In 2015 The Wall Street Journal reported that Nintendo and Netflix had joined forces for a live-action The Legend of Zelda TV series. What happened with that? According to comedian Adam Conover, Nintendo canceled both the live-action Zelda and an unannounced claymation Star Fox show because someone at Netflix spilled the beans.
Nintendo likes to keep its secrets secret, be they about video games, television shows, or new hardware. So it makes sense that having the news of its proposed live-action collaboration with Netflix leaked before an official announcement would have the famously private company up in arms. In a recent interview with The Serf Times (via Videogames Chronicle), Adam Conover recalls how Nintendo wound up pulling the plug on the Zelda project, along with an intriguing Star Fox collaboration involving internet comedy company CollegeHumor.
Conover told The Serf Times that at the same time Netflix was working with Nintendo on The Legend of Zelda, the game makers were also in talks with CollegeHumor to produce a stop-motion Star Fox series along the same lines as CollegeHumor’s 2011 short “The Fantastic Mr. Star Fox.” Conover says that during development of the animated series the CollegeHumor offices were even visited by Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto.
The project seemed to be proceeding nicely. Then came the Netflix leak.
“A month later, suddenly there were reports that Netflix wasn’t going to do Legend of Zelda anymore,” said Conover in the video. “I was like, ‘What happened?’ And then I heard from my boss that we weren’t going to do Star Fox anymore. I thought that was weird, so I asked him what happened and he said, ‘Oh, someone at Netflix leaked the Legend of Zelda thing. Nintendo freaked out’.”
Again, this completely tracks. Nintendo loves its secrets and a leak like that, no matter how well-intentioned it may have been, likely would have been enough to put an end to what may have been a fruitful partnership. We reached out to Nintendo, but the company declined to comment.
I know Adam Conover wasn’t directly involved with the cancellation of these projects, but we’re going to blame him anyway. That guy ruins everything.