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Nintendo confirms live-action Zelda movie is in the works

Published Nov 7th, 2023 5:34PM EST
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on Switch.
Image: Nintendo

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On the heels of the record-breaking success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie earlier this year, Nintendo announced this week that it is developing a live-action movie based on The Legend of Zelda. In a press release on Tuesday, Nintendo revealed Wes Ball (The Maze Runner, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes) will direct the movie, while Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and Marvel Studios founder Avi Arad will serve as producers.

The Zelda movie is being co-financed by Nintendo and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., but Nintendo is putting up more than 50% of the financing. Once the movie is done, Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. will handle the theatrical distribution worldwide.

“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 a statement on X. “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.”

Once the animated Mario movie shot past $1 billion at the global box office, it was inevitable that more Nintendo movies would follow. The gaming company has a massive stable of recognizable worlds and characters. If Marvel turned Ant-Man and Doctor Strange into blockbuster franchises, there’s no reason Nintendo can’t do the same with Link, Kirby, and Samus.

With that said, this will be the first live-action Nintendo film since 1993’s disastrous Super Mario Bros., starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo. It’s no wonder that the company has been so hesitant to try again, but The Super Mario Bros. Movie changed everything.

Nintendo didn’t share any details about the movie, from the cast to the plot to a potential release date. We had to wait five years between the announcement of The Super Mario Bros. Movie and its theatrical release, so we might be in for another long wait.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.