Marvel must have thought they had the gong for news of year all sewn up when they announced their deal with Sony to finally allow Spider-Man to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And then rumours started swirling that two mighty Ns, Netflix and Nintendo, were possibly going to collaborate on a TV adaptation of Nintendo’s long-running RPG series, The Legend of Zelda. Suddenly, Spider-Man was yesterday’s news. After all, we have already had two versions of the wallcrawler spanning five movies. But ever since the trainwreck that was the Super Mario Bros. movie, Nintendo has been hesitant to allow its characters to star in a live-action film.
Until now. Hopefully. Though there has been no official statement from either party, so the news that set the Internet aflame is currently nothing more than rumour and conjecture. Yet, it has not stopped many, including myself, from wondering what shape or form it may take – a more family friendly Game of Thrones? Or Lord of the Rings for the streaming masses?
Before we go spending our rupees on a Netflix membership, let us have a look at which actors and actresses would be best suited for the trio of main characters, starting with the hero, Link. Will they cast an adult in the role, a boy, or maybe even both, as Link has appeared as many different ages throughout the years (sometimes even in the same game). Given the age we live in, where everything is reimagined with gritty realism, I imagine Link will be a teenager/young man, at least for the majority of the series.
Fans of Game of Thrones may know him better as Jojen Reed, or the kid who defied airport security for his first snog in Love Actually. He was last seen in the better-than-the-book shocker that was The Maze Runner. Despite now being 24, he still retains his baby-faced charm, but could bring real weight to the character of Link.
Another Game of Thrones alumnus, who played a role more infamous than Brodie-Sangster’s, that of petulant teenage king Joffrey Baratheon. Could Gleeson overcome the animosity that came with GoT’s most-hated role and win our hearts as the Hero of Time? The fact that he made Joffrey such a figure of hate should stand in his favour as an actor, and like Brodie-Sangster, he has a very youthful appearance despite being in his early 20s. However, after completing his stint on Game of Thrones, Gleeson has threatened to quit acting.
The oldest actor on the list, DeHaan would be in his 30s by the time this project gets off the ground. Like the previous two, he looks a lot younger than he actually is, and would offer a strong take on the lead, having carried Chronicle on his shoulders, and making an interesting, flawed Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man.
Bird has been thrust into the spotlight following a fantastic turn in David Cronenberg’s Maps To The Stars. He also had a minor role in the remake of Danish TV show The Killing alongside new RoboCop Joel Kinnaman. All of 15, Bird perhaps has less experience than other candidates, but what he has shown already proves that with a great guiding hand he has a strong screen presence.
Fans of Justified will immediately recognise Lofland as troubled teen Kendal Crowe from the show’s penultimate season. He also gave a great performance opposite Matthew McConaughey in indie flick Mud. Lofland was discovered waiting for his chance in Arkansas when the producers sought out a local actor. He’ll next be seen in Scorch Trials, the sequel The Maze Runner.
Butterfield is already a star, having been placed front and centre in The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning Hugo, and the recent adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel Ender’s Game. Sure, he has jet-black hair, but that’s cosmetic. Butterfield is a brilliant child actor who is now navigating the path to adult roles. The problem here may be one of scheduling, as Butterfield has films lined up into 2016. Still, producers would be foolish not to at least approach him for the role.
Hailing from Plano, Texas, Duty is a graduate of the Disney Channel, appearing on TV show Shake It Up until 2012, when he started exploring film options. However, he has since returned to TV in comedy Fresh Off the Boat. His broad experience and age make him well-suited for the role, not to mention that he absolutely looks the part.
Ford is one of the surviving cast members of the guilty pleasure that is Stephen King’s Under The Dome, though it is not the best show to judge his abilities. For such a young actor he has amassed a number of roles under his belt, with recurring parts in Supernatural and The Mob Doctor, as well as voicing several parts in Family Guy, in addition to chunky film roles in We Bought A Zoo and Push. Like Duty, he has the look of Link nailed, and certainly has a strong enough CV to be up for consideration.
Ellison is a dark horse, with his early career carved out In edgy films such as Mysterious Skin and Wristcutters: A Love Story. Since then, he’s been sharpening his teeth on a number of TV movies, as well as parts in features, including starring opposite Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in The Tooth Fairy. Out of all the actors on this list, he is certainly the one that looks the most like Link, but with fierce competition for the role, his resume may not be suited. Then again, casting an unknown element may prove better than a recognisable face.
Canterbury has these piercing eyes that haunt you in his roles, from Knowing to The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, playing an elderly Brad Pitt. He was also in the adaptation of Stephanie “Twilight” Meyers’ The Host, but we will not hold that against him. Last year he landed the lead in Standing Up, and has received a nomination every year from the Young Artist’s Awards since 2010, after a win in 2008 for his turn in Criminal Minds.
It’s Dangerous To Go Alone…
So, who from this list of hopefuls do you think would best fit Link’s signature green tunic and cap? Or did we make a glaring omission of someone that should be wielding the Master Sword? Whoever you think would be best for the role, remember that they’ll have to go toe-to-toe with Ganondorf, who we plan to highlight in the next Legend of Zelda Casting Ideas article.