Wednesday, July 20, 2016
Moon and Globe: First Two Universal-Distributed DreamWorks Films Revealed?
It seems like DreamWorks is making some new plans...
According to a new Hollywood Reporter piece, the Comcast's acquisition of the moon boy studio is going by unusually fast... So fast that the deal could be sealed at the end of August! The question does remain, though... Will Chris Meledandri, head honcho of Illumination, really run DreamWorks? Apparently it's up in the air now...
Why's that? Meledandri is said to be conflicted on whether he should keep up his work with Illumination, or devote a lot of time to whole other studio? Does he pull a Lasseter? THR that he doesn't have an equivalent of Ed Catmull, or a "Brain Trust"-like group, so that could be a challenge to him. Chairman of Universal Pictures, Donna Langley, plans to keep the machine going until Mr. Meledandri makes a decision...
Universal plans on staying the course, with having two new DreamWorks films every calendar year. According to the writer's sources, the two films tentatively aiming for a 2019 release are that long talked about fifth Shrek installment and Shadows, the complete re-imagining of the ill-fated Me and My Shadow that Edgar Wright is now set to direct.
As much as many of us don't want Shrek part cinq, it's a logical step for DreamWorks. They're two years into their recovery period, with two animated features so far: One a modest success (Home) and the other a good-sized hit (Kung Fu Panda 3), and it's unknown how the rest of the Fox-distributed films - Trolls, The Boss Baby, Captain Underpants, The Croods 2, and How To Train Your Dragon 3 - will do at the box office. The TV end of things has been stepped up, so they have a little more backing them.
Shrek 5, if it hits in 2019, will probably gain from the nostalgic types. ("My childhood! Move outof the way kids, I've been waiting [xx] years to see this movie!") The first Shrek will turn 18 that year. I think it could get a big turnout, maybe not as big as Toy Story 3 and Finding Dory, but I still suspect it will do very well... Especially overseas. Shrek Forever After is the biggest installment in that department, regardless of its relatively soft domestic performance. Plus that Shrek theme park opened in London recently. There's still an audience out there, methinks.
No mention of where Larrikins falls into all of this, as Deadline has only mentioned months ago that the project is "expected" to shift from Fox to Universal. Has it? Will it? Who knows at this point, but it seems like production's going to fire up on it soon... We may get some answers once the acquisition finalizes.
Anyways, Shrek 5? Well, if they can do something cool and new with it, fine. I still like the first Shrek a great deal, Shrek 2's half funny half-cringeworthy schlock for 12-year-olds who think Family Guy is "adult" (I was 12 when it came out and thought it was so mature, I was an idiot back then), Shrek the Third was forgettable, and Shrek Forever After was just alright. More than anything, I want my Puss in Boots sequel!
Shadows... Well, it might not be the exciting 2D/CG hybrid story that Alessandro Carloni was going to give us, but it's got Edgar Wright at the helm and it's about your shadows. It sounds fun and neat, and hopefully they'll do something super-cool with it. This will be the first original to be made after Jeffrey Katzenberg steps back from the studio and focuses on tech/ancillary stuff, so maybe it'll give us a taste of what new direction the studio will go in.
What do you make of this news?