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Legend of Zelda movie needs to be ‘grounded’ and ‘real,’ says director


Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda movie won’t be as heavy on the motion capture as director Wes Ball once envisioned.

Back in 2010, long before Nintendo announced Ball as the guy in charge of the long-anticipated fantasy adaptation, and even before he had directed his first feature, The Maze Runner, the director tweeted that he thought an entirely mo-cap version of The Legend of Zelda, along the lines of James Cameron’s Avatar, would be a great idea. But after working with Weta FX on May’s mo-cap-intensive movie Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes, it seems he has other things in mind for Link.

In an interview with Polygon, Ball said that an entirely mo-capped version The Legend of Zelda “probably isn’t his choice,” with a laugh. Instead, he said the project has to be a little more “grounded” and “real.” But Ball was also careful to say that he couldn’t say much about the movie just yet.

“We’re working hard, and we’re gonna make something great,” he said before joking that if he said much more “Nintendo will pop out of the bushes here and like yank me away.”

Ball is a major proponent of animation, having broke into the industry with his stylized CG animated short Ruin before directing three Maze Runner films. After wrapping the trilogy, he developed an animated take on The Mouse Guard, though the ambitious feature fell apart after Disney acquisition of 20th Century Fox. But the studio was clearly a fan, putting Ball in charge of the next chapter in the Apes franchise — a film that would reunite him with Weta and put his rare aptitude for live-action and animation to the test. Ball may have imagined a fully animated Legend of Zelda movie 14 years ago, but he basically achieved his Avatar dreams with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes.

“Like Avatar, and unlike the other previous Apes movies, there’s about 30 or 40 minutes of full CG in this movie. Like every leaf, every piece of bark, you know, full CG. So I got to have a little taste of that Avatar experience, where it’s just actors on a mocap stage pretending with all this crazy boxes and proxies for objects. That was really fun.”

There’s no word yet on when we can expect The Legend of Zelda, which was only announced last November, but Ball’s Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes is out in theaters on May 10.



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