Nintendo is developing a live-action film based on its hit video game The Legend of Zeldathe Japanese company behind the Super Mario franchise said Wednesday.
The film, financed by Sony Pictures Entertainment as well as its own investment, will be directed by Wes Ball, the American director of the upcoming Planet of the Apes movie. It is co-produced by Nintendo and Arad Productions Inc., which is behind the live-action Spider-Man films and directed by Avi Arad.
The move highlights Kyoto-based Nintendo’s strategy to leverage various aspects of its business, including theme parks, merchandising and films, to drive sales of machines and software, and vice versa.
This strategy was successful. His animated film The Super Mario Bros. movie.released earlier this year, grossed over US$1.3 billion and attracted nearly 170 million people worldwide.
President Shuntaro Furukawa, speaking to reporters online, said the company was pleased with the success of the Super Mario animated film, the first film of which Nintendo was a direct producer.
An expected release date for the Zelda movie has not been announced. Shigeru Miyamoto, the Nintendo executive who led the company’s creative innovations for decades, said the game would only be released when it was ready, while emphasizing that work on the project had been going on for a decade.
“I realize that there are so many Zelda fans and we cannot betray their expectations. It’s a big obstacle. But we are ready,” Miyamoto said.
I hope the film will benefit from the popularity of the game
Nintendo on Tuesday reported an 18 percent rise in net profit for its fiscal first half, totaling nearly 271.3 billion yen (US$1.8 billion), up from 230 billion yen a year earlier.
Nintendo officials said the success of the Super Mario movie translated into higher sales for its Switch machines, as well as Super Mario-themed game software.
THE Super Mario Bros. Wonder The gaming software, on sale since last month, is selling at a record pace, they said, totaling 4.3 million games sold in just two weeks.
The latest Zelda game called Tears of the Kingdomis selling well and Nintendo hopes the planned film will benefit from the popularity of the game, which features a hero and princess fighting against evil.
The Switch machine, already in its seventh year after its debut, is still doing well in terms of sales, according to Nintendo.
Nintendo hopes more people will come into contact with its intellectual property through official stores, including pop-ups, theme parks and special events, and now movies.
In the United States, Nintendo World has opened at Universal Studios in Hollywood, and the company is planning another in Orlando. Japan’s existing park will expand next year to include a section dedicated to Donkey Kong, another Nintendo character, officials said.
Nintendo will also open a museum dedicated to its history and legacy in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto in March next year.