Mario Bros. Movie studio CEO shuts down rumors of a Zelda movie deal

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri claimed the studio hasn't made a deal with Nintendo for a Zelda movie just yet.

Image via Nintendo

With the massive success of the Super Mario Bros. Movie, rumors have been buzzing about what comes next between Nintendo and production studio Illumination. Reports were suggesting Nintendo was close to a deal for a Legend of Zelda film, but the CEO of Illumination has put the kibosh on the topic for now, claiming no such deal is in the works for a Zelda movie just yet.

Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri spoke to The Wrap about the matter of the Zelda movie, dismissing previous reports from veteran film reporter Jeff Sneider that the deal was close to being complete. Meledandri claimed he had no knowledge of how the rumor even got started.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Meledandri said of 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.”

The Super Mario Bros. Movie art
The Super Mario Bros. Movie made over $1 billion at the global box office, fueling rumors that Illumination might do a Zelda movie with Nintendo next.
Source: Illumination

It wouldn’t be surprising if Nintendo continued to go to Illumination for film projects. Even a month ago, The Super Mario Bros. Movie had $1 billion USD under its belt in box office sales and revenue, proving to be a massive success. It has since rested at $1.3 billion and is currently the third highest grossing animated film of all time, only behind Frozen 2 and The Lion King remake, according to Box Office Mojo. We certainly know that another Mario movie is on the way because the original film sets up for it with a post-credits scene.

Even so, it seems it was premature to assume Nintendo and Illumination were already expanding beyond Mario films. No Zelda film is in the works at Illumination just yet, but stay tuned as we continue to follow for more updates on the Nintendo cinematic universe.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
Hello, Meet Lola