Perhaps you remember, in 2015, an article in the Wall Street Journal kickstarting a rumor that Netflix was making a live-action Legend of Zelda adaption. Their source was anonymous, merely “a person familiar with the matter.” Several months later, Nintendo’s CEO, Satoru Iwata, tried his best to quash the rumors, saying, “I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information.”
Now, five years later, we may finally be getting some idea of what really went down. According to Eurogamer, new answers have arisen from a surprising source: comedian Adam Conover, of the series Adam Ruins Everything.
Apparently, there really was a live-action Zelda adaptation in the works… and not only Zelda. At the time, Conover was working at CollegeHumor on a different-yet-related project: a claymation adaption of Star Fox (which… pour one out for that series, that could’ve been amazing).
However, when the Wall Street Journal leak occurred, Nintendo “freaked out” and not only pulled the Zelda show, but their entire program of adaptations.
Netflix’s adaptation of Zelda wouldn’t have been the first. In 1989, an animated Zelda series aired as an add-on to the Super Mario Bros. Super Show!. However, the adaptation was so terrible, it was canceled after only thirteen episodes. Famously, a mere thirteen episodes did not save us from this unrecognizable version of Link saying, “Excuuuse me, princess!” for a cumulative total of nearly two minutes (and that’s if you count the one in the opening sequence only once.)
Considering that the Wall Street Journal’s mystery source reported that the Netflix Zelda was aiming to be “Game of Thrones for a family audience,” we may have dodged yet another failed game-to-film adaptation.
Hopefully they’ll figure it out, eventually. I have a couple ideas, Nintendo, if you want to chat.