File this under the no-joke category as well, for I am a day late on this one.
Shrek, Shrek, Shrek...
Some 15 years ago, it seemed like the green ogre was the face of mainstream animation. All the newcomers wanted to follow its model, while oddly ignoring the Pixar model. Forget that it actually had a solid story, competitors thought its edgy sense of humor and potty jokes were the key to a hugely successful animated film. Naturally, that went belly up for them, and for originator DreamWorks as well.
Though Shrek kept going strong, probably because... You know... The likability of the characters. For as much ribbing as I give Shrek, I will admit that I found its story and characters to be pretty strong, and it's often a very funny and quotable movie. Shrek 2 may be uneven to me, but there are things I like about it, and I can see why it was such a big success back when it came out. Shrek the Third did little with the characters and world, and consequently the film had weak legs at the box office. Shrek Forever After was alright. Perhaps they put it to rest at the right time. Puss in Boots surprised a lot of folk, including me. I'm still waiting for that sequel to happen, I'd take that over Shrek 5.
About Shrek 5. It's still a go. Writer Michael McCullers, who recently penned the studio's The Boss Baby and is known for his work on the Austin Powers series, said in an interview that the script is done.
I finished that script which I really, really, really love. It’s really personal to me. It’s got a pretty big reinvention behind it that I guess I can’t really reveal, but since DreamWorks was sold to Universal in that time for over $3 billion, I imagine they’re particularly interested in it stepping up and actually figuring out the future of the franchise in that way on the corporate level. Reinvention was sort of called for.
Big reinvention, eh?
Well, what more can you do with the green ogre, really? What more can you do with his modern medieval fairy tale-esque setting? Shrek Forever After at least tried to do something kind of fun, even if it ended up being a rather flat and paint-by-numbers movie. So what now? Shrek in Space? Shrek Visits an Alternate Dimension? Shrek Time Travels? I know there's stuff to make fun of, especially current Disney films, but... That's routine for Shrek. To me, they need to really try something new, so why not just do something cool and a bit impossible?
Really, I can take Shrek 5 or leave it. I didn't ask for it, I'm sure most of us didn't, but Comcast, franchises, you know? Shrek 5 has been on the table since the days DreamWorks' raft had holes poked in it, and I'm sure the heads at Comcast want one. Me? I want that Arabian Nights-centric Puss in Boots 2 to happen soon, but I think that has probably gone the way of the dodo as well.
With that all said, I have a feeling this thing will be out sometime in 2020. If not that year, then definitely 2021, just in time for the series' 20th anniversary. 2020, coincidentally, will be the year the original book - William Steig's Shrek! - turns 30. Outside of us folk, I wonder who even knows that Shrek was a book.
What say you on Shrek 5?