The film will be produced by Shigeru Miyamoto, representative director and fellow of Nintendo, and veteran Hollywood producer Avi Arad, the former chief creative officer of Marvel Entertainment.
The film will be produced by Nintendo and Arad Productions, and directed by Wes Ball, the director behind the Maze Runner trilogy and next year’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.
The film will be co-financed by Nintendo and Sony Pictures Entertainment, with more than 50% financed by Nintendo.
“By producing visual contents of Nintendo IP by itself, Nintendo is creating new opportunities to have people from around the world to access the world of entertainment which Nintendo has built, through different means apart from its dedicated game consoles,” the company said.
“By getting deeply involved in the movie production with the aim to put smiles on everyone’s faces through entertainment, Nintendo will continue its efforts to produce unique entertainment and deliver it to as many people as possible.”
Shigeru Miyamoto said in a statement: “I have been working on the live-action film of The Legend of Zelda for many years now with Avi Arad-san, who has produced many mega hit films.
“I have asked Avi-san to produce this film with me, and we have now officially started the development of the film with Nintendo itself heavily involved in the production. It will take time until its completion, but I hope you look forward to seeing it.”
Nintendo’s first modern Hollywood production, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, was a co-production between Illumination (Minions, Despicable Me) and Nintendo. So far it has generated over $1.3 billion at the global box office since its early April release.
The Zelda franchise has sold over 130 million units since launching in 1986, according to Nintendo.
It was released in May and sold 10 million copies worldwide in its first three days, according to Nintendo, making it the fastest-selling game in the history of the series and the fastest-selling Nintendo game for any system in Europe and the Americas. As of September, it’s sold 19.5 million copies.
Speaking during the company’s quarterly earnings call earlier this year, Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa said the company planned “to pour our efforts into a variety of visual content”, as it did last year with the consolidation of Nintendo Pictures Co., Ltd. as a subsidiary.
“We are very happy that [the Mario] movie is a hit, but will remain focused on carefully developing and further expanding each IP while respecting its unique characteristics, just as we have done in the past,” he said.
“Through our strategy of expanding the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP, we want to bring people in contact with our characters and the worlds depicted in our games, with the goal of continually invigorating our core dedicated video game platform business.”