Over the last few years, video games have become hot commodities in Hollywood in terms of potential IP buys for live-action feature adaptation. However, the same can’t be said for television – a medium that’s remained mostly video game free, as far live-action adaptations go (there have been various cartoons featuring the likes of the Mario Brothers and Sonic the Hedgehog over the years, though).
However, one of the ultimate golden ticket video game properties, The Legend of Zelda, appears to be making that leap to the small screen (in live-action form, unlike the short-lived Legend of Zelda cartoon series from the late 1980s) - and it's thanks to Netflix.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Netflix is working closely with Nintendo on development of a live-action series based on the famed Legend of Zelda fantasy/adventure video game property. However, at this time, the project doesn’t have any talent – including a potential writer – officially attached.
The town of movie magic has been pushing to make a live-action Legend of Zelda happen for years; however, ever since watching its most famous title, Super Mario Bros., get butchered in the '90s, Nintendo’s been less than forthcoming with the rights to its brands. However, like it or not, the current reality is Netflix is one of the most pervasive entities in television that knows how to deliver on quality entertainment. In addition, they’re no stranger to working with hard to obtain properties (case in point: Marvel, a company with which Netflix has a 60-episode deal with across five series).
When Netflix's Marco Polo premiered, many claimed it to be the SVOD’s attempt at competition with HBO’s monster hit series, Game of Thrones. However, it seems more likely that talk may have just elevated Netflix’s motivation to actually compete in the medieval fantasy genre. But, in order to do so, they were going to have to find something as massively successful as Game of Thrones. Something that would allow them to shout from the rooftops, “Who wants to play now?!”. And The Legend of Zelda is that power play.
By nabbing the rights to Zelda, it sends the kind of message Netflix dreams of. They were able to do something no one else could – convince Nintendo to hand over live-action rights. But, it should be noted that, until the series starting signing some talent, Nintendo could end the series’ development at any point. But, for now, a live-action Legend of Zelda is real and currently being worked on.
Stay tuned for more on The Legend of Zelda as it develops.
Source: The Wall Street Journal