There once was a time when movies based on video games were box office poison, but that has changed in recent times thanks to the commercial success of films based on Resident Evil, Sonic and Pokémon.
The latest game to get the Hollywood treatment is Sony's Uncharted, which, despite some lukewarm reviews, has performed well enough in cinemas to trigger discussions about turning it into a full-blown movie franchise.
Nintendo is, of course, no stranger to the concept of using live-action movies to expand its reach. The company was arguably ahead of the game, releasing the cult classic The Wizard and the much-maligned Super Mario Bros. movie in the early '90s. More recently, Detective Pikachu pulled in the crowds, and there's a new Super Mario Bros. film in production as we speak which will showcase the vocal talents of Chris Pratt.
But what video game series do fans want to see tackled next on the big screen? Well, it might not come as a massive shock to learn that Zelda topped a recent poll held by FandomSpot, which asked 2,000 gamers that very question.
Zelda was top, followed by Grant Theft Auto. Animal Crossing was sixth, while Super Mario was 9th – which is odd, as we're actually getting a film based on that series, as we've already mentioned.
Here's the 10 most-wanted video game-to-movie adapations:
- The Legend of Zelda
- Grand Theft Auto
- Horizon: Zero Dawn
- God of War
- Hollow Knight
- Animal Crossing
- Final Fantasy
- Super Mario
- Red Dead Redemption
FandomSpot's Alyssa Celatti had this to say about the results:
Gaming has provided us with so many role models over the years and with gaming becoming more and more representative, it’s no wonder people are starting to crave seeing the connections they’ve made via their consoles on the big screen.
Many people have a big connection with their fandoms and the characters within, so it’s no surprise that people want to see channel crossover, whether that’s from games to movies and vice versa, or other media forms like comics and TV spin offs.
Zelda has been made into a cartoon in the past, of course, and there were reports that a live-action TV show was in the works a few years back – which was apparently cancelled by Nintendo after Netflix leaked details.
More recently, Powerhouse Animation's David Howe – who worked on Netflix's excellent animated Castlevania series – said he'd love to take on Zelda, but thinks it would work better as an anime:
I know for me personally and probably for some people I’ve talked to as well, whenever the rumors of a live-action Zelda Netflix show came up, obviously we were pumped; but at the same time we were always like–I feel like this would work better as an anime.
I don’t want to speak for my co-workers, but if you look around the office at Powerhouse Animation, we’re all nerds. We’re all huge fans of Zelda and Metroid… I feel like anyone would chomp at the bit to make a show like this.
"Well excuuuuuuuse me, princess!"
Nah, I don't want to watch a Zelda story that I can't play.
If I remember correctly; didn't some lunatic try to make a Tetris movie at some point.
No, I want to see Metroid. It will start production next year, which means it will be released in 2042.
Studio Ghibli should make a Zelda movie, given that they were the inspiration for BOTW.
Nah, Link shouldn’t talk. Only make noises.
I want another Yokai Watch or Yokai Watch Jam movie.
I could get behind a Zelda anime if Trigger was involved.
Go watch Promare, that 2019 film will wear you out.
No thanks. Will be a cheaply made movie that looks like a Diet Lord of the Rings thanks to a shoe string budget.
How would it even translate to film? No thank you.
I don't want to see Link talk
(Unless he's voiced by Chris Pratt cause he's so cool)
Good luck finding a mute Hylian to avoid cultural appropriation. Also I'd love to see comments about the hero not being called Zelda.
Zelda is one of my favorite series of all time, but Idk if I'd really want a movie. I guess it can't be a worse idea than a Mario movie...
The whole point of the medium is that we are able to experience these concepts for ourselves.
A Grand Theft Auto movie? Really?
I'd rather just kick back and play GTA V for 2 hours instead.
A copy these days would cost less than a ticket and snacks too.
And hell no to a Zelda movie. An Animal Crossing movie could work, but they could very well start by localising the existing movie from around 15 years ago.
Why Final Fantasy? As far as I know there are already at least 3 Final Fantasy movies (The Spirits Within, Advent Children and XV The Movie)
I'd rather see a zelda anime than an actual full scale movie. I feel like the formula would work better in that form. Save a high budget CGI filled movie for Metroid.
I'm going to disagree with the people here and say there is nothing wrong with a Zelda film. It's just video games movie adaptions are so poorly handled that people just lost faith in them.
Grand Theft Auto would be the best to take to the big screen. There's so much stuff to work with.
I just watched the Wii/DS era Animal Crossing movie for the first time yesterday. In terms of accurately adapting the characters and themes of the series, it's probably one of the best video game movies out there. I don't really want to see movie adaptations for most of Nintendo's series, and definitely not for Zelda. I still think adding voice acting to BotW was a mistake. Though if I had to pick one to do, I'd probably say Kid Icarus. Uprising had tons of solid dialogue and voice acting, and those shorts they made to promote it were great.
I'd much rather see a Kid Icarus or F-Zero adaptation. Just something about Zelda being adapted to film doesn't feel right. I don't know if it's the characters (Link is kind of an avatar character and goes on journeys mostly solo; Zelda is barely there), the world building (politics in Hyrule?), or the timeline (how each Link/Zelda is pretty much a different person each game) but Zelda (and most other Nintendo properties) just don't feel like they translate well. Detective Pikachu was a hit only because it was based on a narrative-driven spinoff.
@Anachronism Trying to be accurate as possible to appease fans rather than focus on actually making a good original story is why alot of videogame movies end up bad.
Marvel threw out accuracy and created the biggest franchise ever. Maybe game movies should start doing that too.
I'd love to know who they poll for these things, that's a terrible list.
@GoshJosh I mean the Animal Crossing movie was also a fun watch. I haven't seen a Marvel movie since Infinity War, and the only one I really enjoyed was Iron Man 1, so I can't agree with you on that point.
An anime based on the Twilight Princess manga would be fantastic, provided they can get the voice of Link right.
Let's see how the Mario movie is first.
@GrailUK As a high fantasy adventure.
Doesn't sound appealing at all. Legend of Zelda has one of the most unoriginal generic storylines in gaming. The games are amazing but it's not because of the story.
@braincandy101 GTA movie could be lots of fun.
@GoshJosh The Mario Bros movie would like to have a word with you about that, for gutting Super Mario Bros and being an awful, confusing mess.
The original Mortal Kombat and Silent Hill would also like a word for being fairly accurate and good. Go watch them if you haven't.
The real question is, would you want a Metroid in the style of Alien, or a Metroid in the style of Aliens?
I'm actually gonna go under the belief that if they were to make a Zelda movie, they would not follow the same footsteps as the TV series and make Link audibly speak.
We've seen some "mute" characters gain a lot of popularity and success, and Link would be no different in this case. Facial expressions can do a lot, you know?
And considering how the mangas are structured, no Zelda story has to strictly follow a game structure. It can always deviate from its path and take some bigger risks that Nintendo never had the guts to do, like Midna kissing Link, exclusively in the TP Manga.
I'd really like to see a movie based on Ori and the Blind Forest along with Ori and the Will of the Wisps. I've played those games so many times now and each time I do I cry like a baby to them. I know they're not specifically Nintendo games but yeah I'd love to see a movie based on them.
Please God, keep any potential Zelda film in development hell forever.
Metroid feels like a more practical choice, and one that I’d rather see in the movie/tv scene.
But WH40K would be number one for me though.
This sounds like a terrible idea.
Just because someone made a ranked list of games to movies, doesn't mean there's actual demand, or that it's a good idea. Oof.
@chardir The games are a bit hit or miss on story, but there are some good ones. Skyward Sword is definitely my favorite. Still think a movie adaptation is a terrible idea, though there have been a couple anime that have done great things with silent protagonists.
@Erigen I believe that one was to be more about the creation and creators of Tetris and all the cultural phenomenon that happened after than to be set in the game. Which could have been quite interesting and may still be in development?
Asteroids was a weird one though. That was literally someone bough the rights to that IP and planned to make a movie about a spaceship shooting asteroids heading towards it. Which done right could be a tense and engaging film...but does not need the asteroids IP attached to it.
Really... No one?
"Free Guy" the newer Ryan Reynolds movie is basically a GTA movie lol, it's pretty good.
I could see an animated Zelda film similar to the Castlevania series potentially working, but live action is almost guaranteed to suck. I just have no faith in these studios to adapt anything properly. Been burned too many times.
I would like to see a properly done animated film of Zelda. Maybe using one of the male voice actors from the Vox Machina animated series for Link.
If its done as well as Professor Layton and the eternal diva, then it could be great. And as for link talking, I think it could work with the right voice and done in the same style as the mangas where he speaks. Edit: I think a series would work better but same difference.
If done right a Legend of Zelda series has the potential to be like Game of thrones. Hopefully it happens one day
If you've ever seen a human in a Link outfit, you know animation is the way to go
You can hate me for this if you want, but please don’t give us an incredibly dark gritty Zelda film. I can already see the trailer… Link’s dirt encrusted sweating fire lit face… shouting his signature “AAAIIIIAAAAHHH!!” (OK maybe that would be pretty awesome lol.) But I don’t want the lighter quirky moments mishandled… I imagine someone like Wes Anderson could make a compelling Zelda movie. Link’s interactions with weird NPCs, the fun dialogue… and Anderson’s pastel color palette could lend itself to a slightly Wind Waker aesthetic… it could still get dark at the end though of course.
I also don’t want to see Link talking… or at least very minimally… I do however want him to be very expressive and have personal moments of reflection with him… maybe some flashbacks whatever.
OK I’m done lol
I would love to see a LoZ and Metroid animes. I think animation is the best medium for both those franchises. They both have managas to draw from as well.
Its funny to see Red Dead Redemption on list because it is a love letter to all the old western movies. Full circle.
Zelda may be too big of a franchise for a movie to be any good. There's too much temptation for it to be some big Hollywood schlock like what I'm anticipating out of the Mario movie supposedly releasing this winter.
Movies based on video games typically end up being 2 hours of fan service with no memorable plot or execution, and if I wanted that, I could just watch fan videos on Youtube, some of which are actually pretty good.
I wish directors/producers chose to make movies based on games because they're actually die-hard fans and not just because they think it will make lots of money. I'd like a Zelda movie that doesn't even feel like Zelda games, one that doesn't have to rely on references to other games and makes an identity of its own.
@FroZtedFlakerZz Agreed Free guy is to modern mature gaming as Wreck-it Ralph is to retro gaming.
i would love to watch a live-action/animated Legend of Zelda movie, the franchise have a lot of potencial to be turned into a movie/TV series.
I'm so concerned that they would make a Zelda movie or show darker and grittier than it needs to be, like the recent Wheel of Time adaptation..
I could see it now: Link and Tingle are living quietly together when their village is attacked and Tingle is chopped in half by Ganon, who is looking for the Triforce of courage.
Zelda has a multiple personality disorder, and Sheik is one of her personalities.
There is gore and swearing everywhere, and everyone is dirty.
Yeah... I would pass on that.
I have absolutely zero faith in Hollywood to make a Legend of Zelda Movie that isn’t terrible. God I hope they don’t try to make one.
im assuming there was no " for the love of god, none of the above" option in the poll, as I imagine itd at least gotten a plurality of the votes.
what is the best reviewed videogame movie adaptation of all time? whatever it is, its still terrible. 😔
the fact that mario is 9th means they should CAN that turd, stat. its gonna be bad, folks.
I don't think Zelda would translate well personally, GTA on the other hand.
Hard pass. Like video game movies are never great they struggle to be passable.
I don't need to see Zelda tainted and tbh it's always been a series based on gameplay over plot so it's a bad fit.
I'm sorry, but it feels like that most of the people in the comments here are lying. You love the game to death, but wouldn't watch a movie based on the game?
Remember that fan based short about Majora's mask that everyone was talking about?
I don't understand what anyone could want with an Animal Crossing film...unless it was directed by Michael Bay.
@NorwegianMate Huh, how is that 'lying'? I don't have hope that anybody would do it in a way I like. I don't enjoy most mass-market movies, especially current superhero stuff... I prefer Zelda without voiceover because it gets a cheesiness that's not there when I read the text in my mind. Surely they would try to make it for the broadest audience possible - what are the odds for an intelligent movie to come out of that?
@NintendoWife Personally I don't like mass-market movies like Marvel and DC myself, I'd rather read the comic books as I find them more entertaining. I might have used a wrong word with "lying", but I still believe that people who love the Zelda games would at least watch it.
Surprised Metroid is not on the poll. I'm all in for this someday and can see a good film if the passion is there and the cards are played right. An original story not tied to the games, Anime, CGI, or even Live Action.
Zelda has had movie DNA in it for years. Most of the 3d games took inspiration from movies. Majora's Mask had a German film "Run Lola Run". Wind Waker took from the "Little Prince and the Eight Headed Snake". Twilight Princess learned from "Lord of the Rings" films, Breath had Princess Mononoke from Ghibli. And it's theorized that Skyward Sword was inspired by Laputa Castle in the Sky, also from Ghibli. If Zelda games can take influence from films, surely the Zelda brand deserves a chance at one.
Those who say one shouldn't' happen because question of how high expectations are or how would Link who doesn't talk be written, you can't please everyone no matter how much and read the manga to see how Link could be written.
@GinMiguel Metroid is inspired by Alien, even Ridley is actually named after Ridley Scott.
@Askalt I know Metroid has movie DNA in it too and I'm aware of Metroid and Alien. Along with "2001: A Space Odyssey" inspiring Super", Fusion being inspired by "The Thing", and Prometheus apparently inspiring Dread. Thats why I'm surprised Metroid wasn't on that poll.
By design, Zelda has an incredibly basic story. The point of Zelda is its sense of wonder and the experience of solving and experiencing its world.
Advocating for a Zelda movie/series is to display a lack of understanding of Zelda's fundamental tenets and philosophy.
The only game I could see working as a movie is botw. But that would be a stretch. So it would have to be its own story. Personally a Zelda movie would not be good but if they did I would do the goddesses first hero. You know the one before link in skyward sword.
Animal Crossing? How?
TBH most games would be terrible movies.
I honestly don't want a live-action Zelda. I would only want a studio Ghibli-esque Zelda animation.
And don't do 3D! Netflix's Ghost in the Shell just is not the same.
I cant think of a way to make a live action Zelda movie that works, even a animation movie/cartoon its a big maybe in my book
@FatLucy Tell that to the manga.
The Legend of Zelda is the ideal IP to be adapted outside of video games, but if properly done. I feel that a series could be ideal, and Link being mute could still work, just look at Breath of the Wild and its cinematic storytelling.
Why would I want that ruined too?
I think folk are missing the ethos behind Zelda. Sure, you could create a plot and storyline, have Link talk etc, but then it's just going to become a standard fantasy film.
What makes Zelda magical is how there is a plot but you make your own journey there. There aren't too many cutscenes moving a storyline along. It's like reading a book. Your imagination fills in most of the blanks and makes it more personal.
The moment you make a film (much like novel adaptations) someone elses vision isn't always as good as your own. Because it can't be as personal.
Anyhoo, that's what I think. I'm sure there are folk who just love Link without appreciating he is meant to be the player. I suppose they are the folk wanting a film? Dunno.
I don't see why not but not live action adaption it should be animated tv series a movie thats going to rush it but I don't want illumination involved everything they touch is garbage films.
Said no one ever
I have always thought Link is a mute telepath. This would explain how he doesn't talk but can still communicate with NPCs.
@Vexx234 You also lose the interactive component when you translate a game to a movie/TV/book. This is something that I feel will always make videogame adaptations worse.
@stache13 Yet the Zelda manga have thrived for so long with a talking Link in fact and they aren't interactive.
@chipia Peter Jackson should make a Zelda movie, given that Lord of the Rings were the inspiration for Twilight princess
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