The rumored live-action Zelda Netflix show was apparently real, and cancelled by Nintendo

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Image credit: Nintendo)

What you need to know

  • Nintendo had plans set in motion to produce a live-action Netflix series based on The Legend of Zelda.
  • Due to leaks from within Netflix, Nintendo decided to cancel the project.
  • Nintendo has not reported any plans to incorparate their IPs into any television media since then.

A Twitter user seems to have stumbled across an update to a long-forgotten rumour that had gaming media outlets in a frenzy a few years ago. While watching a video from The Serf Times, they saw TV personality Adam Conover reveal that Nintendo was indeed planning to collaborate with Netflix in 2015 to create a live-action series based on The Legend of Zelda (via supererogatory on Twitter).

Adam Conover, the host of a YouTube series called Adam Ruins Everything, had ties to a different Nintendo project at the time he was at CollegeHumor, which was a claymation project based on the Star Fox franchise. However, the Star Fox project ended up getting cancelled, as well as the Netflix Zelda project. Upon inquiring with his higher-ups, Adam discovered that an employee from Netflix itself leaked the project, which media outlets ended up getting wind of. Nintendo is well-known for being extremely cautious with its intellectual property and, like any company, dislikes the notion of secret projects being exposed to the public before it deems them ready.

The release of a Zelda series on Netflix would have been the first time that Nintendo produced any sort of television media based on their game franchises since 2006. Their last film release in Japan was a Dōbutsu no Mori in 2006, based on the Animal Crossing franchise. Nintendo's latest television series was Kirby: Right Back at Ya! which ran until 2006 in North America. Given that The Legend of Zelda has become more popular after the successful release of Breath of the Wild, one of the best-selling games on the Nintendo Switch, a live-action series would have been in high demand by fans.

Nadine Dornieden

Nadine is a freelance writer for iMore with a specialty in all things Nintendo, often working on news, guides, reviews, and editorials. She's been a huge Nintendo fan ever since she got to pet her very own Nintendog, and enjoys looking at Nintendo's place in the video game industry. Writing is her passion, but she mostly does it so that she can pay off her ever-growing debt to Tom Nook. Her favorite genres are simulation games, rhythm games, visual novels, and platformers. You can find her at @stopthenadness on Twitter, where she'll more than likely be reposting cute Animal Crossing content.