Switch in some way. Aonuma continued, “We wouldn’t want to make it the same as any other movie. We want to somehow change what a movie is.”
We Got This Covered has said that rumors hint the show could be based on two different Zelda games: Twilight Princess and Breath of the Wild. However, the Zelda franchise is notoriously convoluted, complete with multiple timelines that span eons, with Breath of the Wild referencing almost every previous game in the series. Adapting Legend of Zelda on its own would be difficult enough, yet to try and make sense of the timeline of Zelda games is a task in and of itself. Not only that, but so much of The Legend of Zelda franchise is about the player’s journey and what the player decides to do while controlling Link in these massive worlds. It would truly be interesting to see how a film brings Link’s story to a film.
Holland is no stranger to video game adaptations, as he’s been attached to the Uncharted film for years, and which is finally shooting. However, in an interview from earlier this year with IGN, it seems like Holland is keenly aware of the problems that can come around with a video game adaptation.
Holland said, “I think what Uncharted offers that most video games films don’t is that it’s an origin story to the games. So if you played the games, you haven’t seen what’s going to happen in the film. And if you haven’t played the games, you’re going to enjoy the film because it’s information that everyone else is getting at the same time. But I’m super excited to make that movie and it’s been a long time coming.”
The Legend of Zelda franchise is getting plenty of news this year, as Nintendo recently announced Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, to be released on November 20, which will take place 100 years before the events of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In addition to that, fans are eagerly awaiting more news about Nintendo’s Breath of the Wild sequel, which was announced last year. Finally, ever since Nintendo presented their collaboration with Universal Studios, there have also been frequent rumors that a possible update to Super Mario World could involve The Legend of Zelda.
But even if Legend of Zelda does finally come to screens soon, it likely won’t be until after the upcoming animated Mario film. Set for release in 2022, from Illumination, the company that made the Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets franchises is being made in collaboration with Nintendo. Yet after the disaster of the Super Mario Bros. live-action film, you can be sure that any upcoming Legend of Zelda film or television show will certainly have Nintendo’s Seal of Approval on it.
Ever since the disappointment of 1993’s Super Mario Bros. film, Nintendo has kept their popular franchises close to the chest. However, in 2014, Nintendo decided to allow a little more freedom with their many legendary series, allowing other companies to play with their intellectual properties. This has led to such popular iOS games as Super Mario Run and Pokémon Go, a collaboration with Universal Studios for new Super Mario World theme parks and even a recent collection of Mario-themed LEGO sets. But it looks like after years of speculation, Nintendo might finally get back to films and television with a possible Legend of Zelda project.