Nintendo announces new Zelda movie on the heels of Mario success
LOS ANGELES – Nintendo is developing a film based on its hugely popular The Legend Of Zelda franchise, the Japanese gaming giant announced, as it bids to capitalise on the blockbuster success of its recent Mario movie.
The new, live-action Zelda movie will be directed by Wes Ball, who made the Maze Runner trilogy, and co-produced by Mr Avid Arad, who has overseen several major Spider-Man films.
Legendary Nintendo designer Shigeru Miyamoto, who created both the Mario and Zelda game franchises, and was heavily involved in 2023’s smash-hit The Super Mario Bros. Movie, also returns to produce the Zelda film.
“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,” Mr Miyamoto wrote on an official Nintendo social media account on Tuesday.
“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,” he said. “It will take time until its completion, but I hope you look forward to seeing it.”
Japanese-owned Hollywood giant Sony Pictures will co-finance and distribute the movie in theatres.
Nintendo was wary of Hollywood adaptations of its franchises for decades after its 1993 live-action Super Mario Bros. movie disastrously flopped.
But its return to the big screen with The Super Mario Bros. Movie was an enormous box-office success, grossing US$1.36 billion (S$1.84 billion) globally – second only to Barbie in 2023.
The success is part of a growing Hollywood trend. Other recent successful video game adaptations have included HBO’s TV series The Last Of Us and horror movie Five Nights At Freddy’s, which has topped the US box office for the past two weeks.
In an interview with Agence France-Presse in April ahead of the Mario film, Mr Miyamoto said Nintendo learnt that “we wanted to develop the movie ourselves, instead of licensing it” to another company.
No plot or casting details for the Zelda film have yet been announced.
In the game series, elf-like warrior Link typically battles with the evil king Ganon to save Princess Zelda from dark forces plaguing the magical, mediaeval-style land of Hyrule.
The Zelda game franchise, which began in 1986, includes more than a dozen titles – several of which have been acclaimed by critics as among the great video games of all time – and has sold over 150 million copies. - AFP