There’s been a lot of…unique news going on in the world of Nintendo since E3 2021 ended. And no, we’re not talking about all the rumors about who is the last Super Smash Bros Ultimate character! Rather, we talking about the fact that Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri has been confirmed to be a part of the Board of Directors for Nintendo. Which is obviously odd because…he runs an animation studio and they’re a video game company primarily.
To be clear, Nintendo and Illumination are working together on a Super Mario movie, but the move still raised a lot of questions. Many of which were answered during a Q&A by President Shuntaro Furukawa.
“Chris Meledandri is the founder of Illumination Entertainment and has experience as a producer who created numerous films including the Despicable Me franchise, which introduced the Minions,” said Furukawa. “He has gained broad experience and insight as a corporate manager and in the field of entertainment, so we anticipate he will appropriately supervise our management from an objective perspective while providing valuable advice to our leadership. Mr. Meledandri has been appointed as an independent and non-executive outside director, so he will not be directly involved in execution of operation. However, we believe that his extensive experience and knowledge in the field of entertainment will have a beneficial effect on the decision-making of our board of directors.”
“With regard to the visual content expansion, we are working on the Super Mario movie and have announced that other projects are also in progress,” Furukawa continued. “As you pointed out, our core business is the integrated hardware-software dedicated video game platform business. But to keep that business thriving and growing, we need to create opportunities where even people who do not normally play on video game systems can come into contact with Nintendo characters. As part of this effort, visual content could be important for us.”
So in short, they’re apparently looking to bank off his experience to make more potential animated projects. Whether that actually happens once the Super Mario movie is done…remains to be seen.