Streaming Guides

Live-Action The Legend of Zelda Series to Stream Exclusively on Netflix

By  · Published on February 7th, 2015


Fans have wanted a movie of The Legend of Zelda since around the time the video game debuted in 1986. In those near-30 years, it has seemed pretty much impossible, mostly as a result of how badly the Super Mario Bros. adaptation bombed (not to mention the failure of most video game movies). Meanwhile, enthusiasts of its sort of fantasy material at least finally got the Lord of the Rings movies, and the Internet eventually allowed for a number of fan-made shorts and features and webseries and fake trailers to barely satisfy the diehards. One major animation studio went so far as to create a professional preview reel for a potential computer-generated feature (watch it here), but Nintendo was not interested.

All of a sudden, though, the horizon for something based on Zelda has gotten closer. According to the Wall Street Journal, Netflix is working with Nintendo to bring Link and his adventures to the former company’s streaming service in the form of a live-action series. It’s being likened to Game of Thrones, but without all the extreme violence and nudity in order to keep things family friendly and accessible to all fans of the games. Hopefully the comparison isn’t merely about the two properties sharing some sword and sorcery elements. I’d like to think they mean it would also have the production value of HBO’s popular show.

A link (pun intended) to click to watch this Zelda series is not going to show up on the Netflix site anytime soon. Reportedly there’s presently a search for a writer to start things off. And there’s also some possibility that it won’t actually move ahead from there. But there’s a spark there for the fans to put faith in, whether or not they just wind up disappointed down the line, either by the project being killed or it sucking like most other video game adaptations. For now, let’s go back and re-watch the trailer IGN produced for April Fool’s Day six years ago:

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.