It’s the kind of news one wants to be excited about, until one gets to the details. Yesterday, Nintendo announced that a Legend of Zelda film—a live-action film, no less—is officially in development. Neat! But it’s going to be directed by the Maze Runner guy.
Yes: Inexplicably, Hyrule’s fate is in the hands of Wes Ball, whose entire available feature film directorial output to date is the three films in the Maze Runner series. He is also the director of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, which arrives next year.
Variety reports that the Zelda film’s screenwriter is Derek Connolly, which gives me extremely mixed feelings. Like many current franchise directors, Connolly is one of those who made a very good indie film (Safety Not Guaranteed) and then was launched into the big corporate leagues to write mega-series—in this case, the three Jurassic World movies (directed by Safety Not Guaranteed’s Colin Trevorrow).
It is just a bit difficult to look at the kind of storytelling Nintendo has been doing with recent Zelda games, and imagine these very safe picks doing anything like that with a film. But Nintendo clearly wants a hit and a major franchise, and have hired appropriately. Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto will produce the film along with Avi Arad, who is also known for his many blockbusters (including countless Spider-Man films, and also Morbius).
A press release says, “By getting deeply involved in the movie production with the aim to put smiles on everyone’s faces through entertainment, Nintendo will continue its efforts to produce unique entertainment and deliver it to as many people as possible.”
Of course, there’s one big unanswerable question: Which kind of Legend of Zelda are they going for? Goofy and cute, like some of the handheld games over the years? Super-actiony like Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity? Epic and sprawling like Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom? Quirky and delightful like Wind Waker? There are as many options as there are backstories for Hyrule, the warrior Link, the evil Ganon(dorf), and Princess Zelda. I just hope Impa is in it. Or do I?