DreamWorks Animation has long since confirmed that we're getting Shrek 5, though at this point the studio has never made it clear whether or not this will be a sequel or a true reboot. Today, we have word that the animated adventure has locked in a very talented writer, and is in the process of moving forward swiftly. Though no release date has been confirmed at this time, it is expected to debut in 2019.
Speaking with The Hollywood News, Trolls directors Walt Dohrn, who wrote Shrek 2, and Mike Mitchell, who directed Shrek Forever After, confirmed that Michael McCullers has come aboard to write the screenplay for Shrek 5. McCullers is a longtime Mike Myers collaborator, having penned the second and third Austin Powers sequels, as well as the unproduced Sprockets movie. Says Mike Mitchell.
"They've got a pretty good story. It's being written by Michael McCullers who wrote all of the 'Austin Powers' films. He came up with a really great idea that they're exploring."
Walt Dohrn added this.
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"There's more story to tell there and we're ready to help tell it for sure."
Though both Walt Dohrn and Mike Mitchell have worked on Shrek sequels in the past, neither is reportedly returning for Shrek 5 yet. But they do insist that they are interested in the idea. They are actually both working on a sequel to Mike Mitchell's 2005 superhero comedy Sky High. And they are currently trying to decide which of these sequels would be the best for them.
As for the Shrek franchise's future, NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke previously stated that it was all in the hands of Illumination Entertainment's Chris Meledandri. He now has creative control. And will decided what to do next. Says Burke.
"He 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."
Shrek as a franchise has shown diminishing reruns over the course of four movies. The most recent installment was in theaters more than six years years ago, when it opened in May 2010. It only grossed $239 million in the States, which was less than the previous three installments. But it did go onto earn a healthy $752.6 million worldwide. A year and a half later, DreamWorks Animation released the first Shrek spin-off Puss in Boots, which did fare better internationally than it did domestically. So far, Shrek has grossed nearly $3 billion between 2001, when the original movie debuted, and 2010. DreamWorks feels enough time has passed to make the Shrek series soar again.