Link figurine from Legend of Zelda with shop staff inside Nintendo Tokyo store in Shibuya.
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Nintendo said Wednesday it plans to develop a live-action film of The Legend of Zelda, one of its most popular characters, as the gaming giant looks to replicate the success it had with the Mario movie.
Shigeru Miyamoto, creator of Zelda, and Avi Arad, chairman of Arad Productions Inc., who has been a producer on a number of hit Marvel movies, will produce the Zelda film.
Nintendo is looking to capitalize on its strong bank of recognizable characters in areas like movies with the hope of driving users to buy its game console the Switch. The Japanese firm has likely been buoyed by the success of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie” which has generated more than $1 billion at the box office since its April release. The film was produced in collaboration with Universal Studios.
Investors had feared that sales of the more than six-year old Nintendo Switch console had peaked. But the Mario film drove people to buy the console and games. That was one of the reasons Nintendo raised its full-year profit and sales forecast on Tuesday.
Nintendo will be hoping for similar success with the Zelda movie. And the company is also looking to take advantage of the recently-released “The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom” game which has sold more than 19 million units since its May release.
Investors are likely hoping the same with Nintendo shares surging 6% in Japan on Wednesday.
“By producing visual contents of Nintendo IP (intellectual property) by itself, Nintendo is creating new opportunities to have people from around the world to access the world of entertainment which Nintendo has built, through different means apart from its dedicated game consoles,” Nintendo said in a statement on Wednesday.
Nintendo will co-finance the Zelda film with Sony Pictures. Nintendo will finance more than 50% of the movie and Sony Pictures will be responsible for theatrical distribution. Wes Ball will direct the film.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.