Earlier this year, “The Super Mario Bros. Movie,” produced by Illumination and Nintendo, was released theatrically and has since taken in over $1.3 billion at the global box office. It’s enough to wonder what is next for the fruitful partnership between the animation studio behind “Sing” and “Despicable Me” and the video game giant. And while a sequel to the “Super Mario Bros. Movie” is quietly being worked on, a recent report (via Jeff Sneider) had the two companies collaborating on a different beloved property – “The Legend of Zelda.” At the Annecy International Animation Festival, TheWrap caught up with Chris Meledandri, the founder and CEO of Illumination and the producer of all of their films, and asked about whether Link was coming to the big screen soon.
“I don’t know where that came from,” Meledandri said of the “Legend of Zelda” report. “I mean I can understand how people would surmise all sorts of things because obviously, we’ve had a great experience working together. My relationship with Nintendo now includes being on their board of directors, so I understand how people can surmise these things. But in terms of the specifics, that was just something that I’ve been hearing lots of reports. This is just about what’s next between Nintendo and Illumination.”
At that point Benjamin Renner, the director of Illumination’s upcoming “Migration” walked into the room and said: “I see one report every week.” And this week’s report is, apparently, “Zelda.”
While this is a denial, Meledandri acknowledges that he is now on the board of directors at Nintendo and the fruitful partnership between the two studios (and Illumination’s parent company Universal, which has opened two Super Nintendo World lands at its theme parks in Japan and California, with a third coming to Orlando in 2025) will undoubtedly continue beyond the upcoming “Super Mario Bros. Movie” sequel.