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Nintendo Reportedly Cancelled Live-Action Zelda Show After Netflix Leak

A Legend of Zelda adaptation nearly made it to Netflix in 2015, but a leak scared Nintendo off.
A Legend of Zelda adaptation nearly made it to Netflix in 2015, but a leak scared Nintendo off. / Photo courtesy of Nintendo

Once upon a time (read as: in 2015), we nearly had a live-action adaptation of The Legend of Zelda. The series was in development at Netflix, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Then the series went dark, killed by the unknowables over at Nintendo.

Now, comedian Adam Conover says the series died because of the leak to the Wall Street Journal. At the time, Conover worked at website CollegeHumor, where he and the team were developing a series of stop-motion Star Fox skits in a play on Wes Anderson's 2009 film "Fantastic Mr. Fox." Nintendo supported the sketches, and Conover says Shigeru Miyamoto visited the CollegeHumor offices during the process.

Both the live-action Zelda adaptation and the CollegeHumor sketches were a part of the same program.

Then, Conover says, Nintendo abruptly pulled the plug.

"Suddenly there were reports Netflix isn't doing this Legend of Zelda anymore," he described on an episode of the podcast TheSerfTimes. "I said, 'What happened?'"

"And then I heard from my boss we're not doing our Star Fox anymore [...] He was like, 'Oh, someone at Netflix leaked the Legend of Zelda thing, they weren't supposed to talk about it,' Nintendo freaked out [...] they pulled the plug on everything, the entire program to adapt these things."

The Wall Street Journal report described the Zelda adaptation as "Game of Thrones for a family audience." Two weeks later, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata told Time the article was incorrect, likely because by then the series had been canned.