Only shooting stars break the mold... After four movies of arguably declining quality, the Shrek franchise is being rebooted at DreamWorks Animation, Variety has confirmed. That includes a reinvention of Puss in Boots as well.
The man that will revive the fairy tale swamp is Chris Meledandri, a powerful animation veteran who helped turn Blue Sky and Illumination into the powerhouses they are today via the first Ice Age and Despicable Me movies. Illumination Entertainment (founded by s Meledandri) and DreamWorks Animation (like SYFY WIRE) are both owned by NBCUniversal.
“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 told 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.”
The Shrek brand kicked off in 2001 with the first movie, which was hailed for being a genius subversion of the fairy tale genre, as well as a satirical look at the Walt Disney Company. After all, this was one of first big productions to be overseen by Jeffrey Katzenberg at his new production studio, following his less-than-amicable departure as head of Disney's own animation department.
Thanks to an all-star voice cast (Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow) and spot-on cultural jabs, Shrek soon became a pop culture icon, spawning three sequels — each one performing worse (with critics and at the box office) than the last. So, rebooting may be the best thing for the franchise, but Meledandri isn't quite sure how to best do it yet.
Maybe a prequel of the green-skinned ogre's childhood and his swamp-based exploits? Bringing the character back is a no-brainer, especially since he's become a viral Internet meme over the years, courtesy of 4chan green texts and Smash Mouth's "All Star."
“There’s a tremendous amount of fun to be had in that world, but it’s a high bar to find a story that’s truly [fitting of that] world,” he added. “You want to find something in the narrative that really feels like a departure.”