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Is Zelda coming to Netflix? Nintendo CEO Iwata refutes live-action TV series rumors

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Netflix is reportedly developing a television series based on Nintendo’s venerable Legend of Zelda franchise. This live action series will tell the story iterated over nearly three decades of Zelda games of a boy named Link who must rescue the princess Zelda and save the kingdom of Hyrule. A source close to the project told the Wall Street Journal that it has been described as Game of Thrones for a family audience.

Updated on 3-24-2015 by Will Fulton: Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata has responded to the rumor. His comments are below.

Without a writer attached to the project yet, there is no firm timetable for if and when the series might become a reality. Netflix is reportedly working closely with Nintendo to develop the series. The Japanese game company, which published the first Legend of Zelda for NES in 1987, has been historically protective of the rights to adapt its intellectual properties.

Nintendo issues a half denial

In a recent interview with Time, Nintendo CEO Satoru Iwata spoke against rumors about a live-action Legend of Zelda television series being developed with Netflix, which were reported by the Wall Street Journal in February.

“As of now, I have nothing new to share with you in regard to the use of our IPs for any TV shows or films, but I can at least confirm that the article in question is not based on correct information,” said Iwata.

It’s disappointing news for the many fans who were excited by the initial rumors. Optimists can take comfort in the fact that he did not quite explicitly say that a Zelda series is not happening, but rather that the WSJ’s sources were incorrect, which leaves open the possibility that something comparable could still be in the works.

Zelda and Nintendo’s history with TV

An animated adaptation of The Legend of Zelda aired for one season in 1989 and characters from the franchise such as Link and the villainous Ganon appeared in the cartoon Captain N: The Game Master from 1989 to 1991. There have been very few Nintendo film or television projects since the Super Mario Bros. film was a notorious flop in 1993. Kirby and Donkey Kong are exceptions to this rule.

The trailer below was made by fans, but might tickle your imagination as to what the series could look like. Either way, it’s clear that a Legend of Zelda series feels right.

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Will Fulton
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Will Fulton is a New York-based writer and theater-maker. In 2011 he co-founded mythic theater company AntiMatter Collective…
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