There is essentially no time in my life that Nintendo has not been a part of it, so I was over the moon when I heard that Sony was going to make a live-action film of The Legend of Zelda. Sony is in need of a fantasy franchise, though it is kind of weird they would choose to make one of Nintendo’s biggest IP’s, but God of War is already slated for Prime Video. But after the success of films like Sonic the Hedgehog and the billion-dollar Super Mario Bros. Movie, it makes sense to invest in a character that’s been in Smash Bros.
The Legend of Zelda Movie Skepticism Was Immediate
So after reading the headline, I was immediately skeptical because a rival company is taking on a deeply rooted franchise. But I do my best to rationalize it. The Legend of Zelda predates the PlayStation and likely inspired countless members of that company. Sony making The Legend of Zelda movie kind of weird, but honestly, I can get over it. Even it ruins the chance of a Smash Bros. movie. I mean that would likely be animated/CG anyway, right? Those could be different rights. The dream is still alive. I’m good, but my eyebrow is raised. And like most people should, I keep reading the announcement.
Wes Ball is directing the film. Cool. I enjoyed the Maze Runner movies and Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes looks dope. Ball seems like a capable and ambitious director who gets IP, at least with Maze Runner. I did not personally read the books, but in large it seems the book fans liked his take. Checking out Ball’s IMDB, there are not many other high-profile projects under his directing resume, but he’s worked on a lot of major projects, such as Star Trek. Still excited for The Legend of Zelda.
That is until I see who is producing the film. Avi Arad and Arad Productions, Inc.
Why The Legend of Zelda Movie Will Probably Suck
Avi Arad is not him. Arad has had his hand in some greats, don’t get me wrong, but there’s a common thread in his failures and The Legend of Zelda has a lot of common threads with Arad’s tremendous failures. Let’s start with recent failures:
EVERYTHING SPIDER-MAN THAT IS NOT SPIDER-MAN
Morbius, Venom, Venom Let There Be Carnage, Kraven -I don’t care if it’s not out yet, that morphing Rhino annoyed me. When he’s of the larger names on the project, it misses a key element of what makes the source great. It’s such obvious cash grabs and written by people who fundamentally do not understand the material. And in the same vein
Ghost in the Shell
F*ck that movie. Fundamentally wrong take with absolute s#it understanding of the source material and how the audience would receive the film. What happens when you completely upgrade a Japanese woman, she becomes a white woman? F*ck that noise. This isn’t me saying I think Link needs to be cast Asian. I mean look at him and Zelda, it’s not a natural association. But after Arad’s stint in Ghost in the Shell it wouldn’t surprise me if they stick some backhanded political commentary lack that or like the stupid Last Airbender film making brown people the bad guys.
Some Votes of Confidence
It is not fair to put this much blame on Avi Arad, after all, he has a hand in the Spider-Verse films, Spectacular Spider-Man, Wolverine and the X-Men, and numerous other successful and well-adapted properties. Hell, he even has a decent video game adaptation with Uncharted. So really it should be 50/50. However, his recent failures since Ghost in the Shell have failed hard.
There is a fundamental element missing in these adaptations. If he is one of the most prominent names on the project, it has not been good in a long time. And while he may not be directing, his extensive resume compared to Wes Balls makes me think he would have far more influence than most would like.
If Avi Arad is just throwing money and resources at The Legend of Zelda movie, I think I am worried for nothing. But the fact that Avi Arad is the only other name associated with this project is doing the opposite of building excitement. His failures are a lot louder than Wes Ball’s successes.
However, I do believe in Shigeru Miyamoto. He has dutifully looked over the property for decades and I believe he would know what is best for the franchise. So I say we all follow his lead and hope that this is a Spider-Man 2/ X2 / Blade II level Avi Arad production, and not Ghost in the Shell/Morbious/Think El Muerto was a good idea level Arad Production.
But what do you think? Do you think Avi Arad is a bad omen for The Legend of Zelda movie? Is Wes Ball a bigger factor? Let us know what you think on social media!