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Nintendo Ventures Beyond the Console: Plans Unveiled for 'Zelda' Movie in Ambitious Entertainment Expansion

"Nintendo Expands Cinematic Universe: Live-Action 'Zelda' Movie in the Works as the Company Diversifies Beyond Gaming

TOKYO, Nov 8 (Reuters) — Breaking new ground in its foray beyond gaming, Nintendo (7974.T) announced on Wednesday its plans to develop a live-action film based on the iconic and long-running franchise 'The Legend of Zelda.' Following the success of the animated "Super Mario Bros" movie earlier this year, Nintendo aims to capitalize on the growing appeal of video game adaptations in the film industry.

The forthcoming 'Zelda' film will be a collaborative effort, with production led by none other than "Super Mario" creator Shigeru Miyamoto and Avi Arad, a seasoned producer known for his work on movies such as "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse." Although the two visionaries have long been involved in adapting the 'Zelda' franchise, the movie's development is expected to take time, as shared on Nintendo's social media platforms.

Financial backing for the project will come from both Nintendo and Sony (6758.T), reflecting a joint effort to bring the beloved game series to the big screen. Wes Ball, recognized for his work on the "Planet of the Apes" franchise, will direct the film.

Despite gaming remaining Nintendo's primary revenue source, the success of the latest 'Zelda' game, with 19.5 million units sold by September-end, exemplifies the enduring popularity of the series almost four decades after its inception. While continuing to dominate the gaming market, Nintendo's mobile and intellectual property-related business sales more than doubled to 55 billion yen ($365.86 million) in the first half of the current financial year.

The 'Zelda' movie announcement aligns with a global trend of heightened interest in Japanese franchise adaptations, as seen with Netflix's recent launch of the adaptation of the long-running pirate manga series 'One Piece.'"

"As Nintendo ventures into the realm of live-action film with the announcement of a 'Zelda' movie, the company continues its strategic expansion beyond the gaming industry. Following the success of the animated 'Super Mario Bros' movie, Nintendo aims to tap into the growing market for video game adaptations. With industry veterans Shigeru Miyamoto and Avi Arad at the helm, and collaboration with Sony in the financial backing, the project symbolizes Nintendo's commitment to bringing beloved game franchises to broader audiences.

The enduring popularity of the 'Zelda' series, evidenced by the success of the latest game with 19.5 million units sold, showcases the lasting impact of Nintendo's intellectual properties. While gaming remains the core profit driver, the company's diversification into mobile and intellectual property-related businesses, with sales more than doubling in the first half of the current financial year, underscores the success of their strategic initiatives.

Nintendo's cinematic endeavors align with the global appetite for Japanese franchise adaptations, exemplified by recent releases like Netflix's 'One Piece.' As the company navigates new territories, the 'Zelda' movie project represents a significant step in Nintendo's evolving legacy, combining nostalgia with innovation to capture the hearts of audiences in a fresh cinematic experience."