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A live-action Legend of Zelda movie is actually, finally happening

Will the Zelda movie also be a billion dollar Mario-sized hit?

A live-action Legend of Zelda movie is actually, finally happening
Andrew Williams
08 November 2023

A Legend of Zelda movie is in development, confirmed by Nintendo legend himself Shigeru Miyamoto.

A tweet purporting to come direct from Miyamoto was posted on X/Twitter on November 7, saying the Legend of Zelda movie will be live action, not an animation.

“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,” writes Miyamoto.

Avi Arad has produced an almost obscene number of superhero movies, from 1998’s Blade to Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. And a small handful of video game adaptations, including the Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures TV show and Uncharted.

“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,” says Miyamoto.

It’s no surprise Nintendo is keen to make its involvement in the project clear, after The Super Mario Bros. Movie was such a success. It has netted more than $1.3 billion worldwide.

Just like the Mario movie, Nintendo will provide 50% of the funding for The Legend of Zelda, and this time it’s a partnership with Sony Pictures rather than Universal.

Who is directing the The Legend of Zelda movie?

But here’s the most eyebrow-raising factoid in our opinion: The Legend of Zelda will be directed by Wes Ball.

He directed the Maze Runner trilogy, and his Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes film is due in cinemas in May 2024. It’s planned to be part of a new trilogy of Apes films, the last in this reboot series harking from way back in 2017.

Wes Ball may not quite be the prestige name some older Nintendo fans might be hoping for, with his wealth of YA experience, but he also has the chops in terms of live action visual effects.

A statement from Nintendo also makes it clear the filmmakers won’t simply be left to it.

“By getting deeply involved in the movie production with the aim to put smiles on everyone’s faces through entertainment, Nintendo will continue its efforts to produce unique entertainment and deliver it to as many people as possible,” it reads.

According to Nintendo’s own stats the last Zelda game, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has sold 19.5 million copies to date, while its cross-generation predecessor Breath of the Wild sits at 31.1 million.