Shock of shocks! Hot on the heels of The Super Mario Bros. Movie making—conservatively speaking—a s**t-zillion dollars earlier this year, it seemed only reasonable for Nintendo to keep that ball a-rolling. However, while an animated Mario movie was a sure bet, the next project might prove a bit trickier. Recently, Nintendo announced it will develop a live-action film of The Legend of Zelda, arguably the game manufacturer’s second most important property. The franchise began in 1986 and has continued to this very year with Tears of the Kingdom. And while we still don’t know too many details about the live-acton The Legend of Zelda movie, its director has revealed a few teases.

Link looks to the left in a screenshot from Tears of the Kingdom

The Legend of Zelda Live-Action Movie’s Director Sheds Light on the Film

Wes Ball, director of The Maze Runner movies and the upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, will direct. Speaking to Total Film, Bell recently shared a bit more about his vision for The Legend of Zelda movie. He revealed, “I have this awesome idea. I’ve been thinking about it for a long freakin’ time, of how cool a Zelda movie would be… I want to fulfil people’s greatest desires. I know it’s important, this [Zelda] franchise, to people and I want it to be a serious movie. A real movie that can give people an escape.” Total Film further shares that escapism as a huge impetus for the movie. Additionally, Bell notes, “That’s the thing I want to try to create—it’s got to feel like something real. Something serious and cool, but fun and whimsical.”

Ball won’t, however, say what his favorite Zelda game is. But it’s not because he’s not a fan! “Relax guys, I’m one of you,” Ball noted on Twitter alongside photographic evidence.

More About The Legend of Zelda Movie

There’s no word yet, though, on a writer, cast, or any of the other fun stuff for the live-action The Legend of Zelda movie. Nintendo’s Representative Director, Shigeru Miyamoto, will produce the movie alongside Avi Arad’s Arad Productions. Arad’s name should be familiar to our readers, having executive produced all of the Spider-Man films, many of the X-Men films, and a number of other Marvel properties. Nintendo will co-finance the movie with Sony Pictures Entertainment, with Sony handling worldwide theatrical distribution. The press release also points out Nintendo will put up “more than 50%” of the money for the movie, assuring they retain the most creative input.


Over the years, many Zelda films and TV series, both live-action and animation, have been in development. None have managed to make their way much beyond that point. This, however, feels a bit different. Nintendo is in its own driver’s seat and coming off a monster global hit movie. The big question is which of the many Zelda games will be the basis of the film, or if it’ll end up as a totally separate story that doesn’t remake or contradict any previous game. The Legend of Zelda game timeline is one of the most complex in gaming, so probably they’d be smart not to mess with that.

And as long as we don’t get a Link saying “Well excuuuuuuuse me, Princess,” we should be in good shape.

Originally published on November 7, 2023.

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. He hosts the weekly pop culture deep-dive podcast Laser Focus. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Instagram and Letterboxd.