A shakeup was inevitable when Universal acquired DreamWorks Animation. When you spend a lot of money on a company (a whopping $3.8 billion), if you’re smart, your first question will be: how can I make even more money back? This was Universal’s first question, and as DreamWorks’ biggest franchise is Shrek, they’ve decided that cash cow still has a tiny bit of milk left in its udders and announced a fifth instalment for 2019. This means it will arrive a full nine years after 2010’s Shrek Forever After, which was extensively marketed as The Final Chapter and went on to gross over $750 million.
Jeffrey Katzenberg confirms Shrek 5.
The announcement comes from Jeffrey Katzenberg (CEO of DreamWorks Animation), who has previously stated that five films have been the plan from the beginning. Of the upcoming fifth #Film, he said, “In the last chapter, we will understand how Shrek came to be in that swamp when we meet him in the first movie.” This sounds like a nice way to bring the story and the character full circle, but we’ve heard the term “last chapter” before. Katzenberg’s going to get a reputation as the boy who cried “last chapter.” Not to mention that the story of how Shrek came to live in the swamp isn’t the story that needs to be told. The story that needed to be told (and has been told) is that of how Shrek the crotchety, friendless ogre went from being a shut-in faced with pitchforks to falling in love, making new friends, and raising a family. That’s the more interesting story, and they’ve already told it. To go back and show how he came to the swamp is just a step backward.
No word yet on whether Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Eddie Murphy et al will be returning, but it’s assumed, since without them, Shrek 5 would be a bit of a pointless endeavour. Another reason to assume they’ll be back is the payday they’ll each receive from DreamWorks, along with box office points, and in today’s market of long-gestating, much-anticipated sequels, Shrek 5 is bound to be the first in the series to top $1 billion (although the second came very close, an impressive feat back in 2004).
Edgar Wright's Shadows also coming in 2019.
The announcement also included Shadows, directed by Edgar Wright who will be co-writing with David Walliams, slated for another 2019 release, indicating that 2019 will be the year DreamWorks kicks off its new two-films-a-year release schedule with it being released alongside the new Shrek. The film is reportedly a revival of Me and My Shadow, which DreamWorks cancelled in 2013, about the frustrated shadow of the most boring man in the world. It’s not yet clear whether Wright will put a new spin on the story or stick with the original version.