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The Head of Illumination Dismisses Rumors of an Animated Zelda Movie

The CEO and founder of the animation studio claims that he even doesn't know "where that came from."

The head of Illumination, Chris Meledandri, has recently dispelled rumors that his company is collaborating with Nintendo on an animated movie based on The Legend of Zelda franchise.

The news that Illumination, the animation studio known for films like Despicable Me and the Super Mario Bros. adaptation, is set to start working on an animated Zelda movie broke out in early June when journalist Jeff Sneider shared, citing a "great source", that Universal, the parent company of Illumination, is on the verge of striking a "big deal" with Nintendo to acquire the rights for the adaptation.

However, the founder and CEO of Illumination and the producer of all of their films, Chris Meledandri, clarified in an interview with The Wrap that his studio currently has no plans to turn The Legend of Zelda into a movie. He emphasized that Illumination maintains an excellent relationship with Nintendo and is ready to cooperate with the company on future products but stressed that no discussions regarding a Zelda animated film have taken place at this time.

"I don’t know where that came from," Meledandri commented on the rumor. "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."

Previously, Nintendo had announced its plans to create more animated movies based on its franchises through the Nintendo Pictures brand. However, neither Nintendo nor Illumination disclosed specific details regarding their upcoming projects. 

The status of a Super Mario Bros. sequel also remains unconfirmed. However, Chris Pratt, who provided the voice for Mario, hinted in an interview with ET that updates regarding a second installment could be revealed "soon". Still, Pratt acknowledged that even if the movie enters the development phase, actual production cannot start until the end of the Writers Guild of America strike.

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