Netflix is continuing its roll of securing new television shows for its streaming services. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the video service is teaming up with Nintendo to create a live-action The Legend of Zelda.
The live-action Zelda series is being pitched as a family-friendly Game of Thrones, according to the Wall Street Journal’s source. The show is still in the early development stages with writers still being sought.
Game of Thrones is known more for its intrigue, twists, sexual situations, and killing off of major characters. The latter two will obviously be cut for Zelda, but the game series is more about action, puzzles, and adventuring than political intrigue.
The Legend of Zelda is typically set in the high-fantasy land of Hyrule and features various incarnations of a young boy named Link seeking to rescue Princess Zelda. There have been other settings and antagonists in the more than 20 games released since 1986.
This isn’t the first time Zelda has appeared on television. There was a short-lived animated series in 1989 that aired for only one season with 13 episodes. It was loosely based on the video games and managed to coin an annoying “Well excuse me, Princess!” catchphrase for Link that later became in internet meme.
Zelda and Link also appeared in the Captain N: The Game Master animated series during its second season. Essentially, 1990 is effectively the last time that The Legend of Zelda appeared on television. There have been various fan-made projects since then, but nothing officially endorsed by Nintendo.
That’s part of what makes Netflix’s live-action Zelda series so interesting. Nintendo has been notoriously protective of its characters since the ill-fated Super Mario Bros. film in 1993. The company has loosened up somewhat recently by allowing Koei Tecmo, Omega Force, and Team Ninja to develop Hyrule Warriors for the Wii U, a spin-off of The Legend of Zelda done in the style of Dynasty Warriors.
The timing is also of interest too. The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask is due out next week while the first Wii U title in the series is expected later in 2015. A new TV series coming in 2016 will likely feed off the momentum if the new game turns out to be as big a hit as expected.
As for Netflix, this continues the streaming service’s push for original content. The company has stated that it will release 320 hours of original programming in 2014 with plans to release as many as 20 original series per year (via Seeking Alpha).
Are you interested in a live-action The Legend of Zelda TV series? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image courtesy of Nintendo]