Boasting a reunion with an absent father figure in Bryan Cranston’s Li and a marauding supernatural villain in J.K. Simmons’ Kai, it’s little wonder why Kung Fu Panda 3 is garnering early buzz for being the biggest (and possibly best) installment in the animation series to date.
Set for a release at the tail-end of January, franchise stalwarts Alessandro Carloni and Jennifer Yuh are back at the helm to direct, and the pair recently spoke with Collider about the dedication needed to craft a worthy sequel all the while teasing what lies ahead for Po and his ass-kicking crew of martial arts experts.
We always try to make the very best movie that we’re working on. It’s one at a time. We want to make this a perfect jewel, and then we’ll see what happens after that. Right now, we’re really focused on making this the best film possible. We want to be proud of our work and make sure it’s worth the talent of the animators, who spent four years of their love, sweat and tears on it.
DreamWorks is evidently hedging its bets before committing to a long-term plan for the Kung Fu franchise. This is, after all, the same animation studio that exercised restraint – a move born out of necessity – almost a year ago when it cut jobs and realigned its slate to host just two films per year. However, word from The Hollywood Reporter suggests that the company’s stock is on the up on the eve of the sequel’s release.
Welcoming back Jack Black in the role of the wonderfully clumsy Dragon Warrior, Kung Fu Panda 3 boasts quite the ensemble cast in Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, James Hong, Randall Duk Kim, Bryan Cranston, and Kate Hudson, who replaced Pitch Perfect alum Rebel Wilson in the role of Mei Mei due to scheduling conflicts.
DreamWorks Animation will release Kung Fu Panda 3 into the wild and into theaters on January 29. But will the series have a future in film beyond the threequel?