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The much rumored deal between Nintendo and Illumination Entertainment has been finalized and confirmed to be true. Initially announced by Nintendo’s CEO, Nintendo of America joined in with sharing the news on Twitter as well:


Later, Nintendo issued a press release formally announcing the deal as well as noting that Universal Pictures would also be financing the film with Nintendo and distributing the film worldwide upon its theatrical release.

It’s interesting to note that Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination Entertainment and producer on many of the company’s films, has previously worked for Walt Disney Studios and 20th Century Fox. He is also slated to be a consultant for DreamWorks Animation due to its acquisition by NBCUniversal (Universal Pictures co-owns Illumination Entertainment).

Depending on the length of production we may see select DreamWorks Animation staff jump onboard to the project. Plus Illumination has their hands full until 2020 with Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch hitting screens in November 2018, followed by The Secret Life of Pets 2 in June 2019, Minions 2 in July 2020, and Sing 2 in December 2020. We may not see Mario and Luigi be on screen, outside of a potential Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 cameo, until 2021.

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Written by Jennifer Burch

Illustrator, designer, writer and big Nintendo geek, you can find Jennifer with an N3DS within reach 24/7. As the oldest of three, she has survived many Mario Party, Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart sessions intact in addition to getting her brothers hooked on some really weird games. (Cubivore anyone?)