The Dose: The Legend of Zelda, a Netflix original

The Dose: The Legend of Zelda, a Netflix original

The Dose: The Legend of Zelda, a Netflix original
February 09
17:25 2015

Nicholas Friedman / Features Editor

This week, reports claimed that Nintendo was developing a new live-action series with Netflix adapting one of its most beloved properties, The Legend of Zelda.

This new, assuredly episodic series would focus on the hero Link as he fights through hordes of enemies and solves puzzles to rescue the Princess Zelda and save the kingdom of Hyrule. The worries here are simple: how can you translate a game play-heavy video game with little to no voice acting into a live-action, Game of Thrones-esque series for the masses?

Link is not unlike Legolas from The Lord of the Rings. He’s a blond elf who happens to be really good at swinging swords and shooting arrows. Should we have Orlando Bloom play him? Probably not. Chances are that since the studio is looking for a family-friendly version of GoT, they’ll likely follow the tale of a younger Link as he learns of his heroic lineage and sets out for adventure.

Some internet forums suggested the likes of Dylan or Cole Sprouse (The Suite Life of Zack & Cody) or Ezra Miller (Perks of Being a Wallflower) for the part of Link, Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel) or Elle Fanning (Maleficent) for Zelda, and Michael Shannon (Man of Steel) for Ganondorf.

With the possibility of the show most likely following this younger Link, the story could go three ways. The first would follow the traditional, young Link that most gamers know from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Majora’s Mask. Using this material would cast a darker tone on the series, dealing with a loss of time and coming to terms with helplessness (specifically Majora’s Mask), but would offer a grander tale of heroism.

The second possibility would be to follow Toon Link, another version of young Link, who sails the seas in hopes of rescuing his sister with the help of his pirate friends. This world, a completely flooded Hyrule Kingdom, was made popular by The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker videogame, and focuses more on moving forward in time rather than losing time.

Link would meet Tetra, a pirate captain who later learns she is the reincarnation of the ancient Princess Zelda, and together the two would try to stop the evil wizard Ganondorf from destroying what’s left of the world.

This possibility offers much more in the way of characters, but would struggle in a live-action setting. For instance, Link’s companion for most of the game is a talking boat called The King of Red Lions. Now that may cater to a younger audience, but it wouldn’t serve too well for a live action show. Other side characters include a small jester in a green leotard, a leaf person and a girl with a duck beak.

The third possibility would be to create an all-new story from the ground up, and this may be the best way to go. In this direction, the show runners won’t have to worry about diehard fans picking apart a story that draws directly from the source material. Instead, by using the same familiar characters and setting but creating an all-new story, the show has the freedom to go places the games haven’t yet explored.

Okay so let’s say we have Ezra Miller playing Link and the story takes place in traditional Hyrule. Princess Zelda has been kidnapped by Ganondorf and Link needs to save her. Who could direct the series without it seeming cliché, unbalanced and kind of lame?

Honestly, Nintendo should tap the Game of Thrones guys for some help. David Benioff and Dan Weiss, the show runners for season 5 of Game of Thrones would offer not only a more adult outlook, but they’ve already learned how to craft an immersive world from a fantasy-based source. They would also bring credibility, and hopefully a higher budget, to the table. Team them up with Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma and creator Shigeru Miyamoto and you have a match made in heaven.

So we need the right actors, the right directors, substantial funding and solid story. Nintendo and Netflix need to create the perfect storm.

No other details are readily available for this potential series and both Netflix and Nintendo have refused to officially comment on the matter. As rumors swirl, expect a press release from either of the companies in the coming weeks. The possibility to explore the world of Hyrule holds vast opportunity; it just needs to be properly executed. And who knows, maybe Nintendo will develop its other properties and we’ll see a Super Smash Bros. crossover film.

About Author

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman

Nicholas Friedman is the Editor In Chief of the North Texas Daily. In addition, he's had his work published at The Dallas Morning News, GuideLive and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

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