It's been just over six years since we last saw the beloved ogre Shrek on the big screen with Shrek Forever After, and over the years, there has been talk of Shrek 5. While nothing has been made official yet it seems this franchise could be back in the near future, following Comcast's recent $3.8 billion acquisition of DreamWorks Animation back in April. During an investors gathering earlier today, NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke teased that they are hoping to release as many as four animated movies a year, including Shrek 5. Though, it doesn't sound like they know whether or not this new Shrek movie will be a sequel or a complete reboot. Figuring out how to revive Shrek is a current struggle within the company.
When Comcast's NBCUniversal bought DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, Illumination Entertainment's Chris Meledandri was brought in to oversee the Shrek franchise and the studio's other franchises like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon. Deadline's report reveals that Meledandri will help bring the green ogre back to life, although no specific details were given quite yet. Here's what Steve Burke had to say in a brief statement.
"He (Chris Meledandri) is creatively going to try to help us figure out how to resurrect Shrek and take a lot of the existing DreamWorks franchises and add value as we create new franchises."
NBCUniversal hopes to not only develop new movies, but build theme park attractions and create new merchandise to "turn it into a different kind of business," according to Steve Burke. As for Shrek 5, it isn't known if Chris Meledandri is working with writers to develop a story at this time, or who will be brought on to direct quite yet. While it still is very early, Shrek 5 may very well hit theaters sooner rather than later.
Long before DreamWorks Animation's acquisition, CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg had long teased that a Shrek sequel was in the works. The first four movies, and the 2011 spinoff Puss and Boots, have earned $1.4 billion at the domestic box office and $3.5 billion worldwide. It's worth noting that Shrek and Donkey returned earlier this year in a Snickers commercial that tied into the release of Kung Fu Panda 3. Stay tuned for more on the future of the Shrek franchise as soon as more information comes in.