Will Twilight Princess ever arrive on Switch? (Picture: Nintendo)
Between planned movie adaptations, rumoured theme park attractions, and new games, here’s what we know about what’s next for The Legend of Zelda franchise.
Since its inception in 1986, The Legend Of Zelda has been one of the most acclaimed video game franchises in the world and a key weapon in Nintendo’s first party arsenal. In the years since, the series has repeatedly reinvented itself; transitioning into 3D with Ocarina Of Time, swapping graphical styles with The Wind Waker, and, more recently, establishing a new gold standard for open world design in Breath Of The Wild.
Last year’s sequel, Zelda: Tears Of The Kingdom, built upon these foundations with innovative, game-breaking abilities that raised the bar once again – from the imaginative creation tool of Ultrahand to navigational wonders like Ascend.
But where does Nintendo take Zelda from here? Following the success of the Super Mario animated movies and theme parks, it seems the future of Zelda is set for a similar path, beyond the realms of video games. So here’s what we know about every rumoured and confirmed Zelda project currently in the works.
What will be the next Legend Of Zelda game?
Will Zelda ever be playable? (pic: Nintendo)
At the moment there are no officially announced Zelda games in the pipeline.
The only things we do know is that the next mainline game will have a new map and won’t be set in the same version of Hyrule. Series producer Eiji Aonuma has also cast doubt on any potential return to the traditional, more linear, style of Zelda game, outside of remakes and spin-offs.
‘It’s interesting when I hear people say [they prefer the old entries] because I am wondering, ‘Why do you want to go back to a type of game where you’re more limited or more restricted in the types of things or ways you can play?’, said Aonuma.
That doesn’t mean remakes or remasters of past titles aren’t on the cards. There’s a constant hope that The Wind Waker and Twilight Princess, which have both received HD remasters in the past, will make their way over to the Switch.
Back in 2021, it was rumoured a remastered version of Phantom Hourglass, originally released on the DS, could be in the works. More recently, there’s been speculation around a full remake of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time. Again though, these are based, at best, on little more than cryptic teasers from claimed leakers.
The most likely candidate might be remastered versions of Breath Of The Wild and/or Tears Of The Kingdom on Nintendo’s successor to the Switch. This rumour started from a reported behind the scenes demos of the Switch 2 at Gamescom, where developers were shown a ‘souped up version’ of Breath Of The Wild on the system.
It was implied to be just a tech demo, but the concept does make logical sense – even if Nintendo denied the reports were accurate.
What do we know about The Legend Of Zelda movie?
In November last year, Nintendo officially announced a live action movie based on The Legend Of Zelda. The film will be produced by Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto and film producer Avi Arad, who has worked on several Marvel projects and other film adaptations of games, including 2022’s Uncharted.
The film will be directed by Wes Ball, who is best known for his work on the Maze Runner film trilogy. He’s also behind this year’s Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes, which is set to be released on May 10, 2024.
Speaking about his vision for the film, Ball said he’s inspired by the work by Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. ‘This awesome fantasy adventure that isn’t like Lord Of The Rings, it’s its own thing. I’ve always said, I would love to see a live action Miyazaki,’ Ball said. ‘That wonder and whimsy that he brings to things, I would love to see something like that.’
He added: ‘My whole life has led up to this moment. I grew up on Zelda and it is the most important property, I think, that’s untapped IP, if you will. So we very much are working hard to do something. We’re not just trying to do it because we can. We want to make something really special.’
No casting or release date details have been announced yet, or even a production start date, so it’s likely still a long way off.
Is a Legend Of Zelda theme park happening?
Following the launch of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios, which will soon receive a Donkey Kong expansion in Japan, there have been rumblings that Zelda might be the company’s next IP to get the theme park treatment.
Most recently, this was stoked by a video that showed Shigeru Miyamoto standing alongside Zelda producer Eiji Aonuma in a high-vis vest at Universal Studios Orlando – a clip that was swiftly scrubbed from the internet. You can check out pictures from the video below.
This comes after rumours that an attraction based on Zelda is planned for the Islands Of Adventure area in the Orlando resort. It was speculated to feature an indoor boat ride and a small outdoor roller coaster, along with a restaurant themed after the Deku Tree.
None of these plans have been confirmed, but coupled with the Zelda movie, it wouldn’t be totally ludicrous if this was on the cards to coincide with its release.
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