Fans of The Legend of Zelda already planning their Netflix binge-watch of the streaming service’s rumored adaptation are in for a disappointment — according to Nintendo’s CEO Satoru Iwata, recent reports that the show is in active development are false.
It was just last month that fans were first teased by the prospect of such a project, which was rumored to be taking the form of a family-friendly take on Game of Thrones. It’s difficult to imagine quite how things would have panned out, given the series’ silent protagonist and many contradictory pieces of lore, but it would undoubtedly have been essential viewing for any Nintendo fan.
Plus, it seems like a typical move of the new Nintendo — very much in line with the company’s recent change of heart with regards to smartphone software. It’s clear that we’ll see a lot more of Nintendo’s IP outside of their hardware efforts in the future, so this sort of mainstream exposure seemed like something of a no-brainer.
Indeed, something could well be in the works yet. When asked about the report that Netflix was working on a Zelda series in an interview with Time, Iwata cagily replied that “the article in question is not based on correct information”. That could never be spun into confirmation that the series is in the works, but it’s far from an outright denial.
It would certainly follow that details of such a show would be kept under wraps for as long as possible. The world of TV operates under something of a news drip-feed, where information is given at as slow a pace as possible to keep viewers engaged year after year — the video game industry likes pomp and circumstance too much to deploy the same tact.
If Nintendo were going to announce a high-profile Zelda series in conjunction with Netflix, they would likely want to do it at an attention-grabbing event like E3 rather than via a dry press release. Iwata’s strange wording can either be taken as a shrewd way of continuing the debate, or as a simple statement of fact that didn’t quite come across as intended in the interview.
That being said, it likely won’t have much effect either way. Zelda fans have longed for some sort of adaptation for quite some time, and the tease of a television series only brought the subject back into the conversation. Fan pressure will continue to build — the question is, will Nintendo listen?