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Your Next Netflix Addiction Might Be A Nintendo Classic Reborn

Netflix is reportedly working on a live-action Legend of Zelda series.

Your Next Netflix Addiction Might Be A Nintendo Classic Reborn
[Photo: Flick user Rian Castillo]

Your next Netflix binging addiction may come with a hefty dose of geeked-out nostalgia. That’s because, as rumor has it, the streaming giant is working with Nintendo on a live-action Legend of Zelda show.

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The as-yet-unnamed show is in the early stages of development, so details are scarce. But Netflix is looking for writers and spinning the concept as “‘Game of Thrones'” for a family audience,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

It’s rare that Nintendo licenses its wildly popular franchises for third-party productions, presumably having learned its lesson from the 1993’s unforgettably horrendous on-screen adaptation of its most popular popular franchise. But as Nintendo’s fortunes in the console market wane and it tries to figure out what its future might look like, the company is apparently willing to give television and movies–or in this case, a web-original series–another shot.

In doing so, Nintendo is hoping to capitalize on the success of fantasy-dramas like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones–which like the Zelda games, “have traditionally included swords and sorcery,” notes the Journal–that’s a tall order, considering the massive budgets poured into those series. But there’s no word yet on how much Netflix is willing to invest in a show that follows Link around Hyrule as he tries to rescue Princess Zelda.

For Netflix, this is an extension of its already successful original programming initiative. With hits like Orange Is the New Black and Emmy-winning House of Cards under its belt, Netflix clearly sees exclusive content as a key part of its future success, following in the footsteps of HBO before it (not coincidentally, just as HBO gears up to launch its own standalone streaming service).

Whether or not The Legend of Zelda has broad enough appeal to be a TV hit remains to be seen. But it’s not the only example of Netflix trying to boost its own geek cred in an effort to win over viewers–a Netflix-original adaptation of Marvel’s Daredevil comic book franchise is also in the works and due to land on screens big and small sometime in 2016.

As for the Zelda series, it’s hard not to be at least a little excited if you spent any amount of your youth slashing pixelated moblins and uncovering secret passageways. And while it will be virtually impossible to top the last (semi-)live action Nintendo TV show, I’m willing to give it a chance.

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About the author

John Paul Titlow is a writer at Fast Company focused on music and technology, among other things. Find me here: Twitter: @johnpaul Instagram: @feralcatcolonist

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