After the success of the Super Mario Movie, Nintendo announced they would create The Legend of Zelda Movie next. Last night, news reported that Universal and Illumination are supposedly closing a deal to make a “Legend of Zelda” movie.
All of this news made many fans excited but also skeptical of their partnership with Illumination Studios. Fans of the Zelda franchise have discussed hopes of having an official Legend of Zelda movie, but preferably from studios like Dreamworks or Studio Ghibli which would be able to handle the game’s darker themes and tones.
Although Illumination handled the Super Mario Movie (2023) better than expected, their animation style fits the lighthearted and comedic tone for the Mario franchise. However, The Legend of Zelda is known for having more adult and mature themes, as well as time travel. These more complex themes make Illumination seem unfit to make this film. But I guess we shouldn’t judge so soon…
Adaptation or Original Story
One thing that’s been on my mind, and perhaps many others, is whether or not the film will take inspiration from older games or create an entirely new story. For example, the Mario movie has an original story with various iconic references to the games.
But if Nintendo decides to adapt a story from one of their previous games, which franchise would it be?
Many fans hope the film will take inspiration from Majora’s Mask (myself included), which would play on the horror and much darker themes of the Zelda franchise. The idea of world impending doom occurring in the next three days or the origins of the sinister and creepy Majora’s mask could be an excellent and intriguing story that fans would love to see on the big screen.
The team at Ember Lab have created this fantastic fan animation, depicting the origins of Majora’s Mask in a hyper realistic horror style.
Check out “Terrible Fate”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbMQfaG6lo8
Unfortunately, this is most likely not the case considering Nintendo has marketed all of their previous film partnerships as family-friendly movies, rated PG at most.
Think of Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019), Sonic the Hedgehog (2020), Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022), and The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023).
All of these films also fall under the Adventure/fantasy genre, so I doubt Nintendo would be willing to take the risk of a horror genre.
So if the story were to be an original, with references to previous games, and is made by Illumination, what would be the best course of action?
The story would probably still take place in the kingdom of Hyrule. We would have a brand new Link, not from any timeline (no hero of time, hero of wind, or hero of the wild). The main conflict would have to be Ganondorf, unless they decide to introduce a new villain? The story would further explore the triforce, and Link will find out what it truly means to be “courageous”. And Zelda will most definitely be a more prominent and badass character like Peach was in the Mario film.
Maybe the story would even present various versions of Link, from all different games, like Into the Spider-verse.
As for references or easter eggs, I expect to see recurring characters like Malon from Lon Lon Ranch, Beedle, Navi, Tael, and Talt (fairies), Midna, Happy Mask Salesman, the Great Deku Tree, and Impa and the Champions. I also hope to see Dark Link and Fierce Deity Link.
I also expect many musical references to the franchise’s iconic music like the original 1986 theme, Zelda’s Lullaby, Ballad of the Goddess, Ocarina of Time theme, Saria’s Song, Song of Healing, Song of Storms, Midna’s Lament, etc.
Will Link Speak?
Another concern is in our silent protagonist, Link, and whether or not he will be given a speaking role. It would be hard to create a story where the main protagonist doesn’t say anything, so whatever Link they create will most likely have more personality and speaking roles than ever before. It only takes a spectacular voice acting performance to really sell this role.
All that being said, with Nintendo in charge of the film’s main image, I expect to enjoy this film as I did with the Mario Movie. It will probably be mediocre at best, but let’s hope they aim is a little higher. Regardless, Nintendo also has Super Mario Movie 2 right around the corner.
Thank you so much for reading! Comment down below any thoughts you have about this upcoming film and what you think the story will be about.