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Did Nintendo really cancel Netflix’s Legend of Zelda adaptation because of a leak?

Nintendo apparently pulled the plug on Netflix’s live-action version of The Legend of Zelda after it was leaked by the press. But is there more to this story than meets the eye?

If true, it sounds like the behaviour of an anxious paranoiac rather than a massive entertainment company. According to Eurogamer, Nintendo cancelled a Netflix live-action adaptation of The Legend of Zelda after it was reported on in the papers (the audacity).

The news came courtesy of Adam Conover, a comedian whose then-employer was working on a claymation adaptation of Star Fox at the same time (around 2015). He described the chaotic-sounding scenes after the Wall Street Journal lifted the lid on the Zelda project:

“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 programme to adapt these things.'”

It’s sure to come as a blow to the many fans of the adventure game series, but the whole affair seems just as perplexing 221qAas any of the dungeon puzzles that Link must solve on his quest. Can Nintendo really not have imagined that news would spread of a bestselling video game adaptation, or is there more to this story than meets the eye?

The original Wall Street Journal article in question cited its source as merely “a person familiar with the matter”, who bafflingly described the supposed adaptation as “Game of Thrones for a family audience” (surely a contradiction of terms if ever there was one). At the time of the leak, Nintendo CEO Saturo Iwata firmly told Time magazine that, “as of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information.”

The evidence one way or the other isn’t exactly clear, and there could have been multiple reasons why the adaptation was cancelled (if indeed it was ever in the works to begin with) that Conover would not have been privy to.

But to focus on the ins and outs of its cancellation is to bury what could have been something great; after fun movies such as Sonic the Hedgehog and Detective Pikachu have been released in recent years, we’ve almost forgotten (but definitely not forgiven) the disastrous duds like Super Mario Bros that previously defined video game adaptations. So is it time that the Zelda series was brought to life on-screen? Let us know in the poll below.

 

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