Will there ever be a ‘Shrek 5’?

DreamWorks

The Shrek films have become a cult obsession in the years since the first release hit theaters. Four movies and a massive number of memes, TikToks, and internet trends later, Shrek is one of the most popular franchises among Gen Z and Millennial audiences. The films have become one of the most persisting trends online, with some moments rising nearly to the annals of meme history alongside Rick Astley’s song “Never Gonna Give You Up.”

It’s been over a decade since audiences were last graced with a fresh Shrek release, leaving fans of the grouchy ogre yearning for more. News of a potential fifth Shrek film has been floating around for years, but will we ever truly see a return to Duloc and Far Far Away?

Will Shrek 5 ever happen?

Between 2001 and 2011, audiences were graced with four main Shrek films and Puss in Boots, a spin-off in the same world. A few holiday specials add to the Shrek collection, but no new additions have joined these crowd favorites in far too long. Despite a lack of new movies, the series has only become more popular over the years, transforming from a rather dried-out and fading franchise in 2011 to a cult classic in 2022. Countless shout-outs to the film litter the web, and people continuously laud the films as “timeless” classics that helped shape millions of childhoods.

News of a potential Shrek 5 spread throughout the 2010s, enticing fans but never coming to fruition. Scattered reports seemed to confirm that a fifth installment would eventually happen, but any steps toward actually creating the film seemed largely absent.

Then news broke in 2018 that Shrek 5 was definitely a go. The film was reportedly shifting from DreamWorks to Illumination but would remain under NBC Universal’s control and thus, would hopefully retain the soul of the first four films. Unfortunately, the years since have seen achingly little progress made toward a final product, dimming hopes that Shrek 5 will ever see the light of day.

In 2016, reports claimed that Shrek 5 was in active development, according to Screen Rant. However, any progress may have slowed in the following years and likely halted entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that cities are largely reopened and deaths are down, progress may resume on the highly anticipated flick.

Any concrete news surrounding a genuine fifth Shrek installment is nonexistent, but fans of the franchise retain high hopes. NBC Universal would be well served in releasing another Shrek installment, given the franchise’s cult status. A Shrek 5 would be almost guaranteed success, if only for the meme potential. People would definitely show up to see this movie, making it far more likely to be pursued. Chances are pretty good that we’ll eventually get a Shrek 5, but the timetable is far less certain. We could have a few more years to wait for a return to Shrek’s swamp and Far Far Away, but hopes are sky-high that at least one more journey into the weird, magical world of Shrek is to come.