Nintendo announced on Wednesday its plans to create a live-action film based on the enduring franchise “The Legend of Zelda.” This move by the Kyoto-based company represents its ongoing efforts to expand beyond its core gaming business.
Nintendo achieved significant success with its animated film “Super Mario Bros” earlier this year, highlighting the commercial appeal of video game adaptations and contributing to increased demand for its aging Switch console.
Nintendo’s shares experienced a 6% surge following the company’s announcement that it had sold 6.84 million Switch units during the first half of the fiscal year. This strong performance was bolstered by incremental hardware enhancements and game titles featuring Nintendo’s beloved characters.
The upcoming “Zelda” film will be produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of “Super Mario,” and Avi Arad, a seasoned producer known for films like “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” While both individuals have been collaborating on a “Zelda” adaptation for an extended period, it is anticipated that the production of the movie will require some time, as suggested by posts on Nintendo’s social media accounts.
The production of the “Zelda” film will be jointly funded by Nintendo and Sony (6758.T). Sony has been enjoying success in adapting game franchises as well. The movie will be directed by Wes Ball, known for his work on films like the upcoming “Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.”
Nintendo also reported on Tuesday that it had sold 19.5 million copies of the latest “Zelda” game by the end of September, showcasing the enduring popularity of the series nearly four decades after its initial release.
Although gaming continues to be Nintendo’s primary source of profit, the company’s sales in its mobile and intellectual property-related ventures witnessed more than a twofold increase to 55 billion yen ($365.86 million) during the first half of the current fiscal year.
The development of the “Zelda” movie is occurring amidst a resurgence of interest in adaptations of Japanese franchises on a global scale. An illustration of this trend is Netflix’s recent launch of an adaptation of the long-running pirate manga series “One Piece.”
($1 = 150.3300 yen)
Reported by Sam Nussey; Edited by Sandra Maler and Christopher Cushing.