Shrek and Puss in Boots are getting the reboot treatment. The lovable ogre and his buddy Donkey, along with the feisty swashbuckling cat, have been lying dormant (theatrically speaking) for some time now. But these are big franchises with a lot of money to potentially be made, so it was only a matter of time before the studio decided it was time to try and cash in again. DreamWorks has decided that time is now.
According to a new report, Chris Meledandri, the producer behind the Despicable Me franchise, as well as the other Illumination hits, such as The Secret Life of Pets and Sing, has been tasked with rebooting Shrek and Puss in Boots. However, one crucial element will remain the same, as Meledandri wants to keep Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas in their iconic voice roles, if at all possible. Here's what the producer had to say about it.
"When you look back on those vocal performances they're awesome, and while you certainly could make a case for a complete reinvention, I find myself responding to my own nostalgic feelings of wanting to go back to those characterizations. The challenge for us has been to find something that really does feel like it's not simply yet another film in a series of sequels."
There is certainly a challenge here. Mike Myers pretty much is Shrek to everyone, so recasting the roles wouldn't feel right and would probably alienate a large chunk of the audience. But in keeping the same actors, the continuity might have to more or less remain the same. It's tricky, but it sounds like DreamWorks is intent on making this happen.
Comcast purchased all of DreamWorks in 2016 for $3.8 billion. That put Illumination and DreamWorks under the same roof. Originally, Chris Meledandri, who oversees Illumination, was thought to be getting a second high-profile gig as the head of DreamWorks as well. Ultimately, he decided taking that on would be a bit much, but he's still going to find the time to steer these franchises in the right direction. However, it sounds like this is still very much in the planning stage and that they still have a lot of work to do before either character makes their way back to the big screen.
To date, the four Shrek movies and the Puss in Boots spin-off have made a combined $3.51 billion at the box office, peaking with Shrek 2 in 2004, which brought in $914 million. The last time we saw the famed ogre was in Shrek Forever After back in 2010, with Puss in Boots arriving the following year. The franchises have been sitting for the better part of a decade and it makes sense to dust them off, if DreamWorks can find a way to freshen things up without losing what made them work in the first place. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the projects are made available. This news was first reported by Vareity.