The Legend Of Zelda Movie Is Avoiding CG Mo-Cap To Be More ‘Grounded’

The Legend Of Zelda Movie Is Avoiding CG Mo-Cap To Be More ‘Grounded’

I do not envy anyone working on the previously announced Legend of Zelda movie. Whereas, with Mario, they needed only make cute cartoons and load the film with jokes and easter eggs, Zelda feels so much more nuanced, and any angle is likely to displease many. Filmmaker Wes Ball has recently made it clear that his vision is something “grounded” and “real,” eschewing the director’s more CG-focused past.

In a fleeting interview with Polygon, Ball explained that the intention for his Zelda movie is a real emphasis on live-action, as opposed to mo-capped, computer-generated characters. He said that the Mario approach “probably isn’t his choice.”

Wes Ball is known primarily for the Maze Runner trilogy of films, and is currently building up toward the release of Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes—having taken over the franchise from Matt Reeves, and marking the first entry not to feature Andy Serkis. He’s also the man at the helm of the forthcoming, currently pre-pre-pre-production Zelda movie, revealed by Nintendo in November 2023, alongside producers Shigeru Miyamoto and Avi Arad.

Read More: Zelda Movie Director Wants It To Be More Miyazaki Than Lord Of The Rings

As it happens, before Ball broke into the film industry with his 2011 CG short, Ruin, he tweeted his ambition to create a fully computer-animated Zelda movie.


It’s rather sweet to look back on this 14-year-old message, buoyed by the technical breakthroughs of Cameron’s Avatar, in which the director sincerely states, “I could never even hope to have the chance to direct it.” And look at him now!

Ball told Polygon he wants his Zelda movie to be more “grounded” and “real,” before adding that he really shouldn’t be talking about it at all. “We’re working hard, and we’re gonna make something great,” he said, before noting that if he kept talking, “Nintendo will pop out of the bushes here and like yank me away.”

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is obviously a mo-cap-driven project, and Ball explained that “there’s about 30 or 40 minutes of full CG in this movie,” adding that “every leaf, every piece of bark” is entirely computer art. “So I got to have a little taste of that Avatar experience,” the director told the site, perhaps suggesting this might have gotten it out of his system.

God knows though, imagine the terror of being given Zelda as a live-action project to create. Which Zelda style do you even pick? No matter which, it’s going to let down legions of fans, whether you opt for Link to the Past cutesiness, Twilight Princess seriousness, or—and let’s be honest, it’s going to be this one—Breath of the Wild’s happy medium. It’s going to be fascinating to see what’s picked, how it’s handled, and if it can ever actually reach production.

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