For those clamoring for another visit to Shrek's beloved swamp, clamor no more! The last installment to the beloved CG-animated franchise entitled Shrek Forever After was released in 2010 and although it earned an impressive $752 million at the box office, it was the lowest-earning installment of the Shrek franchise. Despite this, the franchise has maintained its presence in the public eye with various holiday shorts and a wildly popular #PussInBoots spin-off.
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With the resurgence of beloved properties receiving the reboot treatment such as #PowerRangers and the Oceans franchise, it was only a matter of time until we received word of a new Shrek feature. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, #TheBossBaby screenwriter Michael McCullers confirmed that a fifth film is in development and he even has a finished script that he "really, really, really [loves]"!
He continues to state the film will receive a "big reinvention" and I am insanely curious to see what that entails:
"Shrek 5 is being developed. I finished that script, which I really, really, really love. It’s really personal to me. It’s got a pretty big reinvention behind it that I guess I can’t really reveal, but since DreamWorks was sold to Universal in that time for over $3 billion, I imagine they’re particularly interested in it stepping up and actually figuring out the future of the franchise in that way on the corporate level."
McCullers, whose previous writing credits include the two latter #AustinPowers films, acknowledges the need for reinvention if they want to keep the continuing franchise fresh:
"Reinvention was sort of called for. There’s been four movies and a lot of material, so the characters are pretty beloved and they’re great characters, but you also have to think of a pretty new take at that point."
Possible New Directions: Will Shrek and Donkey Still be the Stars?
The Shrek franchise, particularly that first one, was pretty ground-breaking in terms of what we were used to seeing in children's movies. The film approached fairy tale tropes with winking humor and Smash Mouth tunes - and really, what more would one need for a monstrous franchise?
However, the possible reinvention could mean that Shrek and Donkey will no longer be the stars of the franchise. Throughout the sequels, new characters have been introduced including #JustinTimberlake's Arthur Pendragon in Shrek The Third and Prince Charming's awesomely villainous mother, flawlessly voiced by Jennifer Saunders.
If the future installments stick to new adventures featuring the Shrek family, they could potentially follow Shrek and Donkey's children as they grow (and hopefully take after their mothers' physical traits). However, if we stick to typical animation trope, characters might not have aged since Shrek Forever After, meaning the babies will continue to be adorable and we will bear witness to more spousal conflicts between Shrek and Fiona.
Focusing on an entirely new cast of characters may be slightly jarring at first, however I will place my faith in the writers and hope they somehow manage to develop another Shrek 2, a prime example of a sequel that is better than its incredible original.
There is no official release date set yet, but Shrek 5 is expected to release sometime in 2019.
Where do you want to see the Shrek franchise go for #5? More Smash Mouth, right? Let me know in the comments below!