As it looks for more original shows to launch on its streaming video platform, Netflix is said to be developing a scripted version of the fantasy games that would revolve around the elfin character of Link and his quest to save Princess Zelda in a tamer “Game of Thrones”-like universe, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
Netflix and Nintendo have not commented on the deal, but the timing comes as Netflix is readying to launch in Japan this year, Nintendo’s home base.
Yet even if the show never gets made — it does not yet have a writer — a “Zelda” show is notable for several reasons.
As Netflix turns to original shows to sign up new subscribers and enable it to rely less on content from studios and TV networks, a “Zelda” show would help it court gamers who already own videogame consoles through which they can access Netflix. “Zelda” has a rabid fanbase that would certainly sample at least one episode of an eventual show.
But even the notion that Nintendo is considering a live-action take on one of its biggest characters signals that the company is interested in pursuing opportunities through which it can market its top titles.
That includes the bigscreen, with Nintendo working with Sony to produce a “Super Mario Bros.” movie. And now the smallscreen, as well, through Netflix.
There are 17 games that make up the “Legend of Zelda” franchise. An animated series aired in the U.S. in 1989.
Netflix also has new shows based on kids properties “A Series of Unfortunate Events” and a remake of “Magic School Bus.”