Last week, Nintendo shocked the gaming world and Hollywood when it announced that The Legend of Zelda would indeed be coming to movie theaters everywhere as a live-action adventure. Questions quickly started running through the heads of fans around the world and among them involve the movie's casting. Who can possibly bring these characters to life? The Shacknews staff has decided to get a piece of this action and cast some of the bigger roles in a Legend of Zelda movie.
Naturally, there are going to be questions regarding the Zelda series' timeline and when the movie would take place. For the purpose of this feature, we're going to assume that the movie will take place during the era of Breath of the Wild and this year's big follow-up, Tears of the Kingdom.
The Shacknews staff already got a quick start on casting Link. We all shared our own opinions and you can read up on those right now in our Shack Chat feature.
Zelda - Kiernan Shipka
This was a difficult choice given how many young actresses could capably fill the role of Princess Zelda. We ultimately decided on Kiernan Shipka, the young 24-year-old actress who first made her name as Sally Draper in Mad Men and much more recently played the lead role on Netflix's Chilling Adventures of Sabrina. This makes her no stranger to roles involving magic and staring down ultimate evils.
Honorable mentions: Jennifer Lawrence, Anya Taylor-Joy, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Zelda voice actress Patricia Summersett
Ganondorf - Idris Elba
Things also got divisive when it came to casting Ganondorf. He needs to be somebody fearsome, somebody who's worthy of representing the King of Evil. However, he also needs to be somebody to fit more recent trends of Ganondorf as… and we can't believe we're saying this… a sex symbol.
Given those criteria, we ultimately settled on Idris Elba. When considering that we expect Ganondorf to be a combination of practical effects with a part-CGI body, it'd be more Elba's sultry voice doing the work. We already saw how well he's done with voice work in both Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Cyberpunk 2077: Phantom Liberty.
Honorable mention: Dave Bautista, JB Blanc, Jason Momoa
Prince Sidon - Liam Hemsworth
The adventurous Prince Sidon was another character where we had a blast throwing names around. We initially thought of some slightly older actors, but for this one, we're thinking someone with a slim build who still packs some muscles and is still in his 30s. Liam Hemsworth and his Hunger Games pedigree make him a pretty good choice, but there's no shortage of strong actors who could play Link's hetero lifemate.
Honorable mention: Tom Hiddleston, Keanu Reeves, Doug Jones
Urbosa - Lupita Nyong'o
Urbosa is another breakout character from the BotW/TotK era. She's powerful, resourceful, maternal, and a brave champion. As much as she fights for the Gerudo, she fights just as hard for Zelda and Hyrule. She's always willing to fight, even if it takes her to her limit, as evidenced by her fight with Thunderblight Ganon. It takes a strong actress to portray her, which is why we opted for Black Panther's Lupita Nyong'o.
Honorable mention: Rosario Dawson, Michelle Rodriguez
Daruk - Michael Rooker
Something interesting to note is that Michael Rooker's name was first brought up for Ganondorf with the reasoning being that he's good at portraying gruff, no-nonsense semi-humans. We've seen it numerous times in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy and his voice fits Daruk like a glove. Daruk is all action and we like Rooker for that spot.
Honorable mention: Seth Rogen, Mick Foley
Mipha - Emilia Clarke
The name Sophie Turner was first floated around for Mipha. Of course, if she's supposed to be Sidon's older sister, getting a younger actress to play her would be a little wacky, regardless of how different the Zora aging cycle works. Naturally, eyes then turned to a different Game of Thrones alumni. Emilia Clarke has already been a part of the Game of Thrones world, the Marvel Universe (Secret Invasion), and Star Wars galaxy (Solo: A Star Wars Story). What's another nerd property for her, right? We think she'd do well portraying the soft-spoken champion who fights for her people and focuses on the fight ahead, even if it means forsaking her feelings for Link.
Honorable mention: Sophie Turner, Lily Collins
Revali - Pedro Pascal
Speaking of adding another nerd property to the pile, Pedro Pascal has certainly become one of the faces of modern pop culture. He was also somebody who quickly came to mind when thinking about Revali, a hardened warrior whose heart is in the right place, but feels overlooked when it's the amnesiac Link who is asked to take charge in the fight against Ganon. He's the pride of the Rito, a loyal soldier, a steady hand, and a dependable teammate, though he can also bathe in arrogance on occasion. Still, it's his interactions with Link and Zelda that make us believe that Pascal is the right choice.
Honorable mention: Oscar Isaac
Purah - Jenna Ortega
Hyrule's resident Sheikah scientist has been a breakout character across both Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom. We'd love to see her in a movie and we think Jenna Ortega fits the mold given some of the experiments she's conducted as Wednesday Addams. Ortega has been a breakout character in her own right after her roles on Netflix's Wednesday and Scream (2022). Could she pull the wig off? It'd be a different look, for sure, but it's the dry wit and inquisitive personality that we're hoping to see from her for Purah.
Honorable mention: Ariela Barer
The Great Deku Tree - Liam Neeson
There is one almighty guardian of the Master Sword in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and it is the keeper of the Koroks known as the Deku Tree. The iconic Liam Neeson is no stranger to playing powerful characters. If you want evidence of him evoking godlike splendor, go watch his work in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, where he lends his voice to Aslan. We could think of nobody better to judge whether Link be worthy of wielding the blade of evil's bane.
Honorable mention: Eric Bauza
Those are our casting choices (and a few backup picks) for The Legend of Zelda. It isn't known when the live-action version of Nintendo's beloved franchise will hit theaters, but we'll anxiously await its release. After all, Nintendo has a lot of goodwill from The Super Mario Bros. Movie.