Though many a fan would argue that the Shrek films should’ve called it quits after movie number two, it’s clear that if this series ever managed to rediscover the wit and irreverence that made these flicks so popular in the first place, then there’d be a lot of filmgoers who’d be keen to see the results. As it turns out, Universal Pictures has the same idea in mind, and Despicable Me creator Chris Meledandri is apparently the one charged with bringing back this fantasy franchise.
Variety reports that the producer aims to send the famed ogre and friends on some brand new adventures, but for those of you who dread the idea of new voices coming out of these characters, Meledandri offers his assurances that he wishes to bring back old cast members like Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Antonio Banderas.
“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,” said Meledandri. “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.”
So, it seems that Austin Powers may not be the only familiar role that Myers plans to reprise.
This development comes in the wake of Comcast purchasing DreamWorks for $3.8 billion back in 2016, putting the studio under the same ownership as Meledandri’s own competing Illumination Entertainment. But while there has previously been talk of the producer overseeing both companies, the CEO himself would rather focus on the quality of a select few projects than spread himself too thinly.
“The way in which I work with my team to make movies is very intensive and hands-on, and it really doesn’t allow me the opportunity to think about running a second operation,” says Meledandri. “I love the process of making films and working with artists. I don’t think I’m particularly great at managing companies.”
Not only is Meledandri planning to reinvigorate the Shrek films, but the 2011 spinoff Puss in Boots is also looking to get some form of a follow-up. As it stands, details remain vague about what exactly Meledandri’s got planned, but the producer is sounding pretty set on continuing this series in a way that amounts to more than just a retread of the older films
“There’s a tremendous amount of fun to be had in that world, but it’s a high bar to find a story that’s truly world,” said Meledandri. “You want to find something in the narrative that really feels like a departure.”
Stay tuned for further updates on the first entry in the series since 2010’s Shrek Forever After. In the meantime, Illumination’s next film The Grinch hits theaters on November 9th.