After years of hearing about Nintendo's refusal to license its characters out to Hollywood following the financial disaster that was 1993's Super Mario Bros. film, imagine how shocked we all were today to learn that Netflix and Nintendo are working on a live-action television series based on The Legend of Zelda. Everyone's hungry for details, but here's all the Wall Street Journal can tell us so far:
The video streaming service is in the early stages of developing a live action series based on Zelda, about an ordinary boy named Link who must rescue a princess named Zelda and save a fantasy world called Hyrule, said a person familiar with the matter. As it seeks writers to work on the show, Netflix is describing it as Game of Thrones for a family audience, this person said.
As it is still seeking a writer to work on the series, Netflix has a long road to travel before a Legend of Zelda series actually becomes a reality. It’s also possible that Netflix or Nintendo will kill the project before it gets off the ground.
So this could either end up as an award-winning smash hit or a dead project that never sees the light of day. There's so many unknowns here that it's dangerous to get too excited, but it's so difficult not to feel at least a little jazzed. A Zelda TV show! There's so much potential here, although if you take the sex and brutality out of Game of Thrones, there's not much left. Netflix's Zelda series will have to find its own way separate from that quick pitch line, but there's a lot of source material from which to mine. Maybe we'll finally see this classic scene in live action!
Yeah, I never pass up a chance to remind you that happened. Anyway, hardcore fans are surely working up dream ideas as we speak, but it would be in Netflix's benefit to keep it simple at the start. Base the plot around the original Nintendo Entertainment System game or A Link to the Past. Jumping right into a flooded Hyrule (Wind Waker) or werewolf antics (Twilight Princess) could be dangerous. Or, with Nintendo's assistance, maybe the development team should just right into a plot based off of the upcoming new Wii U game. Creative cross-promotional synergy! Can you feel it?