The recent announcement by Netflix that it will be developing an original TV series bases on the iconic The Legend of Zelda video game series has caught many by surprise including myself. Nintendo’s only other foray into live action movies or TV based on their games was the not so well received Super Mario Bros. from 1993.
Another odd fact is that there is no major voice acting in the games. Link, the hero of the story doesn’t talk. You only hear him scream or grunt. It will be very interesting to hear him say something for the first time, let alone seeing him portrayed in live action by an actor. Having said that, the fact that their next project is based on Zelda while unexpected, actually makes a lot of sense.
The Zelda universe has a vast and rich mythology that spans almost 20 games released over a span of almost 30 years. Each game is a tale set in a fantasy world called Hyrule, which is somewhat reminiscent of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, populated by goblins, wizards, all sorts of fantastic creatures, and a race of elf-like beings that struggle against the evil Ganon. He is a huge villain obsessed with obtaining the all powerful Triforce, a relic from an ancient time that bestows ultimate power to anyone who has it. Again, very much like the One Ring to rule them all from the epic The Lord of the Rings saga.
The success of both Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies and the HBO TV show Game of Thrones, demonstrate that there is a market for live-action epic fantasy stories. The key to the success of any Zelda show will be who Netflix hires to translate the great stories told in each game to the TV screen. As with movies that are based on books demonstrates, this can be a tricky task. However, since this will be a TV series, it will have many hours to tell any such story, instead of the restricted two- hour-plus limit of a movie. This can definitely be a positive since the saga of The Legend of Zelda is as complex as it is interesting. Hopefully, whoever is hired will be able to do justice to the highly regarded Zelda series, which has set a very high standard for quality in all of its games. Nintendo, who is known for protecting all of their characters should be able to make sure this happens.