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After 'Puss in Boots' success, a new 'Shrek' film in the works with original stars expected to return

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By Josh Weiss
Shrek (2001)

DreamWorks Animation is officially eyeing a return to the swamp! Sitting down with Variety to discuss the long Rainbow Road to The Super Mario Bros. Movie (out in theaters everywhere tomorrow), Illumination Entertainment founder/CEO Chris Meledandri — who also serves as a creative emissary to DreamWorks — revealed that a fifth Shrek movie is currently in active development. A continuation of the $4 billion Oscar-winning franchise has been in the works since 2018 when news first broke of a potential reboot.

RELATED: Stream Puss in Boots: The Last Wish right now on Peacock

“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 honor those core elements," said the Illumination head honcho. “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.”

To that end, the studio has begun courting the original voice actors, including Mike Myers (Shrek), Cameron Diaz (Fiona), and Eddie Murphy (Donkey). "We anticipate the cast coming back," Meledandri confirmed. "Talks are starting now, and every indication that we’ve gotten is there’s tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of the actors to return," he said.

And it's no fool's errand, either. In the last year alone, both Myers and Murphy have voiced interest in reprising the irascible ogre and motor-mouthed jackass, respectively. “It’s evidence of his strong enthusiasm for a role that he so brilliantly inhabited and really created alongside the artists at DreamWorks," Meledandri noted in reference to Murphy. "I found that comment to be very exciting."

Excitement over another chapter in Shrek saga has steadily increased since the wide release of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which not only brought back fan favorite supporting characters like Gingy and Pinocchio for brief cameo appearances, but also teased a full-on reunion with "old friends" in the kingdom of Far Far Away.

"We put that in in a hopeful way," The Last Wish co-director Joel Crawford told SYFY WIRE over Zoom earlier this year. "We love the Shrek universe [and] we’re so happy to be able to continue Puss in Boots' story. We were really hopeful of, ‘If audiences receive the movie and want more of the Shrek world and demand more, then we can go to Far Far Away. We don’t know any master plan. We were kind of like Perrito, we were like, ‘Let’s be hopeful!’"

The Super Mario Bros. Movie warps onto the big screen tomorrow — Wednesday, April 5. Tickets are on sale here!

Shrek, Shrek 2, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish are currently streaming on Peacock.