Although the last Shrek film is less than ten years old, it’s becoming clear that a decade is practically a lifetime in Hollywood, as Variety is reporting that Universal has decided to revisit the lucrative franchise and that a full Shrek reboot is in the works.
Chris Meledandri, the man behind the Despicable Me and Minions franchises, has been tapped to oversee the reboot. He’s been described as “the most powerful man in animation”, oversees his own Illumination Entertainment, and remains a senior advisor to DreamWorks animation, both now owned by Universal after a multi-million dollar buyout in 2016.
In addition to Shrek, a Puss In Boots reboot is also part of the package. Meledandri told Variety that despite the plan to tell brand new stories, he wants to keep the iconic original voice cast of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas intact:
“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 characterisations. 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”.
There are currently no story details available but Meledandri added: “There’s a tremendous amount of fun to be had in that world, but it’s a high bar […] You want to find something in the narrative that really feels like a departure”.
Shrek quickly became a bit of a phenomenon after the first two movies in the early 2000s before cooling off, only to find a new wave of popularity through internet memes. It’s hardly a surprising decision that a studio wants more movies from a popular franchise, but bringing back the original voice cast isn’t going to help fans see this as much of a reboot.
We’ll wait and see where this goes. But it has become clear that it’s never too soon for a reboot; anything that was ever popular and is not currently making a studio money is in line for a fresh coat of paint and a whole new set of films.