The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Netflix and Nintendo are in talks to develop a live-action series based on The Legend of Zelda. Nothing has been formally announced yet, but the report indicates that it is intended to be a family friendly answer to fantasy epics like Game of Thrones on HBO and the upcoming Shannara series on MTV.
This caught me completely off guard because Nintendo has been very gun shy with allowing their characters to be used in movies and TV shows since the debacle that was the Super Mario Bros. movie many years ago.
This project is equally as likely to be amazing then it is awful.
On the one hand, Legend of Zelda is a franchise that is built around character tropes. There isnʼt any real “plot” to speak of to create drama. The writers would have to invent some action in order to keep viewers coming back. There is only so much you can do with “elf boy explores X number of dungeons on his way to defeating the evil guy and rescue princess.”
Another significant challenge that the writers would face is that Link is a silent protagonist. He has never spoken in any of his games. This would be a significant challenge for any writer. These types of epics all but require their characters to speak in order to help drive the plot.
No matter who plays him, how he sounds, or what he says fans will rage over it. This is particularly challenging because Nintendo fans are particularly rabid. They will not tolerate percieved missteps with their favorite Nintendo characters. The shows producers will need to tread very carefully here.
With all of those challenges aside though, a Legend of Zelda television does have the possibility to be amazing. It would fit neatly in virtually any genre or world since it only requires of the involvement of the three characters and the mythology of the Tri-Force. It could just as easily fit into a post-apocalyptic setting than a sword and sorcery fantasy one. This leaves a lot of potential because the show runners could derive a lot of the necessary tension from the setting as opposed to the quest itself.
I can say one thing though: Iʼm watching this show like crazy no matter what (assuming it happens). What about you? Sound off in the comments and let us know what you think?