The Shrek universe is poised for a reboot… or a revival… or… just more!
Universal is looking to reintroduce lovable ogre Shrek and the swashbuckling feline hero to audiences with new films, and they’ve got the producer behind the Despicable Me franchise on board to shepherd the brand’s revival.
As first reported by Variety, Universal has hired Despicable Me producer Chris Meledandri, whose credits also include Despicable Me spinoff Minions, The Secret Life of Pets and the upcoming The Grinch, to find “some fresh story lines” to take Shrek and co. back to the big screen.
It’s early days on this, but Meledandri is reportedly keen to bring back the franchise’s voice cast, which included Michael Myers as Shrek, Eddie Murphy as Donkey, Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots and Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona.
“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,” Meledandri explained to Variety. “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.”
Comcast, Universal’s parent company, acquired DreamWorks Animation for $US3.8 billion back in 2016, and they’re no doubt keen to add another franchise to their animation hits (Universal co-owns Illumination, the studio behind the Despicable Me franchise). Combined, the four Shrek movies and the Puss in Boots spinoff film earned a massive $US3.5 billion worldwide (unadjusted figures).
As for now, Universal and Illumination’s eyes are on how well The Grinch performs. The potential franchise-starter features the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Dr. Seuss character. The film hits the US on November 9 and arrives in Australia on November 29.