The Japanese video game giant Nintendo announced on Tuesday the preparation of a film based on the universe of The Legend of Zelda, after the recent success on the big screen of the film dedicated to another of its flagship characters, Mario.
This live-action feature film will be directed by Wes Ball, author of the Maze Runner trilogy, and co-produced by Avi Arad, who supervised several major films in the Spider-Man series. As with Super Mario Bros, the film, the legendary designer Shigeru Miyamoto - who created the universe of the mustachioed plumber and the Zelda saga - will also be heavily involved in the adaptation of the adventures of the elf Link on large screen.
“I have been working on the film (...) for many years,” Mr. Miyamoto said in a Nintendo post on social media, explaining that the company will be “heavily involved in the production.” “It will take some time before it is completed, but I hope you look forward to seeing it,” he added.
Hollywood giant Sony Pictures will co-finance and distribute the film in theaters. Nintendo has long been wary of Hollywood adaptations of its franchises, after the failure of the film Super Mario Bros in 1993: a failed dystopia, where Mario finds himself plunged into an apocalyptic dimension populated by dinosaurs. At the time, the company had simply sold the name of its hero to Hollywood, without participating in the production.
But the success of its latest cartoon dedicated to the plumber, for which the Japanese giant was involved in the development, validated an overhaul of its approach. With $1.36 billion in worldwide revenue, Super Mario Bros. is the second biggest box office hit this year, behind Barbie.
The adaptation of successful video games is currently in vogue in Hollywood: the HBO television series The Last of Us and the horror film Five Nights at Freddy's, at the top of the American box office for two weeks, are for example all two inspired by pixelated universes. No details regarding the plot or casting of the Zelda movie have been announced yet.
In video games, Link, an elf warrior, usually fights against the evil Ganon to save Princess Zelda from the dark forces plaguing the magical kingdom of Hyrule. The franchise, which began in 1986, includes more than two dozen titles - several of which are considered some of the best video games of all time - and has sold more than 150 million copies.