Nintendo has blessed gamers with some of the best video game franchises ranging from Super Mario Bros, Star Fox, Metroid, Animal Crossing, and The Legend of Zelda. Now, the gaming giant has expanded its reach into theme parks with the creation of Super Nintendo World at the Universal Studios parks coming soon around the world.
However, there is one thing that Nintendo has stayed away from, and that is adapting their properties into films or TV shows. Recently, Nintendo tried again to produce an animated Super Mario Bros film that was in the works from Illumination Entertainment, though as it turns out Nintendo had also originally planned a live-action series with Netflix in the past.
Here Is Why The Legend of Zelda Series Never Happened
During an interview on The Serf Times Prodcast, comedian/TV host Adam Conover revealed that back in 2015, Nintendo was considering adapting a live-action series based on The Legend of Zelda franchise and other properties as well. He was initially working on a claymation film based off Star Fox video games at the time, but Nintendo halted all their projects when The Wall Street Journal leaked word about the Zelda series.
“Then, a month later, suddenly there were reports Netflix wasn’t going to do its Legend of Zelda anymore,” said Conover. “I was like ‘what happened?’ And then I heard from my boss we weren’t doing our Star Fox anymore. I was like ‘what happened?’. He was like, ‘someone at Netflix leaked the Legend of Zelda thing, they weren’t supposed to talk about it, Nintendo freaked out… and they pulled the plug on everything, the entire programme to adapt these things.”
Makes you wonder what kind of show Netflix would’ve produced using the Zelda IP. Would Netflix have given Link a speaking role or keep him as the silent protagonist? I guess we’ll never know. Nintendo also hasn’t had the best track record when it comes to giving creative control of their properties to another company studio. Remember the Super Mario Bros. film from the 90s that was a complete disaster or the cringeworthy CD-I Zelda games that is now a source of memes all over the internet? It’s no wonder why Nintendo canceled the projects, the company most likely got cold feet and feared a repeat.
Perhaps Nintendo is testing the waters to see how audiences react to the Super Mario Bros. animated film before moving forward with other video game films. One property that should get more love and attention is the Metroid series, there hasn’t been any new game or remasters announced in years. An animated or live-action series could follow the story of the bounty hunter, Samus Aran.
Detective Pikachu is one of the best examples of an adaptation based off a video game that worked since it became the second highest grossing video game movie that fans grew to love. If Nintendo wished to green lit a series for The Legend of Zelda, an anime would work perfectly with that art style and the world of Hyrule. A manga series already existed based off each Zelda games, so it’s not farfetched to see an adaptation in future.
Although, Nintendo doesn’t really need a boost to their properties, considering how successful the Nintendo Switch has been since it’s launch. Maybe if the upcoming animated Mario films become successful, Nintendo will be more lenient to offer other movie studios a chance.
Are you disappointed that Nintendo is so timid with their The Legend of Zelda IP? What kind of series would you like to see? Let us know in the comment section below or over on our social media!