This is the year for nostalgia with reboots of classic childhood films! After the news of a Harry Potter series, makers of the Shrek franchise have confirmed that Shrek, Princess Fiona, Donkey and the kingdom of Far Far Away are making their way back to movie screens – with *fingers crossed* the original cast in place!
In conversation with Variety about the upcoming animated film The Super Mario Bros. Movie, Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri revealed that he and DreamWorks Animation intend to revive the Shrek franchise and develop Shrek 5 with original voice actors Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy.
"It's not that dissimilar to the process that we went through with Mario, where you look at what the core elements are that audiences have loved, and you do your very best to honour those core elements," Meledandri told the outlet. "And then you're hard at work to build story elements and new characters that take you to brand new places. The original cast is a huge part of that."
Meledandri, however, added that none of the series' three main stars have signed on for a new Shrek movie yet, but negotiations are underway. “Every indication that we've gotten is there's tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of the actors to return,” he said, hopeful for their fifth film to have the same feel as the last four.
Murphy, who plays Donkey in the iconic franchise, in an interview with Etalk in January said that he would reprise his role "in two seconds." When asked about those comments, Meledandri told Variety that Murphy's interest in returning shows "his strong enthusiasm for a role that he so brilliantly inhabited and really created alongside the artists at DreamWorks."
Meledandri does not just believe that Murphy would return for Shrek 5 but is also hopeful for a spin-off movie for the character. “I found that comment to be very exciting. I believe Donkey could warrant a spinoff movie similar to the two Puss in Boots movies,” he said.
Myers, who voices Shrek in all four main films in the franchise, has also expressed interest in returning to the role. "I loved playing Shrek," the 59-year-old actor told GQ during an interview last year. "If I had to do one Shrek a year, I'd be thrilled."
Variety previously reported in 2018 that Universal Pictures had appointed Meledandri in charge of future Shrek projects, however, the project is still in its initial phases. A timetable for when a potential Shrek 5 may release isn’t determined yet.