Shrek 5 is now in development at DreamWorks Animation. Since 1994, the studio has proven itself as a viable competitor alongside Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios. Their more contemporary approach to children’s animated features has brought them numerous hits over the years, and much of that is thanks to their unconventional fairy tale franchise.
The last time we saw everyone’s favorite ogre on the big screen was in the incredibly forgettable Shrek Forever After (or Shrek: The Final Chapter). Obviously, in an era where classic franchises are being brought back for today’s audience thanks to the nature of nostalgia, the return of Shrek was inevitable.
While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, The Boss Baby screenwriter Michael McMullers revealed the status of the fifth installment of the series:
Shrek 5 is being developed. I finished that script, which I really, really, really love. It’s really personal to me. It’s got a pretty big reinvention behind it that I guess I can’t really reveal, but since DreamWorks was sold to Universal in that time for over $3 billion, I imagine they’re particularly interested in it stepping up and actually figuring out the future of the franchise in that way on the corporate level. Reinvention was sort of called for. There’s been four movies and a lot of material, so the characters are pretty beloved and they’re great characters, but you also have to think of a pretty new take at that point.
When it was released in 2001, Shrek enthralled audiences worldwide with its jabs at classic fairy tale tropes – particularly in how Disney has portrayed them in their animated library. It was definitely a not-so-subtle parody of Disney, where DreamWorks co-founder Jeffrey Katzenberg used to serve as chairman. Shrek would then spawn three sequels and a Puss in Boots spinoff.
How can you reinvent a story that an entire generation of audiences already know? All the children who saw the first Shrek have grown up. It’s obvious that the film will make enough money to buy Shrek and Fiona all the swamps in the land, but will this reinvention of the franchise truly be worthwhile? Or is Shrek 5 destined to fall into the trappings of what made Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After such major steps backwards from the incredible first two films? It looks like fans just have to wait and see.
DreamWorks’ newest film, The Boss Baby is in theaters now. Their next film, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie will fly into theaters on June 2.