Legend of Zelda Movie Rejects a Boring Hollywood Trend

The video game movie will take the road less traveled.


Video game adaptations have their work cut out for them. While the days of them all being “cursed” have thankfully come and gone, nowadays it seems like there are only two choices for a good movie take on a video game: something dark and dreary, like Halo or The Last of Us, or something lighthearted and goofy, like Detective Pikachu or The Super Mario Bros. Movie.

But the next high-profile video game adaptation movie will find a happy medium, modeling itself on one of the most beloved movie studios in history and changing the game for future adaptations.

Maze Runner director Wes Ball will tackle adapting the iconic video game for film.

Brent N. Clarke/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The Legend of Zelda movie director Wes Ball told Entertainment Weekly that his approach to the fantasy adventure story will take after animation more than live action. Ball described it as “this awesome fantasy-adventure movie that isn’t like Lord of the Rings, it’s its own thing.”

But while it may be its own thing, Ball will be taking inspiration from a certain director: anime auteur Hayao Miyazaki. “I've always said, I would love to see a live-action Miyazaki. That wonder and whimsy that he brings to things, I would love to see something like that.”

The Legend of Zelda movie will be more Spirited Away than it is Return of the King.

Studio Ghibli

This would be an all-new approach for a video game movie, but one that makes perfect sense. Both Zelda and many Miyazaki movies, like Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, are high fantasy but have a very specific tone that is bright and colorful. The action can still be high-octane, and the stakes can still be high, but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be gorgeous vistas and beautiful creature design.

In recent years, The Legend of Zelda video game franchise has embraced and innovated open-world design, making exploring the environment of the game just as much of a part as fighting monsters or saving the princess. If the movie is going to replicate that same element, the Miyazaki tone is the perfect choice. This movie may pull off two adaptations at once: one a live-action adaptation of a video game, the other a live-action take on an animation titan.

Related Tags