Nintendo and Sony Pictures have joined forces to create a live-action adaptation of the beloved video game series, The Legend of Zelda.
Renowned video game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and Avi Arad, known for the Spider-Man trilogy, will serve as co-producers, while Wes Ball, director of The Maze Runner, will helm the project.
While details about the cast and plot remain under wraps, Mr. Miyamoto revealed in a post on Nintendo’s Japanese account that he and Arad have been collaborating on the film for some time. He assured fans that production has commenced, with Nintendo playing a significant role in the creative process.
“Although it will take time to complete, I hope you look forward to seeing it,” he expressed.
Since its debut in 1986, The Legend of Zelda franchise has become Nintendo’s second most successful series, with approximately 150 million copies sold. The latest installment, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, achieved record-breaking success, selling 10 million copies within three days of its May release.
Its predecessor, Breath of the Wild, stands as the highest-selling game in the franchise, with an estimated 30 million copies sold worldwide.
This upcoming film release coincides with a resurgence of success for video game adaptations, a genre once thought to be destined for failure. In the 90s, films based on popular games like Super Mario Bros and Mortal Kombat were met with both critical and commercial disappointment.
However, Nintendo’s animated Super Mario Bros Movie, released earlier this year, defied expectations and became one of the highest-grossing animated films of all time, earning over $1 billion at the box office.
While Mario’s success is notable, it is not isolated. Films centered around Sega’s Sonic the Hedgehog, featuring stars like Jim Carrey, Ben Schwartz, and James Marsden, have also raked in hundreds of millions in box office revenue. Nintendo’s Detective Pikachu, with Ryan Reynolds in the lead, was another box office hit.
The triumph of these adaptations likely motivated Nintendo to re-enter the film arena, this time under the guidance of seasoned producer Avi Arad.
Arad, known for his involvement in numerous Spider-Man films since 2002, previously led Marvel Studios and has a successful track record in video game adaptations. He produced the 2022 Uncharted film starring Tom Holland, based on the immensely popular video game series, which grossed $400 million at the box office.
This forthcoming Legend of Zelda film marks the first endeavor to bring the iconic franchise to the big screen, although it had an animated TV series in 1989. Netflix also had plans for a new Zelda series in 2015, though it never materialized.