Movie Reviews

The Legend Of Zelda Movie Is Even More Exciting After 80% Blockbuster Release


  • Director Wes Ball’s experience with high-fantasy adaptations makes him well-suited for a live-action
    Legend of Zelda
  • Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
    showcases visuals and world-building that could translate well to a cinematic Hyrule.
  • The hero’s journey and villain dynamics in
    Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes
    mirror elements seen in
    The Legend of Zelda



The upcoming cinematic adaptation of The Legend of Zelda looks more exciting than ever in light of the success of another blockbuster. Based on the Nintendo game series that’s been thrilling gamers for decades, The Legend of Zelda is set to bring a version of Link and Zelda to the big screen. Especially after the commercial success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie, expectations are high for Director Wes Ball’s take on Legend of Zelda. The success of other high-fantasy adaptions like The Lord of the Rings and The Witcher prove that vivid fantasy worlds can translate well to live-action.

The trick is maintaining the unique visual elements and archetypes of the source material, while exploring it with the unique visual strengths of the medium of film. Luckily, Ball’s experience with The Maze Runner franchise placed him in the right tone for a prospective live-action Legend of Zelda adventure, speaking to his capabilities in adapting adventure stories. His latest cinematic success is very impressive in that regard, specifically because of the ways it approaches a potentially tricky and vast visual story with the same kind of energy a Legend of Zelda adaptation would need to succeed on the big screen.


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Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Proves Wes Ball Is The Right Pick To Direct Legend Of Zelda

The Legend Of Zelda Movie Needs The Massive Visual Scope Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes Embraces

Noa sitting on a horse in a field in Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is a terrific showcase for director Wes Ball, which makes the fact he’s set to direct the adaptation of The Legend of Zelda all the more exciting. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has a straightforward and solid story, but one of the film’s best aspects comes in the visual expansion of the world. Set generations after the passing of Caesar, Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes takes place in the overgrown ruins of humanity. The film’s locations are transformations of a familiar world, evoking emotive meaning primarily through the visuals.

Each location has a distinct feeling conveyed through the world-building and visual design. The wonder of the dilapidated observatory is conveyed as clearly as the foreboding nature of the rusted ships of Promixus’ kingdom. Coupled with strong music and clear characters, the effect is similar to how the Zelda games thrive in colorful and distinct locations. The very atmosphere of an area in Hyrule conveys the distinct tone of the moment, defining the tone by the world alone. A keen eye for visuals and clear tones is necessary to adapt The Legend of Zelda, and Ball does that in Apes.

Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes’ World Could Translate Well To Hyrule

Multiple The Legend Of Zelda Games Take Place In Ruins

Link standing in the main hall of Wind Waker's Hyrule Castle, with broken pillars and a statue of the Hero of Time in the background.

One of the more enduring elements of The Legend of Zelda is the way most entries in the series are largely disconnected from one another. There have been over a dozen versions of Link over the years, with only a handful appearing across titles. This has allowed several different approaches to Link and his story, with many set in the ruins of a once prosperous land. Games like Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker explore the new worlds grown atop ruins, with the former’s second half building off the destruction caused by Ganondorf’s conquest of the first half’s innocent Hyrule.

The Legend of Zelda
movie does not currently have a release date, at the time of this writing.

Breath of the Wild and the subsequent Tears of the Kingdom take place in a Hyrul that still shows the scars of a Calamaity a century before. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes uses a similarly lush and overgrown ruin to expand its world. It plays into the cyclical nature of The Legend of Zelda‘s universe, Hyrule falling and rising over again and again atop the ruins of legends past. If The Legend of Zelda movie is going to look to some of those titles as inspiration, Ball’s experience makes him ideal to helm a cinematic exploration of Hyrule.


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Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes’ Main Characters Mirror Zelda

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes‘ lead character is Noa, who experiences a coming-of-age story while traversing the world in search of his stolen tribe. It’s a hero’s journey, charting his growth from a young man into a hero. It’s a very archetypal storyline, and functionally similar to the heroic arc seen in most incarnations of Link. Both are heroes who convey a great deal through little to no dialogue and realize their heroic potential by embarking on a massive winding adventure. It suggests that Ball is familiar with the archetype, and can easily bring Link to the screen.

Similarly, the likely antagonist of the film adaptation is Ganon. The villainous and magical tyrant is an imposing and powerful king, frequently portrayed with an ambitious and vindictive streak. This is especially in his more human-like Gerudo incarnation, Ganondorf. Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes has a similar figure with Proximus, the villainous king who has corrupted Caesar’s legacy in the name of his own plans for a kingdom. Proximus could be seen as a tease of the big booming villainy that Ball would bring to Ganondorf, which would be a good fit for many incarnations of the character.

What The Zelda Movie Can Learn From Kingdom Of The Planet Of The Apes

How To Tell A Classic Hero’s Journey With Visual Flair & Moral Complexity

Zelda and Link stand together looking out at Hyrule.

The Legend of Zelda can be a lot of things, thanks in part due to the flexible nature of the series’ tone while exploring consistent archetypal templates. Drawing from the same creative well as Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is the right direction to go with the film, which could create an expansive Hyrule that has disparate tones and vibes from scene to scene. This would be reflective of the Zelda games’ approach to visuals and world-building. It’d also be well-advised to utilize fast action, similar to how Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes‘ quick-paced fight scenes.

While it’s a largely straightforward heroes’ journey, the bittersweet remembrance of a dead world and the tensions brought on by mistrust lend Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes some interesting complexity. A similar approach could benefit the Legend of Zelda film, bringing something unique to the rich visuals inherent to the franchise. The Legend of Zelda movie is going to be coming out with huge expectations, but if filmmakers like Wes Ball approach the project with the kind of world-building and visual ambition he brought to Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, the film should be a success.

The Legend of Zelda Movie Temp Poster-2

The Legend of Zelda (Live-Action)

Based on Nintendo’s legendary video game series, The Legend of Zelda is a live-action action-adventure fantasy film by director Wes Ball. The film’s producers include Shigeru Miyamoto, the original creator of Zelda, and Avi Arad.

Wes Ball

Derek Connolly

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