After Mario Success, Nintendo Is Developing a Live-Action Zelda Movie

After Mario Success, Nintendo Is Developing a Live-Action Zelda Movie

Nintendo Co. is developing a live-action film based on The Legend of Zelda video game franchise, expanding efforts to bring its popular characters to the big screen.

The ambition to adapt the open-world adventure game into a live-action film comes after the blockbuster success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie. Released by Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures in April, it has generated $1.36 billion in global ticket sales and was the highest grossing film of the year until it was dethroned by Greta Gerwig’s Barbie.

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Shares of the Kyoto-based gamemaker rose as much as 6.5% in Wednesday trading, the biggest intraday gain in almost three years. Nintendo also raised its annual profit forecast on Tuesday, thanks to the weak yen’s boost to earnings and expectations for stronger game sales.

Nintendo said it will produce the Zelda picture with Arad Productions, which has worked on Marvel films including Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Nintendo will finance more than 50% of the production, with Sony Pictures Entertainment also providing funding and handling global distribution. It adds to Nintendo’s efforts to extend its popular characters onto the big screen and elsewhere beyond its gaming consoles.

The company is looking for new revenue as its signature Switch hardware enters its seventh year since launch. With its earnings release, Nintendo stuck to a sales forecast of 15 million Switch units in the year through March, a goal that the company’s President Shuntaro Furukawa said would be hard to reach.

Analysts said it’s possible Nintendo will be able to surpass its latest financial guidance. 

“We believe Nintendo is well set to exceed its latest guide as well,” said Atul Goyal of Jefferies.

Nintendo IP-related revenue, which includes film royalties, more than doubled to ¥55 billion ($366 million) in the six months to September. Executives had previously said that they wanted to explore new ways to expand its IP-related segment, which is still only about 7% of total sales.

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