3 Canceled ‘Legend of Zelda’ Movies and TV Shows Fans Will Never See

In the 1980s, Nintendo tried to license out series like The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. to television and film companies. Nintendo locked their IPs behind an iron gate after a few disastrous attempts, like the infamous Legend of Zelda cartoon and the Bob Hoskins Super Mario Bros. 1993 film, though. However, a few attempts over the years have attempted to create Legend of Zelda movies, and TV shows that all ended up canceled. Rumors even persist about a Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild project.

Princess Zelda and Link from 'The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WIld' artwork
Princess Zelda and Link from ‘The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the WIld’ artwork | Nintendo

3. A live-action ‘Zelda’ TV show from Netflix died due to leaks

The most recent attempt to create a Legend of Zelda movie or TV show reached as far as the planning stages at Netflix. In 2015, news of a live-action TV show adaptation of The Legend of Zelda leaked online.

Fans imagined who would play Princess Zelda, Link, Ganondorf, and other Legend of Zelda characters in Hyrule. They theorized if the show would follow The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, The Wind Waker, or the recent (at the time) Skyward Sword.

However, the excitement was short-lived. When Nintendo caught wind of the leaks, they backed out. Plans for the Netflix Legend of Zelda TV show disappeared. The online site CollegeHumor had been working with Nintendo at the time and had their own Star Fox project derailed.

“I know this because Shigeru Miyamoto came to our office,” CollegeHumor’s Adam Conover told The Serf Times podcast. “Then, like a month later, suddenly there were reports that Netflix isn’t doing this Legend of Zelda anymore. And then I heard from my boss that we’re not doing Starfox anymore.”

2. A CGI ‘Legend of Zelda’ movie pitch showed Princess Zelda and Link fighting fearsome enemies

A clip for a CGI Legend of Zelda film pitch appeared from an animator’s portfolio dated early 2007. It originated from Imagi Animation Studios, which produced TMNT and Astro Boy.

“The clip is a fairly generic fantasy scene featuring Disney-esque depictions of Link, Zelda, and Ganondorf briefly engaging in action and just seems rather odd,” Kotaku notes. “Unsurprisingly, Imagi was unsuccessful attaining the rights from Nintendo.”

The Legend of Zelda movie clip featured monstrous creatures that resembled the Shadow Beasts from The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. However, they proved much more agile, with burning red eyes, too.

Even the original movie pitch ended up scrubbed from the internet. However, several YouTube channels re-uploaded the clip.

While it failed to blow anyone’s socks off, the fact that a semi-finished product existed meant it reached further than other projects with Princess Zelda and Link.

1. ‘The Legend of Zelda’ cartoon Season 2 was canceled along with ‘The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!’

In an early episode of 1989 The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!, the first Legend of Zelda cartoon episode was exhibited on Friday, September 8, 1989. It took elements from the 1986 Legend of Zelda NES game and Zelda II: The Adventure of Link.

However, unlike The Legend of Zelda movie pitch, the show strikes a bizarre tone. It seems like it tries to come across like a romantic comedy, but most people only laugh at the show ironically. Link’s catchphrase “Well, excuse me, princess!” has become a prominent meme online.

There were plans for the series was to continue The Legend of Zelda cartoon in Season 2. However, Nintendo had little interest in continuing The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! Any plans for the animated Legend of Zelda Season 2 were canceled along with The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!

While most Legend of Zelda movie and TV show plans crash and burn, studios keep trying. Some rumors even suggested Tom Holland to play Link in a Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild title.

However, until Nintendo themselves confirm a film or series, fans should probably take Zelda rumors with a grain of salt.

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