There have long been rumors that Nintendo and Netflix are collaborating on a The Legend of Zelda project. The exact form it’ll take has been a bit unclear, but a movie and a TV show have reportedly both been discussed. Now, we’re hearing that those options may have been narrowed down, with Netflix opting for an animated movie adapting the beloved video game franchise.
Adapting Zelda for a movie is a tricky proposition. On one hand, the jaw-dropping scenery, epic battles against gigantic monsters, and fantasy action aesthetic should translate easily to a film. On the other, the series prioritizes gameplay over story, to the point where—35 years on from the NES original—series hero Link is still a mute protagonist.
That’s inevitably going to change if Netflix moves forward, and we’ve heard the streaming giant is eyeing Tom Holland to play Link. He’d be a great fit for the part. As long as the team doesn’t do what it did last time Link was voiced, the idea should be fine.
What will be particularly interesting for Nintendo fans is what era of Zelda this will be set in and whether this movie fits into the canon. The Zelda timeline spans thousands of years and features several split timelines; it currently begins with Skyward Sword and ends with the post-apocalyptic Nintendo Switch hit, Breath of the Wild.
The most fan-pleasing move would be to adapt the classic 1998 N64 game Ocarina of Time, but I’d like to see them go somewhere new and use the movie to tell a story that wouldn’t work as a video game.
Another fly in the ointment is that Netflix is apparently set to make its own move into the video game market. This means the company might end up as business a rival to Nintendo, which could make a Zelda property on Netflix a dicey prospect for the famously cautious gaming giant. But, for now, we can just speculate.
Let’s hope we get an official The Legend of Zelda Netflix confirmation soon.