Nintendo Appoints Illumination Founder/CEO Chris Meledandri as Outside Director

by dereksawadogo

Meledandri is co-producing Illumination’s Super Mario Bros. film

Nintendo announced on Thursday in its financial report for the fiscal year ending on March 31 that it will appoint Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri as an outside director on June 29.

Meledandri is co-producing Illumination’s animated film adaptation of the Super Mario Bros. game franchise with Super Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto.

The movie will open in theaters in 2022.

Meledandri told entertainment news source Variety in November 2018 that the film was in “priority development.” Meledandri stated that Miyamoto is “front and center in the creation of this film” and noted that the “original creative voice” is often absent from Hollywood film adaptations.

President of Nintendo Shuntaro Furukawa told Fast Company in an interview that Nintendo is looking into more animated works beyond the Super Mario Bros. film. Furukawa stated that “Animation, in general, is something that we are looking into, and not just this [Mario] franchise.”

Nintendo announced in February 2018 that Universal Studios‘ subsidiary Illumination Entertainment (Despicable Me, Minions, Sing) had begun planning the animated film. Both Nintendo and Universal Pictures are funding the project, and Universal Pictures will distribute the film worldwide.

The Wall Street Journal and The Hollywood Reporter both reported in November 2017 that Illumination Entertainment was “close to an agreement” with Nintendo to produce an animated film based on Super Mario Bros., with talks reportedly ongoing for more than a year. At the time of the report, a person with knowledge of the discussions said that the possible agreement could allow Illumination Entertainment to make multiple films based on the franchise, but only one film is currently planned. The report also noted at the time that Illumination Entertainment’s Mac Guff studio in Paris would animate the film, and that it was in the early stages of development.

Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima said in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun newspaper in May 2016 that Nintendo was in talks with production companies to make films based on its games.

The Buzzfeed website reported in 2014 that Nintendo was in talks with Sony Pictures for film rights to the Super Mario Bros. franchise. The live-action Ghost in the Shell film’s producer Avi Arad was linked to the production.

Universal Studios Japan opened its new Super Nintendo World area on March 18. The park had originally planned to open the area in late July 2020, in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but delayed the opening to prevent crowding, as a countermeasure against the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19). (The Olympics event itself has been delayed until this year also.) The park then planned to open the area on February 4, but this was again postponed due to the second state of emergency declaration for Osaka and other prefectures.

The park temporarily closed starting on April 25 due to the third state of emergency against COVID-19 in Osaka, among other prefectures. The announcement noted that the government is specifically asking theme parks to have no attendees during the state of emergency. The park will reopen once the government lifts the state of emergency.

Source: Nintendo via Siliconera

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