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New Zelda Movie Rumor Has Fans Divided

It looks like "The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom" devs weren't alone in wanting a franchise film: A new rumor claims that "The Legend of Zelda" will feature as the "next big Illumination-Nintendo" animated movie, and fan reaction has been mixed at best.

The scoop comes from the film news podcast "The Hot Mic," hosted by film critic John Rocha and journalist Jeff Sneider. According to one of Sneider's sources, Universal is in talks with Nintendo to secure the rights to "The Legend of Zelda" franchise, presumably for a feature film that would follow on the success of the "The Super Mario Bros. Movie."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the news has broken to an explosive response on social media, with fans expressing a wide spectrum of perspectives and stances. However, there does seem to be one main point of contention that's dividing the fan community: Is Illumination Entertainment really the right animation studio to handle a "Legend of Zelda" movie adaptation?

No one wants The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Minions

For the most part, it seems the fact that Illumination's repertoire skews heavily towards light-hearted comedy doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in "Zelda" fans. As many have noted, this lighter approach might have worked fine for a more cartoon-like franchise like "Mario," but may not be able to adequately handle the lore-heavy "Zelda" series with grace. 

One of the biggest concerns seems to be the potential pop-culture-ification of all the series' content: many fans have taken to making fun of what a "Zelda" film made for widespread marketability would look like, from a Goron City montage set to Queen to over-sarcastic quips from a hyper-modernized and celebrity-voiced Link. Others have expressed genuine frustration at the idea that the franchise's music would be replaced by an onslaught of licensed pop songs, as was the case with the "Mario" movie.

Another major concern was whether or not Link would remain a mostly silent protagonist in a feature film. For many fans, the hero's complete lack of dialogue has become an integral aspect of the franchise, an element they fear might be botched in favor of a high-profile celebrity casting. In fact, some fans are already bracing themselves to hear Tom Holland as Link.

Some fans are cautiously optimistic

However, not every fan is skeptical of Illumination's ability to do justice to "Zelda." One major point brought up by those optimistic fans is that Illumination isn't all just Minion jokes and light laughs. The studio does have a division that handles more artistic and poignant projects. Moonlight is a branch of Illumination studios that caters towards older audiences, and could very well be tasked with creating a visually stunning film more in line with the aesthetics of "Breath of the Wild" or "Tears of the Kingdom."

The question remains, however, whether the corporations involved would be willing to pass up the opportunity to create another mass-marketable film from a famous IP. Some fans think the family-friendly Nintendo isn't likely to greenlight an "adult animation" film, regardless of nuance.

However, amidst the various calls for Nintendo to contact Ghibli Studios instead, there are some fans who are excited for Illumination's comedic spin on the series. "The Legend of Zelda" series has had some awkward and lighthearted moments of its own, and the varied art styles across installments aren't entirely incompatible with a more cartoonish take. With no official information to speak of, only time will tell if fans will get a "soft and thoughtful" film or the reintroduction of "Well, excuuuuuse me, Princess!" to a modern audience.