What just happened? The Legend of Zelda could be next in line for a major feature film from Nintendo. During a recent episode of The Hot Mic podcast, film critic Jeff Sneider said Universal is close to finalizing a big deal with the Japanese gaming giant for a movie based on the popular Zelda franchise.

Sneider noted that Illumination, the studio that helped with The Super Mario Bros. movie, is also involved which suggests we are looking at another animated film.

A decade ago, the idea of a Zelda movie would have made many franchise fans cringe. Fortunately, the latest batch of gaming-based flicks has knocked it out of the park.

Films based on video game IP are notoriously tricky to get right. While there have been some isolated hits over the years including Resident Evil and Tomb Raider, 2020's Sonic the Hedgehog could be credited with breaking the gaming movie curse. Last year's sequel brought in even more money at the box office and helped pave the way for Nintendo's blockbuster Super Mario Bros. animated film.

Since its release on April 5, The Super Mario Bros. Movie has raked in over $1.31 billion at the box office – more than 13 times its $100 million production budget.

A Zelda movie could be absolutely massive if executed properly. The franchise is hot right now given the recent release of Tears of the Kingdom but one shouldn't expect to see a movie hit theaters anytime soon.

Assuming a deal does get hammered out, it would be years before the final product is ready for the big screen. The good news is that Nintendo is in a great place right now and has no real pressure to rush the project out the door. That would give them ample time to come up with a solid script and find the right cast. There's no shortage of lore to pull from, either, as the franchise has been entertaining fans since the mid-80s. In fact, narrowing down which story to tell could be the biggest challenge.