It has been almost 13 years since Shrek Ever After (I was nine when this film came out), and while the world of Shrek has been continued on a somewhat frequent basis by the Puss in Boots movies, it looks like we could finally be returning to the swamp very soon.
Variety recently interviewed Chris Meledandri, CEO of Illumination, and it looks like he's looking to partner with DreamWorks Animation once again to reboot the Shrek films. Even if it's a reboot, he's anticipating the original voice cast filled with the likes of Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy to return.
“It's not that dissimilar to the process that we went through with Mario, where you look at what the core elements are that audiences have loved, and you do your best to honor those core elements,” said Meledandri.
He would continue, “And then you're hard at work to build story elements and new characters that take you to brand new places. The original cast is a huge part of that.”
Could this fifth installment in the Shrek series follow in the footsteps of another fifth installment in a popular franchise, Scream (2022)? The fifth Scream saw the return of the core characters from the first four films, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell), Dewey (David Arquette), and Gale Weathers (Courtney Cox) while also putting new stars at the forefront led by Sam (Melissa Barrera) and Tara (Jenna Ortega) Carpenter. Should Meyers, Diaz, and Murphy return, could we see a similar situation of the old guard handing it to the new guard?
In addition to a potential Shrek 5, we could be expanding the universe further with a Donkey spin-off led by Murphy. After all, the Puss in Boots movies, despite coming out over a decade apart, each grossed over $450 million and have combined for a total of over $1 billion at the global box office as of April 4, 2023.
It looks like Meledandri and Illumination will have their hands full — The Super Mario Bros. Movie hasn't even come out yet — as it looks as though they're also looking to make a third installment in both the Secret Life of Pets movie and Sing franchises (bring back Bono!), according to Variety's interview.
The news of potentially continuing the Shrek franchise is exciting for all — especially those who grew up in my generation — as Shrek has always found a way to remain relevant, whether it be TikTok memes or another outlet, and here's hoping that a fifth Shrek can only further cement his legacy in pop culture.