The Legend of Zelda is getting a live-action adaptation. After years of rumours, Nintendo has finally confirmed that it’s working on a movie set in the enchanted lands of Hyrule, co-produced by the gaming giant and Avi Arad, who’s behind the recent Spider-Man spin-off films. Wes Ball — best known for the Maze Runner trilogy — is attached to direct, which isn’t being received well by fans of the franchise. Of course, Zelda creator Shigeru Miyamoto is deeply involved in the project in a producer capacity, just like he was for The Super Mario Bros. Movie.
“This is Miyamoto. 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,” Miyamoto said in the announcement tweet. “It will take time until its completion, but I hope you look forward to seeing it.”
This is Miyamoto. 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. 
— 任天堂株式会社 (@Nintendo) November 7, 2023
Nintendo confirmed earlier this year, its plans to turn the gaming company into an entertainment empire by slowly transitioning into theme parks and movies. They’ve both succeeded gracefully, with Illumination-produced The Super Mario Bros. Movie grossing $1.36 billion (about Rs. 11,324 crore), placed second among the biggest films this year. That’s a huge feat, considering the film ruffled fans’ feathers before release for casting Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy) as the titular plumber Mario.
With The Legend of Zelda being a live-action production, Nintendo is partnering with Sony Pictures Entertainment to helm the film, with the former putting forward more than 50 percent of the financing. Currently, there’s no logline for the film but we can assume it follows the young warrior Link’s perilous adventures, as he’s tasked with saving the kingdom of Hyrule and its princess Zelda by defeating the evil King Ganon. The decades-spanning game series is loaded with legacy dungeons and puzzles to solve, but in recent years, veered into the open-world territory, allowing players to explore the entire realm at their own pace. 2018’s The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was the first to do it, and it was later expanded in Tears of the Kingdom with special abilities that let you build machines and a whole Sky Island map section to explore. They’re both considered as some of the best video games ever made.
Director Ball is also slated to helm Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, slated for release on May 24, 2024, in which a feral young woman (Freya Allan) and an ape Cornelius (Owen Teague) head out on a spiritual journey to seek freedom from the rule of chimpanzee king Proximus Caesar (Kevin Durand) — who took on the mantle following Caesar’s death and perverted his teachings. While fans are still wishing for the Zelda movie to be an animated take, this must mean a big deal to Ball, who back in 2010 expressed interest in seeing a Zelda movie. At the time, he also hoped for it to be a mocap film akin to James Cameron’s Avatar. Back in 2015, even Netflix tried to develop an animated series based on Zelda, though it never came to fruition.
Currently, The Legend of Zelda live-action movie does not have a release window.