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Nintendo announced this morning, they’ll be making a live action movie of The Legend of Zelda. The film will be co-financed by Nintendo and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. Whilst Nintendo will pay for more than 50% of the film, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. will be the theatrical distributor.

What else do we know about the movie?

Who is making the film?

The Legend of Zelda movie will be produced by Shigeru Miyamoto. Miyamoto is the Representative Director and Fellow of Nintendo. The second producer is Avi Arad, Chairman of Arad Productions Inc. Both have produced many hit games and movies. Miyamoto is famous for Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Star Fox, and Pikmin. Many recognize him and one of the most influential designers throughout video games history.

Arad is an Israeli-American film producer. In the 1990s, he was the Chief Creative Office at Marvel Entertainment. Soon after he became the chairman, CEO, and founder of Marvel Studios. He is best known for his many hit Marvel movies including Daredevil, Spider-Man 2, Iron Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Uncharted, Morbius, and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. It is safe to say The Legend of Zelda movie is in good hands with these two producers.

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time artwork.
The Legend of Zelda has taken on various art forms over the years. Fans will be keen to see the type of style the live-action movie will take (Image: Nintendo)

Do video games work as movies?

The question many fans have on their minds. Video games are great to play, but they often make terrible movies. We can already think of a few less than ideal video-game-turned-movies that were a flop: Assassin’s Creed, Mortal Kombat, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Rampage, Dead or Alive… I could go on.

But for all those bad movies, there have been a few hits: Sonic the Hedgehog, Pokémon Detective Pikachu, and more recently Uncharted. Luckily for Zelda fans, Arad worked on the Uncharted movie starring Tom Holland and Mark Wahlberg. Arad is also working on more video-game related movies for next year including Borderlands.

If Miyamoto and Arad can find the perfect balance for The Legend of Zelda movie, it will land well with fans. Gamers don’t want to see the same story as the one they play. It ruins the experience. Instead, they want to see something new and fresh.

However, movies should include many aspects that resonate with gamers; the use of game jargon, featuring similar lore, items, weapons, and more. Modern movies must also appeal to a wide audience in order to be successful. Thus making a film that resonates with the fans who have played and loved the games, as well as a fantastic story and visuals that can be enjoyed by non-gamers is a must for success.

When can we expect to see The Legend of Zelda?

The official press release does not even hint at a release date for The Legend of Zelda film. Arad is working on multiple movies for 2024, and no other information such as actors or filming locations are even theorized. Miyamoto hinted that he and Arad “have been working on the live-action film […] for many years.”

But also said it would “take time until its completion.” We probably won’t expect to see The Legend of Zelda movie until at least after 2026. Until then, I’ll be playing Tears of the Kingdom to keep myself sane.

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