Though Illumination is best known for the Despicable Me and Minions movies, the studio is gearing up to form a new label that will make animated movies NOT aimed at kids and families. According to Variety, Illumination has hired Mike Moon, the former adult animation lead at Netflix, to head Moonlight, their new label that will "produce animated films that push beyond the family genre." Moon left his position at Netflix earlier this summer, around the time that they began lay offs in their animation department. In addition to leading hte label, Moon will reportedly work as a "senior creative advisor" to Illumination.
"We have an exceptionally talented group of artists, filmmakers and producers at Illumination and believe that there is no better compliment to this team than Mike and the new company we are partnering to build," Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of Illumination, said in a statement. "He has exceptional taste, deep experience and a strong vision for the films we intend to make together. I look forward to Mike and Moonlight making a substantial contribution to Illumination's future."
Some of Moon's past credits include working on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse plus classic cartoons like Dexter's Lab, The Powerpuff Girls, Freakazoid, and Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. Moon added, "I am thrilled to be joining the amazing team at Illumination. Chris has created the benchmark for character, stories and innovation in animated films and I am honored to be a part of the future of this visionary studio."
Since its formation in 2007, Illumination has produced twelve feature films, bringing in over eight billion dollars at the global box office. With three Despicable Me movies, two Minions, two Secret Life of Pets, and two Sing films under their belt, they've already secured household name status around the globe.
The studio currently has their next three feature films already in the works with the highly-anticipated Super Mario Bros. movie set for April of next year, a new film titled Migration confirmed to arrive in December of 2023, and finally Despicable Me 4 which will be released on July 3, 2024.