Daily Debate: Should the Zelda Live-Action Movie Create an Original Story or Adapt One From the Series?
Posted on November 19 2023 by Kristen G. Rosario
It’s easy to say that we were all a bit taken aback by the recent announcement that Nintendo’s next foray into the world of motion pictures would, in fact, be the Zelda series. Since the news, the whole Zelda community has been abuzz with what they would want to see from a live-action film based on the franchise. Everybody’s talking about a bunch of key aspects we want from the movie, such as dream casting and setting. However, one of the biggest parts that’s being talked about is in terms of story.
Now it would be simple just for the writer of the movie to adapt a story from the original Zelda timeline. Condensing a video game story into a roughly two hour motion picture definitely has its hurdles, but it can get more eyes on the product for those who are fans of that specific game. The director reportedly attached to the Zelda movie — Wes Ball — has previously worked on films set in the young adult genre, so let’s use Skyward Sword‘s story as an example of how that could work.
The game has an eclectic cast of younger side characters, plus it is the first Zelda story in the original timeline. This can be used to introduce a young adult mainstream audience to everything that makes Link the hero he becomes for potential future films. The reason for Link’s outfit, his relationship with Princess Zelda, the Master Sword, and even the darkness that eventually takes the form of Ganon are all items introduced in Skyward Sword. Simply adapting this game could set the foundation to a potential Zelda film series.
What if we don’t want to go in that direction, but instead, go with an original story? The film wouldn’t be the first video game-adapted movie to simply use the foundation of its franchise to create a unique tale. Take, for instance, the 2016 live-action film adaptation of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed. That movie created an original narrative still set within the franchise. While the movie wasn’t well-received by fans or critics alike, they had the right idea in not attempting to bring one of their beloved titles to the big screen.
There’s even the bigger likelihood that Nintendo goes into the direction of what The Super Mario Bros. Movie did: using what’s already been established in the series, and weaving their own narrative using that foundation. Going back to Skyward Sword, take all the key aspects that establish Link and company’s beginnings, and turn that into a roughly 120-minute motion picture that fans would love, and mainstream audiences would appreciate. Doesn’t seem like it would be too much of a challenge.
What do you folks think? Should the Zelda live-action movie create an original story or adapt one from the series? Let us know in the comments below!
Kristen G. Rosario is an Editor who joined Zelda Dungeon back in September of 2015. His current goal is to become a full-time video game journalist, hoping to eventually gain a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. While he pursues that dream, he not only takes care of his adorable dachshund Angel, but also helps run a YouTube channel with his brother. The Zelda series is a quest he hasn’t fully completed yet, but hopes to get there one day.