In a despicably Ganon-esque move, Nintendo has forced BMB Finishes to stop all showings of the fan-produced feature-length film The Hero of Time based on The Legend of Zelda video game series. In a message posted today on the movie’s official website [via slashdot], the folks at BMB informed fans that December 31, 2009 was the last day their film would be displayed for public viewing in accordance with an agreement they reached with Nintendo earlier in December. Per the website, The Hero of Time “was shot mainly on weekends over the span of about two years from August ’04 through January ’06.” It premiered in Atlanta on June 6, 2009 before going on a screening run across Europe and North America throughout the year, finally hitting the net for mass consumption on December 14 at dailymotion.com. Somewhere along the way, Nintendo caught wind of it and, apparently not placated by a disclaimer, asked the filmmakers to cease and desist.
Hit the jump for my thoughts on the shutdown and to get a look at one of the film’s trailers.
It’s kind of a shame that this labor of love is being buried after the years of hard work that went into its creation, but, joking aside, I don’t consider the video game giant to be the bad guy here. As the filmmakers acknowledge in their message, Nintendo owns the trademark on Zelda and has every right to protect its property…no matter how innocuous the unlicensed usage may seem. Moreover, Nintendo didn’t have to give BMB until the end of the month to take the film down, but they did, thereby affording the flick some more time to reach its intended audience and ensuring that the considerable time and effort expended wasn’t all for naught. I’m sure some fans who missed the deadline will be ticked off, especially since the deadline wasn’t actually announced until after it had already passed. However, based on their last words on the matter, the filmmakers seem content with how things played out.
Here’s the trailer for The Hero of Time: