Posted on Friday, February 13th, 2015 by Germain Lussier
Netflix and Nintendo are at work potentially developing a TV series based on The Legend of Zelda. The news broke last week and got video game fans salivating. Sure there was a short lived Zelda TV show many years ago, but a Nintendo property hasn’t been adapted into a big budget, live-action…well…anything since the early Nineties. And The Legend of Zelda has long been at the top of fan’s wish lists for a new show of movie.
But what is the show going to be? All we know at the moment is Nintendo and Netflix want a family friendly show with the aesthetic of Game of Thrones. Okay, but how old will Link be? Zelda? Which will be the main character? Is Ganon the bad guy? What story will they use? At this point, without a script or showrunner, all options are likely on the table.
Since most of The Legend of Zelda games are about younger characters, that how we went with our casting wishlist. We tried to pick actors who, for the most part, aren’t super famous but are age appropriate. Actors both in the box and way outside it. The resulting list features lots of people who you may or may not have heard of, but you wouldn’t be surprised to hear were cast on a Netflix show. That’s not to say we didn’t stretch here or there.
So below, we’ve got our own Legend of Zelda Netflix casting wishlist for Link, Zelda, Ganon and then a writer/showrunner/director type. Check it out.
Note: For this role I tried to pick actors who embody one, or all, of the Link characteristics you think of. Some have a Link look about them. Others, you’d totally buy as a quiet nobody who then grows into a hero. I even threw in a few who are almost wholly unheroic – like The Windwaker version of the character instead of the Skyward Sword one. Also – I tried to keep them under 21, with one exception.
You know Brodie-Sangster from Game of Thrones, The Maze Runner, and looking pretty much exactly like Link from The Legend of Zelda. For that reason, and the fact he’s a really good actor with a strong fanbase, the 24-year-old actor is the one age exception on this list.
The star of The Goldbergs might not look like an imposing hero and that’s exactly the point. He looks kind of meek, but time and time again he’s proved on the ABC show that he’s not. Even at 15, Giambrone has got fire in him. For that reason, I think he’d be a great Link.
Lynch is one of two pop-stars on this list, but he also happens to be a Disney Channel star. He can act, sing, has a huge fan base and those very clean cut good looks you’d imagine the actor who plays Link would have. He’s 19.
If John Boyega can go from the Block to Star Wars, why can’t 21-year-old Alex Esmail go to The Legend of Zelda? We know he’s charasmatic and funny, but also a little subversive. Is he good? Is he bad? Is he scared? Is he not? The actor could definitely bring some charm and depth to the role.
We all know Jaden Smith is a little crazy. His Twitter feed is legendary. But lots of the best actors are crazy and Smith is a really good actor when he wants to be. He’s got box office clout and at 16, lots of heroic leading roles under his belt. Link could be just another notch on it.
Frankly, I don’t know alot about Jack Griffo. He’s 18, he’s on the Nickelodeon show The Thundermans and got his start in Sound of My Voice. But when you’re looking at casts of teen shows, no one popped out more as “Link” than he did.
Ty Simpkins is too young and too small to be Link. Which is exactly why he’d make a good choice for the role. The essence of the character is an unassuming young boy becoming a man; how awesome would it be to see Simpkins go from innocent to ultimate bad-ass? The 13-year-old could pull it off plus, by the time Zelda gets going, he’ll be older.
This is only partially a joke. Boy band stardom doesn’t last forever and Harry Styles, the popular 21-year-old star of One Direction, is on schedule to find that out any month now. His stardom could probably get him an audition for this role, he’s obviously got the look and it would bring in a slew of young viewers who probably wouldn’t care otherwise.
If it’s good enough for J.J. Abrams, it’s good enough for Nintendo. Courtney, now 19, was the star of Super 8 back in 2011. He’s since kept busy with a series of smaller movies but that first one proved he could go from anonymous to hero over the course of a film. Think what he could do over the course of a series.
Playing Carl on The Walking Dead, Chandler Riggs has already gone from zero to hero. Will he want to stay on TV once that’s done? We don’t know, but a more family friendly version of that arc, with some swords, shields and horses, would probably suit him just fine. He’s 15, he’s got a fan base and a lot of talent.