The live-action series based on Legend of Zelda that was rumored to be in the works at Netflix was reportedly axed by Nintendo after word of its production leaked to the press. In 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix was working closely with Nintendo to turn The Legend of Zelda into a live-action TV series. According to the outlet, the series was described by a source as "Game of Thrones for a family audience."
So, what happened to the rumored Zelda TV Show? Comedian and voice actor Adam Conover, who was also set to work on an animated Star Fox movie with CollegeHumor at the time, has an explanation. Speaking about the project on The Serf Times podcast, Conover opens up about the planned Star Fox movie, revealing that Nintendo pulled the plug on the project along with The Legend of Zelda series as a direct result of the leaks.
From the interview:
"This probably means nothing to anybody, but it's a story that I feel like I can tell now. In 2015, there was this news that Netflix was going to make a Legend of Zelda television show... it was supposed to be live-action show and it got a lot of coverage in the gaming press... At the same time I worked at CollegeHumor and we had a secret project where we were going to make a claymation version of Star Fox with Nintendo."
Explaining how both projects came to a screeching halt, Conover adds:
"Then, a month later, suddenly there were reports Netflix wasn't going to do its Legend of Zelda anymore. I was like 'What happened?' And then I heard from my boss we weren't doing our Star Fox anymore. I was like, 'What happened?' He was like, 'Someone at Netflix leaked the Legend of Zelda thing, they weren't supposed to talk about it, Nintendo freaked out... and they pulled the plug on everything, the entire program to adapt these things."
There's undoubtedly a lot of interest in a live-action adaptation of Legend of Zelda. For those still hoping to see it happen, the good news is that Nintendo seems to have since softened up on the subject. Last year, it was announced that an animated Super Mario Bros. movie was happening with Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto on board to produce. The company also revealed plans to extend their "visual content" over the next few years, which reignited hope with a lot of fans for a Legend of Zelda adaptation.
"Another way we are delivering Nintendo entertainment to a wider audience is with the Super Mario CG-animated movie, which is scheduled for theatrical release in 2022," a business report from Nintendo stated in September. "Production is moving ahead smoothly, thanks to the collaboration between Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination,known for the Minions movies, and Nintendo's Representative Director and Fellow, Shigeru Miyamoto, who is serving as co-producer. The movie will be distributed worldwide by Universal Pictures."
Nintendo's report also said that going forward, the company's visual content expansion may not be limited to film, meaning that a series based on The Legend of Zelda is not off the table. A cartoon series adaptation was previously made in the 1980s, but The Legend of Zelda has not been made into a television series or movie ever since, despite its continued popularity with video game fans.
You can watch the full interview with Conover at the YouTube channel for The Serf Times.