On November 7th, Nintendo announced that a Live-Action The Legend of Zelda movie was on development alongside Sony pictures. Of course, given that Nintendo’s Mario made over 1 billion dollars at the box office earlier this year, The Legend of Zelda, which always had more potential for telling a gripping a story, was bound to follow suit.
As massive Zelda fan, my expectations for this film are quite tempered. In fact, I lean 70% towards Sony ruining the film, and the remaining 30% into believing that the film will somehow turn out to be “good”.
While I Wanted A Peter Jackson Type for Director…I Guess Wes Ball Will Have To Suffice
Wes Ball is 43. That is only four years older than myself, currently. I have to assume that this man grew up during the Ocarina of Time era, which could be good, if he is half as passionate about Zelda, as I am about that specific game, and the The Legend of Zelda series itself. That said, his film making resume, while successful, in terms of box office numbers, is pedestrian in terms of actual quality at best. Ball, not to be confused with Uwe Boll, was responsible for The Maze Runner trilogy.
The first Maze Runner movie was made on a $34 million budget, earning $348 million at the box office. Its two sequels pulled in similar numbers. Ball’s commercial success here, and the fact that these films were teen oriented fantasy flicks, are likely the two primordial reasons why the 43-year old director is got the call for the Zelda project.
However, given that Zelda is known for its critical excellence, I wonder if Nintendo researched that all of the Maze Runner movies did poorly to average with critics. I did watch these movies myself back when they were released, and found them to be entertaining, but highly average, and obviously, quite inferior to Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which – to me – remains the standard bearer for fantasy films.
The Saving Grace Here is that Uwe…I mean Wes Ball, Seems to be Passionate About the Project
According to Variety, Wes Ball has been wanting to direct a Zelda a movie for at least 13 years. “Since I could never even hope to have the chance to direct it…the next big mo-cap ‘Avatar’-like movie should be…THE LEGEND OF ZELDA,” Ball posted on Jan. 29, 2010 on the popular social media platform Twitter, now known as ‘X’.
The tweet was discovered by Zelda fans. At least we know, that Ball has some passion – and vision – for the series, and might not let the film go the way of the borderline offensive, Dragon Ball: Evolution. Ball’s comparison of a possible Zelda movie being the ‘next’ Avatar is worrisome for those of us who were less than impressed with James Cameron’s visually stunning, but somewhat soulless box office hit.
Nintendo is co-producing the film as well, so I would hope that they would oversee the project with the care and quality control that they have been typically known for when crafting the games. Then again, Nintendo has never been able to exploit the storytelling potential within Zelda’s universe to the max. So, fingers crossed!
What I, as a Massive Zelda Fan (My Left Arm is composed of Ocarina of Time Tattoos) Would Like to See
The Ocarina-Majora’s-Twilight story arc is the series’ best. It is dark, very tragic, an ultimately it makes sense within its timeline. Heck, the potential for this story arc is so good that I am even writing a Fan Fiction about it. That said, I fear that this movie might be a Nintendo money grab move, because every single name involved in it has worked on some blockbuster film (Spider-Man, Jurassic World) that has been successful because of its source material, rather than the actual quality of the film itself.
So, at best, I expect the Zelda film to be epic, filled with extraordinary special effects, and perhaps, entertaining, but at the same time shallow, in terms of the depth of its storytelling. In short, I expect nothing to write home about…which would be a shame, because Zelda deserves the ‘Lord of the Rings’ treatment!
I do fear, however, that given Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom’s unprecedented success the film will take after that Zelda timeline, instead of the Darker, and perhaps more iconic, Hero of Time one.
Nintendo already delivered a family friendly Mario film… let’s give Zelda the dark film that it deserves! Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, and Twilight Princess hinted at the awesome potential that a dark Zelda story would have, do not move away from that in search of ‘Super Mario Bros.’ like box office success.
The casting choices for the film will be key as well. Link is an iconic character who has somewhat maintained an iconic look since 1998. While Tears of the Kingdom‘s Link looks some what different from Ocarina’s the overall look remains the same. I expect a casting choice that mimics that look.
On that note, my one final request will be that: No…Please Nintendo Don’t! DO NOT allow the producers and director to cast Tom Holland as Link! He already murdered one of my favorite video game characters in Nathan Drake, don’t let him ruin my most sacred one in Link! I know Sony sold its soul to the guy, but Nintendo, please show some decency, and cast someone else!
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