Why Nintendo cancelled plans for a Zelda live-action Netflix series

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Nintendo has famously been reluctant to grant anyone permission to use its IP, and when it has, this has been under strict supervision and scrutiny.

It now appears that in one instance, Nintendo granted Netflix permission to create a live-action series based on The Legend of Zelda, only for this to be subsequently cancelled.

You may be wondering why Nintendo cancelled what sounds like a perfect idea for a TV series - after all, just look at The Witcher. Here's what happened.

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Why Nintendo cancelled The Legend of Zelda TV show

According to Adam Conover, who appeared on The Serf Times podcast, Nintendo cancelled plans for a The Legend of Zelda series after its details were leaked to the press, allegedly by Netflix.

Conover explained that CollegeHumor had "a secret project where we were going to make a claymation version of Star Fox with Nintendo" that would be a follow up to its earlier parody, The Fantastic Mr. Star Fox.

This Star Fox project was then cancelled, Conover said. "I heard from my boss we weren't doing our Star Fox anymore. I was like 'what happened?'. He was like 'someone at Netflix leaked the Legend of Zelda thing, they weren't supposed to talk about it, Nintendo freaked out. And they pulled the plug on everything, the entire programme to adapt these things."

The leak in question refers to an article published by The Wall Street Journal, which Saturo Iwata famously said was incorrect.

So, if you want a TL;DR, Nintendo pulled out of its The Legend of Zelda series because it was leaked too early, and the company reverted to its protectionist policy.

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What's next for Nintendo TV shows and films?

This would not have been the first The Legend of Zelda TV show ever made, with an animated series releasing back in 1989 - just four years before the live-action Super Mario Bros. film.

After these two products launched, Nintendo is perhaps justified in being protective of its IP when it comes to film and TV, but the company has started exploring other options outside of games.

A new Super Mario Bros. filmwas first announced by Nintendo in 2018. In collaboration with Illumination Studios (the makers of Despicable Me), the film is slated for a 2022 release, although very little is known about the plot, cast, or direction (Although we'd be surprised if Charles Martinet does not star heavily).

Depending on the success of the Super Mario Bros. film, could Nintendo perhaps be more open to other film and TV projects? Possibly. I'm just hoping for another Kirby animated series.

READ MORE: Super Mario animated film: Here’s what we know about the release date, trailer, cast and more