With the release of The Super Mario Bros. Movie earlier this year, Nintendo announced that it was transforming itself into a larger entertainment company with gaming at its core. With the announcement that they will produce and partially finance a live-action “Legend of Zelda” film, they seem to be following up on this plan with action.
Sony Pictures will distribute the film worldwide.
Legendary video game designer and franchise creator Shigeru Miyamoto will produce the upcoming film alongside producer Avi Arad. Wes Ball, who directed the “Maze Runner” films and “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes” hits theaters this summer, has been tapped to direct.
The film is produced by Nintendo and Arad Productions Inc. and co-financed by Nintendo and Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. Nintendo will finance 50% of the film.
The original The Legend of Zelda game was released in 1986; It was an instant hit and players were enchanted by the rich world and characters. The latest game, The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, was released earlier this year and has sold nearly 20 million copies as of this writing.
Until the release of “Barbie,” “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” was the No. 1 movie of 2023, with $1.3 billion in ticket sales. It was a co-production of Nintendo, Universal and Illumination and was opened alongside the new Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood. Another version of the immersive theme park land will open in Universal’s Epic Universe in 2025. It opened for the first time in 2021 at Universal Studios Japan.
“By deeply engaging in film production with the goal of putting smiles on everyone’s faces through entertainment, Nintendo will continue its efforts to produce unique entertainment and make it available to as many people as possible,” the official statement said .
Sony has also made forays into the video game-to-movie market with its PlayStation Productions initiative, developing and releasing “Uncharted” and “Gran Turismo”; several more titles are in the works.