Remember when The Wall Street Journal reported that Netflix was producing a Legend of Zelda live-action series years back? That was 2015. And yet, no word has arisen concerning the series for a while. Well, it turns out there’s a reason for that – it’s canceled.
News of this under-the-radar decision came from comedian Adam Conover in an interview with political YouTube channel The Serf Times. Turns out that Nintendo hired Conover to produce a stop-motion adaptation of their famous franchise, Star Fox, with Shigeru Miyamoto even visiting the offices of his company, CollegeHumor, during production at one point. But one day, the big N suddenly pulled the plug off the project – as well as The Legend of Zelda.
A month later, suddenly there were reports that Netflix wasn’t going to do Legend of Zelda anymore,” says Conover in the interview, “I was like, ‘What happened?’ And then I heard from my boss that we weren’t going to do Star Fox anymore. I thought that was weird, so I asked him what happened and he said, ‘Oh, someone at Netflix leaked the Legend of Zelda thing. Nintendo freaked out”.
Nintendo is a real sticker in regards to secrecy surrounding work-in-progress projects. The reason for this is plainly stated by Nintendo America President Reggie-Fils Aime in a 2017 Mashable interview.
The fans should know that we are not a company that is sitting in a little ivory tower and not thinking about all of these dynamics. [We’re] a company that likes to keep our information very close to the vest, and announce information when it’s ready and when all of the elements are fully fleshed out.”
This is evidently a key value at Nintendo. In the 2015 WSJ piece, writer Ben Fritz claims the Legend of Zelda series was in the “early stages” during the time of writing. In the above Mashable interview, Aime later states that letting consumers know about a product five or six years beforehand “doesn’t make a lot of sense to [Nintendo].”
Netflix’s leaking of the Legend of Zelda TV series, therefore, conflicted with their company’s values and policy. It was still in the early stages of development and not at a stage where Nintendo was ready to announce. Knowing this, it is perhaps not too surprising that the big N pulled the plug.
Given that Nintendo’s trust in Netflix is possibly shaken due to this leak, it won’t be surprising if we don’t see a Nintendo IP on the streaming service for some time, if ever.
What are your thoughts on the cancellation of The Legend of Zelda Netflix series? Are you bummed that we will never see Adam Conover’s Star Fox series see the light of day? Let us know in the comments below.