The Legend of Zelda Director Looking to Studio Ghibli & Hayao Miyazaki for Inspiration


  • Director Wes Ball plans to draw inspiration from Studio Ghibli and Hayao Miyazaki when adapting The Legend of Zelda into a live-action movie, aiming to capture their sense of wonder and whimsy.
  • Ball considers The Legend of Zelda to be an untapped IP with great potential, stating that his whole life has led up to directing this movie.
  • While details about the movie, including the cast, remain unknown, Ball hopes to start working on the project after completing his Planet of the Apes sequel.

Director Wes Ball is now confirmed to be helming a live-action The Legend of Zelda movie, and the filmmaker has revealed some insight into how he plans to approach adapting the beloved video game. Speaking with EW, Ball revealed that he will turn to the acclaimed animation studio, Studio Ghibli, and the works of director Hayao Miyazaki for inspiration when bringing the adventures of Zelda and Link to life.

“[The Legend of Zelda is] this awesome fantasy-adventure movie that isn’t like Lord of the Rings, it’s its own thing. I’ve always said, I would love to see a live-action Miyazaki. That wonder and whimsy that he brings to things, I would love to see something like that.”

Rather than look to the likes of other live-action adventure films such as The Lord of the Rings, Ball will instead use Miyazaki’s films, which include My Neighbor Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, and the recent The Boy and the Heron. With his The Legend of Zelda project, Ball hopes to capture the same sense of wonder that both Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki have become renowned for. And it’s an approach that should please fans of the beloved Nintendo video game.

One of the most popular video game franchises of all time, The Legend of Zelda follows a young boy of an elf-like race named Link who must save a kidnapped princess from the evil, demonic Ganon. Featuring all manner of swordplay, magic, MacGuffins, and everything else you would expect from a fantasy, action-adventure video game. The live-action movie is set to be produced by Nintendo and Avi Arad/Arad Productions, Inc., while Sony Pictures will handle distribution.

RELATED: 10 Actors Who Could Play Link in The Legend of Zelda

Wes Ball Has Waited His Whole Life to Direct a Zelda Movie

the legend of zelda

Director Wes Ball, who is best known for The Maze Runner franchise and the upcoming Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, went on to declare that he has waited his whole life to direct a Zelda movie.

“It’s going to be awesome. My whole life has led up to this moment. I grew up on Zelda and it is the most important property, I think, that’s untapped IP, if you will. So we very much are working hard to do something. We’re not just trying to do it because we can. We want to make something really special.”

While further details (including the cast) remain under wraps at present, Ball hopes to get going on the live-action The Legend of Zelda movie after his Planet of the Apes sequel.

“We’re working on the script, and whether it’s the next one or not, it’s hard to say exactly. But certainly the plan is, after Apes is done, to have a little bit of a rest for a moment, and then dive into [Zelda] and hopefully give fans what they’re hoping for, and also invite new people in. I think Nintendo’s desire is to introduce people to this world that’s been around for 40 years now.”

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is scheduled to be released by 20th Century Studios on May 24, 2024. Check out the recent trailer below:


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