by 👨💻 Graham Pierrepoint
Shrek is getting a reboot.
Shrek – arguably DreamWorks’ leading franchise of family-oriented animated movies – is set to be rebooted, according to an exclusive report by Brent Lang at Variety. The big green ogre and his hyperactive talking donkey sidekick have been at the center of four hugely popular movies over the past twenty years, and while it’s been some time since Mike Myers’ grouchy, grubby hero last stomped onto the big screen, many were led to believe we’d be seeing a fifth instalment in the franchise. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
Chris Meledandri, famous for bringing the likes of ‘Despicable Me’ and ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ to audiences via Illumination Studios, has been hired by Universal Pictures (who owns the Minions-touting brand) to offer up both Shrek and his second sidekick – Puss in Boots – to a whole new audience. Variety reports that the decision to apparently ‘reboot’ Shrek altogether comes only a few years after Comcast NBCUniversal purchased DreamWorks outright. For those keeping score, Comcast also attempted to purchase Fox earlier this year, only for Disney to ultimately win the bid.
▶ 'Despicable Me' Creator Will Reboot 'Shrek' Franchise
Meledandri was thought to have been in line to inherit DreamWorks after the merger, however, the producer has stated that while he ‘loves the process of making films’, he doesn’t think he’s ‘particularly great at managing companies’. Regardless, Universal appears to have set the animation stalwart a mammoth task – re-imagining Shrek for a new generation – though he seems keen to re-utilize the voice talents of the original franchise, Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz among them.
“When you look back on those vocal performances, they’re awesome,” Meledandri explains, “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’s a tremendous amount of fun to be had in that world, but (…) you want to find something in the narrative that really feels like a departure.”
In any case, it’s not clear when a whole new Shrek movie will land, but what we do know is that it will probably be fairly different in at least one way or another to what we’ve seen before. We’ll share more news soon!