Universal has set a 2022 release date for the upcoming Dreamworks Animation sequel Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. With Antonio Banderas returning to voice the titular feline, the sequel is directed by Joel Crawford and produced by Mark Swift, the creative team behind last year's animated hit The Croods: A New Age. Its release date is now officially on the schedule with Universal setting Puss in Boots 2 for a wide release on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.
In the sequel, Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) discovers that his passion for adventure has taken its toll: He has burned through eight of his nine lives, leaving him with only one life left. Puss sets out on an epic journey to find the mythical Last Wish and restore his nine lives.
Directed by Chris Miller using a screenplay by Tom Wheeler, the first Puss in Boots was released in theaters in 2011. Along with garnering critical acclaim and around $555 million in ticket sales, the movie was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards. Based on the success of the original, there have been plans at Dreamworks Animation to develop a sequel for years. At one point, Bob Persichetti was signed on to direct the sequel, which was originally titled Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves.
A spinoff of the Shrek movie series, Puss in Boots starred Antonio Banderas as the voice of the feline hero. Its voice cast also starred Zach Galifianakis as Humpty Alexander Dumpty, Salma Hayek as Kitty Softpaws, Constance Marie as Imelda, Mike Mitchell as Andy "Jack" Beanstalk, and Billy Bob Thornton and Amy Sedaris as Jack and Jill, respectively. A prequel, the movie follows Puss in Boots teaming up with his fairy tale friends, Humpty Dumpty and Kitty Softpaws, to take on Jack and Jill, two murderous outlaws in search of their legendary magical beans.
The movie has also spawned an animated series adaptation, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, which premiered on Netflix in 2015. Also serving as a prequel series set before the first appearance of Puss in Boots in Shrek 2, the series spanned for six seasons and nearly 80 episodes, ending its run on the streamer in 2018. Banderas did not return as the voice of the lead for the animated series, with Eric Bauza filling in as the voice of Puss in Boots. The cast also included Carlos Alazraqui, Grey Griffin, Jayma Mays, Danny Trejo, Alan Tudyk, and John Leguizamo.
Meanwhile, Universal has also set a premiere date next year for The Bad Guys, another animated movie in development at Dreamworks Animation. Set to debut on Friday, April 15, 2022, The Bad Guys follows five notorious bad guys who've been behind big heists - Mr. Wolf, Mr. Snake, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Shark, and Ms. Tarantula - as they attempt their most challenging job yet... going good. The movie, based on the book series by Aaron Blabey, is directed by Pierre Perifel.