- Nintendo has greenlit a live-action Legend of Zelda film with Maze Runner director Wes Ball at the helm.
- A Zelda film doesn’t necessarily have to feature the series’ titular princess and could instead focus on Majora’s Mask and her existential nightmare.
Unless you’ve been living in a dank Hylian cave, you’ve probably heard the news: decades after its debut on the NES in 1986, Nintendo has finally greenlit a live-action Legend of Zelda film starring Maze Runner -Director given. Wes Ball, at the helm. Obviously people are unsettled, nervous and generally shocked by the news, although it seems to give the fans what they wanted but not me.
I thought about it quite At some point, and rather than taking the obvious route of hero, heroine and antagonist, i.e. Link, Zelda and Ganondorf, I’d like to suggest a different kind of Zelda flick that doesn’t even feature the series’ titular princess.
As a ninth grader in 2000, I played Majora’s Mask and I didn’t like it at all. In fact, I deeply despised it because it was an Ocarina of Time-lite that lacked the serenity and grandeur of its predecessor. Furthermore, waves of despair and frustration prevented me from even finishing the game until years later, when I was in my twenties, and only then did I allow the poignant darkness to penetrate my ocarina-loving heart for its cult status to recognize.
Fate and the Moon
For those who have forgotten (or never played), Majora’s Mask was the sister game to the N64 hit (and my favorite game) Ocarina of Time, and was the result of Nintendo having too much great material left over from Ocarina to waste the similar graphics and familiar characters. The plot revolves around Skull Kid, an enigmatic villain who wears a mask of terrible power, Majora’s Mask, and by wielding it, he sets the apocalypse in motion, via an angry moon that will fall on Hyrule’s parallel world of Termina in three days will descend. Thematically it’s heavy enough, but there’s more than just impending doom.
Livable masks, desperate citizens, and a creepy grinning salesman shape the core of the game, making it as deep a game as I’ve ever played, with mature themes of loss and acceptance in the face of seemingly inevitable destruction.
It was, at its core, an existential nightmare that made you simultaneously resent every wasted second while questioning the pointlessness of it all. And there lies the silver lining. Majora brings out Link’s most humanistic and altruistic traits as he spends hours completing a plethora of side quests that seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, but are meaningful to the townspeople of Termina with the time they have left. This is exactly the kind of stuff the academy would devour.
A darker shade of Link
This is how I see the film flow: zero context. Boom. Part of Majora’s mystique came from the fact that players were plunged into an entirely new story without warning or assistance. Why couldn’t the same esoteric experience work for viewers?
If Anju and Kafei’s bittersweet marriage moves you to tears during the game, imagine the waterworks a live-action performance would produce
If Wes Ball needed inspiration on how to properly implement this approach instead of another Maze Runner, he could take a look at controversial Dutch author Lars von Trier’s book from the 2011 film Meloncholia. In short: A newlywed and her sister panic and eventually come to terms with the fact that a newly discovered planet, the eponymous Melancholia, is about to collide with Earth. Sound familiar?
There are also some great stories hidden in the side quests. Any Majora film would have to feature Anju and Kafei’s touching adventure in which Link reunites an engaged couple separated due to Kafei’s transformation into a child by one of the game’s cursed masks. For an added emotional kick, Wes could also add the absolutely heartbreaking adventure “Deku Butler’s Son.”
However, you don’t have to be a fan of the game to see its potential as a film. The fan-made art speaks for itself, and as great as a Majora flick would be, it probably won’t happen. However, If, by the will of Hylia it does, I almost hope it’s as polarizing as the source material and separates the wheat from the chaff. You might as well push the boundaries of a live-action adaptation with a strict PG-13 rating, limited speaking opportunities on Links’ part, and little room for levity. This is your chance to either make another video game movie or a video game Movie. Do not believe me? Just look at what this company has already done with CGI and tell me a Netflix-backed film couldn’t be even better:
Let’s shoot for the moon here, literally and figuratively, at least before Illumination makes a Mario sequel.
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