Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Not Ogre: 'Shrek 5' and DreamWorks Slate Details Surface?
What a stream of news and reports we're getting on DreamWorks these days...
It should come as no surprise, for Comcast is acquiring the animation house at the end of the year to the tune of $3.8 billion. Of course, we're going to see some course correction here and there...
Interestingly enough, discussion on a fifth Shrek installment is going on again. A fifth Shrek has been talked about a few years, mostly by former DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg himself. It seemed right, for back then, DreamWorks was suffering with lots of money-losing pictures. Also, the first Shrek is going to turn 20 in five years... Cash in on that nostalgia!
The talks are back on. NBCUniversal head honcho Steve Burk, according to Deadline, said to investors that the plan is to revive Shrek with a fifth film. As expected, Illumination chief Chris Meledandri will oversee this and have creative control. Perhaps he and his brass crew, whatever writers/directors they get, can breathe new life into the franchise? I actually didn't mind Shrek Forever After, a nice break from the pop culture snark overload of Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third (unpopular opinion, I know), it felt like a straightforward what-if adventure with the Shrek crew.
If you ask me, I want Puss in Boots 2 more. That is, if the movie is still going to have the Arabian Nights setting.
(On a side note, DreamWorks' little Shrek mockery of the election on Twitter is pretty fun stuff.)
There's also a passage that I think is being taken out of context...
"Comcast hopes to breathe new life into Shrek and crank out as many as four animated movies a year following its acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, NBCUniversal chief Steve Burke told an investor gathering today."
Some have read this as "DreamWorks will make four animated films every calendar year". I don't think this is so. I honestly think they mean: Four features in all - 2 from DreamWorks, 2 from Illumination, Universal's animation powerhouse. I highly, highly doubt DreamWorks will go back to making more than two in-house pictures every calendar year. Remember the ramifications? Yes, it's more complicated than just a few things like "it happened because THIS!" or "It happened because THAT!", but... I don't think any studio can juggle all of that. Heck, Disney Animation and Pixar - two studios normally on top of their game - can sometimes have productions issues with one picture every calendar year.
Things mostly go smooth for both because John Lasseter's a force to be reckoned with, but so is Meledandri, but even Illumination took some time to ease into making two pictures in one year. So far, the man has a knack for making hits, but Universal does a damn good job at making audiences want to pay to see these movies. (Hop was the anomaly here, but it didn't matter, for it cost a decent amount to make.)
But who knows at this point. I still want to know if all of the Fox-DreamWorks releases after Trolls will be ported over to Universal's distribution slate. With each new report and the hints they have, it seems like that will happen or already has happened.
What say you on Shrek 5? Do you think Deadline's article is being taken out of context? Sound off below!