Nintendo is finally making a live-action Legend of Zelda movie, after years of hopes and months of rumors.
The news was shared today in an official post to Nintendo investors, with few details. The film is being produced by Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and Avi Arad, chairman of Arad Productions and former founder and CEO of Marvel Studios.
Arad has been credited as a producer on numerous successful films over the years, most recently including Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Into the Spider-Verse, No Way Home, Far From Home, and Homecoming. He’s also worked on upcoming films including Kraven the Hunter and the Borderlands movie.
The Maze Runner director Wes Ball is set to direct, and Sony Pictures Entertainment will handle theatrical distribution in addition to co-financing the movie with Nintendo. Deadline Hollywood, meanwhile, reports that Jurassic World writer Derek Connolly is writing the script.
Though the press release indicates that development is just beginning, in a tweet/X post today Miyamoto indicated that the project has been in the works in some form for “many years now.”
Live-action Zelda movie is finally a reality
Earlier this year, rumors abounded that a live-action Legend of Zelda movie was in the works, but the word on the Hyrule street was that Universal was involved, or perhaps Illumination, rather than Sony. The rumors were fueled by the Tears of the Kingdom developers themselves, who expressed that they were “interested” in making a Zelda movie after the success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie earlier this year. However, as Eiji Aonuma said at the time, “it’s not just me being interested in something that makes things happen, unfortunately.” A Netflix series was reportedly canceled after leaking on the internet.
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. https://t.co/2H9lzzS5Pv
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) November 7, 2023
Unlike the Mario movie, however, the Zelda film is live-action, meaning casting characters such as Link, Zelda, Ganon, and others will take on an entirely new dimension. The Super Mario Bros. Movie, while well-received, did undergo pre-release criticisms over the decision to cast Chris Pratt as Mario. A Zelda film would presumably be held up to similar fan scrutiny — even if Link remains a silent protagonist, as in the games.
It’s unclear which Zelda story this movie will explore
Fans have speculated on the possibility of a Zelda movie for many years now, with more than a few donning costumes to create their own trailers. Way back in 2008 we created our own vision of a live-action Legend of Zelda. Back then it was just an April Fool’s joke, but now the prophecy has seemingly been fulfilled.
It’s unclear exactly which Zelda story will be explored in this film adaptation, or if a new Zelda story would be told instead. It’s possible Nintendo opts to explore the most recent and successful entries in the franchise by telling the story of Breath of the Wild, especially if it would open the door to a sequel in Tears of the Kingdom. One way or another, we’ll have to wait for updates from Nintendo to find out what’s in store.
Rebekah Valentine is a senior reporter for IGN. Got a story tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.