Nintendo has announced that Illumination Entertainment CEO Chris Meledandri will serve as an Outside Director for the company. The news was announced via a financial statement released on May 6, 2021. Illumination Entertainment is currently working with Nintendo to produce the upcoming Super Mario movie, slated for a 2022 release. [Thanks, Hobby Watch!]
Illumination Entertainment created the Minions and Despicable Me movies distributed by Universal Pictures. The company previously announced that it was working on a Super Mario movie in partnership with Nintendo back in 2018. Nintendo itself has also had a long-standing relationship with Universal Group, the most recent of which was the Universal Studios Japan Super Nintendo World amusement park.
By 2020, Meledandri was already serving as co-producer for the movie with Shigeru Miyamoto. At the time, Nintendo President Shuntaro Furukawa said that production for the movie was “moving along smoothly.” Miyamoto himself also stated that the company was working closely with Meledandri in its new approach to utilize its IPs effectively.
Nintendo legally considers the current Outside Directors Audit and Supervisory Committee members. However, Meledandri will not share the same title. This means that he may not be able to sit in on executive board meetings or conduct internal investigations. Regardless, his appointment as an Outside Director signals that Nintendo may continue to work closely with Meledandri and Illumination Entertainment in the future.
Chris Meledandri will officially assume the position of outside director at Nintendo starting June 29, 2021.