That’s according to veteran film reporter Jeff Sneider, who told The Hot Mic podcast he’d been informed by a “great source” that Nintendo is close to striking a deal with Universal for a Zelda movie.
“From what I’m told, getting close to official, I’m told that Universal is in fact closing a quote ‘big deal’ with the Nintendo corporation for the Legend of Zelda.
“Zelda will be, is looking like the next big Illumination Nintendo franchise, which again, I think we were all sort of expecting, but I’m told that that is happening and it’s costing Universal a pretty penny because of the success of Super Mario, like Nintendo kind of knows it’s worth at this point, but yeah, I’m told that that is now going to be a reality.”
A co-production between Illumination (Minions, Despicable Me) and Nintendo, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has generated over $1.3 billion at the global box office since its early April release.
It’s the biggest film of 2023 to date, ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, which launched a month after Mario and has grossed almost $786 million, according to Box Office Mojo.
The movie also recently became the second highest-grossing animated film ever, trailing only Disney’s Frozen 2. It will be released physically on June 13 in the US and Canada.
It was released in May and sold 10 million copies worldwide in its first three days, according to Nintendo.
That made it the fastest-selling game in the history of the series and the fastest-selling Nintendo game for any system in Europe and the Americas.
The Zelda franchise has now sold over 130 million units since launching in 1986, according to Nintendo.
“For example, sales are growing for Mario related merchandise, and there is a slight rise in activity for classic Mario titles that can be played through Nintendo Switch Online.
“In the long term, we think this will become a powerful touch point, turning people who have never really played games before into fans of Mario and Nintendo, and renewing the interest of people who used to play (on a Nintendo game platform) but are taking a break.”
Furukawa added: “As for the future, we plan to pour our efforts into a variety of visual content, as we did last year with the consolidation of Nintendo Pictures Co., Ltd. as a subsidiary. We are very happy that this movie is a hit, but will remain focused on carefully developing and further expanding each IP while respecting its unique characteristics, just as we have done in the past.
“Through our strategy of expanding the number of people who have access to Nintendo IP, we want to bring people in contact with our characters and the worlds depicted in our games, with the goal of continually invigorating our core dedicated video game platform business.”