The most watched trailer on the Internet last week won’t be coming to a theater near you.
Videogame site IGN has a history of fooling fans with stories that are too good to be true on April 1, but it went to a whole new level this year by “debuting” the trailer for a non-existent movie based on Nintendo’s beloved franchise “The Legend of Zelda.”
The trailer boasted production values so high-quality that many fans, while probably not fooled, drooled and then emailed it to friends. In just two days, it racked up 2 million views on IGN and its News Corp. sibling MySpace, with countless more coming on other video sites.
IGN’s senior veep of content Peer Schneider says the trailer was commissioned last year as the site was starting to gear up its video efforts and wanted to produce some original content. But when helmer Sam Balcomb showed what he had, Schneider and his editors decided to make it the centerpiece of this year’s April Fool’s efforts.
“If you told somebody in Hollywood what we spent on this, they would probably scratch their heads,” brags Schneider, who said IGN already has something similar in the works for another fan-favorite game.
IGN is clearly hoping the trailer is a harbinger of success to come. But Schneider says his site, whose editors are all fans, have another goal in mind: “We’re hoping somebody looks at this trailer and says ‘Zelda’ really would be a good movie if it’s done right,” he admits.
It sure wouldn’t be hard to promote.