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Nintendo adds Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri to board of directors

By Arthur Apostol Published Jul 06, 2021 3:42 pm

Chris Meledandri, who is responsible for the Despicable Me franchise and also executive produced The Secret Life of Pets, Sing, and The Grinch (2018), has officially joined Nintendo’s board of directors.

The Japanese game company confirmed the news during its 81st shareholders meeting.

Meledandri, founder and CEO of flm and animation studio Illumination,  is also working on the Super Mario Bros. animated movie which was revealed back in 2018.

"[Meledandri] 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," said Nintendo president Shuntaro Furukawa.

However, Furukawa added that Meledandri is an independent and non-executive outside director, meaning that the Illumination CEO “will not be directly involved in execution of operation.”

Director Shigeru Miyamoto expressed that developing games and making visual content are similar in ways, but also different and that is why Chris will be valuable to the company’s plans of making movies.

"We think that asking for Chris' input, as an expert with many years of experience in Hollywood, will be of great help to us in the future," said Miyamoto.

Given Chris’ animation resumé, Nintendo is indeed in good hands in the film industry, but while fans are waiting for future projects, Illumination's Super Mario: The Movie is expected to hit theaters in 2022.

(Images from Nintendo)