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Shrek 5: Everything We Know About The Movie So Far

In 2001, the landscape of animated films changed forever when Shrek premiered. A clever amalgamation of wry adult comedy and bucolic, kid-friendly whimsy, it put a twist on the fairytale format with outrageous trope-smashing characters, a catchy soundtrack, and a wonderful message of self-discovery. It was swiftly followed by Shrek 2 in 2002, Shrek the Third in 2007, and most recently Shrek Forever After in 2010. Shrek 5 was announced all the way back in 2016, but news of its development has been quiet in the years since.

RELATED: The 5 Best (& 5 Worst) Animated Movies From The 2000s

Currently, in development, the fifth installment in the popular franchise has had a difficult time of it, but fans will be excited to know that, as of now, it’s still happening. Despite alterations in direction and storylines, it seems to finally be coming out of purgatory for a release sometime in 2022. Here’s everything that’s known about the new Shrek movie, which could prove to be the most exciting Shrek yet!

Updated on July 27th, 2021 by Kayleena Pierce-Bohen: Though news about the popular fairytale parody has slowed, there are still glimmers of hope for fans that have been patiently waiting for a new Shrek movie for the last decade. Rumors about the plot as well as a tentative release date have kept it diligently in the news and on fans’ minds, even if production remains mostly shrouded in mystery. Whether Shrek 5 will follow familiar territory or offer something completely new for the franchise, it’s long overdue! 

10 It Could Be An All-New Shrek Story

Though he might be one of Dreamworks’ best characters, Shrek was an angry misanthrope who preferred to live in his swamp and eschew social interaction until a talking donkey and a quest to save a princess derailed his plans to “die miserable and alone”. After he married Fiona and they created their own family, it seemed like even ogres could have a happily ever after.

So what could break the peaceful tranquility of their bucolic lifestyle in a new Shrek movie? Teenagers. According to DevDiscourse, Shrek 5 could focus on Shrek and Fiona’s hectic life raising a bunch of teenagers. If they’re even half as stubborn as their parents, their antics will no doubt make for highly entertaining -and ornery- cinema.

9 Shrek 5 Could Be Reinvent The Franchise

Shrek And Donkey Confused

Despite four prior films, Shrek 5 is rumored to not be picking up where Shrek Forever After left off. Instead, it could be its own stand-alone adventure that will tangentially be connected to the series. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, writer Michael McCullers explained that “it’s got a pretty big reinvention behind it” that he can’t reveal, but seems like it could tread into reboot territory.

RELATED: 5 Ways The Shrek Franchise Aged Well (& 5 Why It Didn’t)

It would be difficult to imagine a reboot of the film, especially if a new cast was assembled to portray the beloved characters. If it’s a stand-alone film that only features the characters in cameos and instead tells a different story in the Kingdom of Duloc, that might be more acceptable to longtime fans.

8 It Could Star The Original Cast

Since the release of Shrek Forever After in 2010, the original cast has been ready and waiting to continue the further adventures of Shrek, Fiona, Donkey, and the rest of the colorful inhabitants of the Kingdom of Duloc.

Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz had stated that they would do a new Shrek movie whenever a script was finally ready, which is an impressive commitment for actors who have had to wait a decade to get their wish. Diaz’s widely publicized retirement from acting in 2014 to raise a family might mean that Fiona will have to be written out of the story.

7 The Script Has Been Ready For Years

The writer of such acclaimed comedies as Boss Baby and other Dreamworks productions has had a script for Shrek 5 ready for the last several years. Though Michael McCullers has mentioned the franchise a few times in interviews for his other popular franchises, he’s stated very little about the actual plot.

In the same interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained that the script remains personal and means a lot to him. Acknowledging that at this point, the script is more than a few years old, it will most likely need to go through revisions, especially since so many members of the creative team have probably had to change.

6 It’s Intended To Reinvigorate The Franchise

Shrek Poster

Shrek debuted over two decades ago, and in Hollywood years, that passage of time signals the chance for a franchise resuscitation. According to prodigious studios like Universal and Dreamworks, Shrek 5 was intended to do just that.

RELATED: The 10 Weirdest Things That The Shrek Franchise Has Inspired

Universal acquired Dreamworks, and it’s unclear how much of the Dreamworks vision will still be incorporated into the new Shrek movie. However Universal proceeds with it, it’s intended to make nostalgic fans excited as well as garner a new generation of fans.

5 Production Is Currently Stalled

Like many projects in Hollywood, the Covid-19 pandemic stalled production on Shrek 5, with information about its continuing timetable vague. It was scheduled to go into production in 2020, then in 2021, but that may not even happen until 2022.

Studios can proceed with their scheduled productions provided they can afford the cost of rapid viral testing being administered daily to their crew, a concern that Universal Studios may very well be weighing. The length of time the pandemic stalls its production may mean the difference between the new Shrek movie being the sequel to a beloved franchise or a reboot for a change of pace.

4 Shrek 5’s Release Date Has Been Pushed Back (Again)

Shrek In Jail

Originally Shrek 5 had a release date of late 2020, but then production wasn’t expected to start until then, making a release date of 2021 more likely. As production still hadn’t started yet due to precautions surrounding the global health pandemic, the release date had been pushed back yet again to accommodate a robust animated schedule.

More than ever, it’s looking more likely that if the new Shrek movie doesn’t even begin production until 2021, it will receive a late 2022 release date. Looper reports it will hit theaters on September 30th, 2022, followed by streaming platforms in November. At the height of the franchise’s popularity, a new Shrek movie was released every 3 years. It’s difficult to say whether interest in the film will continue to mount with each new release date change.

3 The New Shrek Was Almost Live-Action

Brian D'Arcy James as Shrek and Sutton Foster as Fiona in Shrek the Musical

Several years ago, there were rumors circling Shrek 5 that it was going to be made into a live-action film, based in part on the success of Disney creating live-action remakes of their popular animated films. Ultimately this idea wasn’t pushed forward, something fans can be happy about.

RELATED: The 10 Greatest Shrek Characters (& Their Best Quote)

Given the disastrous reception of a film like Cats, in which humanoid-looking anthropomorphic cats greatly disturbed viewers, it’s clear that no one would have wanted to see a live-action Shrek film with a CGI version of Donkey and Eddie Murphy fused together.

2 It Was Almost Cancelled Entirely

Shrek looking angry/confused

Due to the continuing debate about whether or not the fifth installment in the franchise should be a reboot, a sequel, a remake, or a live-action film, Shrek 5 was almost canceled entirely. Luckily, its creators had enough storylines and colorful characters across five Shrek films to complete the franchise.

However, because a consensus has yet to be reached concerning exactly what the new Shrek movie will be about and how it will be presented, it may have passed the danger of being canceled (as long as it’s not put into developmental purgatory in perpetuity).

1 Not A Lot Is Known About Shrek 5 Still

Though the past few years have allowed a few tantalizing pieces of information to be revealed long enough to get the rumor mill buzzing, there remains a great deal about Shrek 5 that isn’t known. Elsewhere behind the scenes, this could be due to internal developments with the creative team and account for nothing concrete emerging.

More information will need to find its way to the public to generate enough interest, because without a lot of news the franchise may stagnate. It runs the risk of not being packaged or marketed properly and a once-beloved series of movies, which entered the zeitgeist with a bang, will go out with a whimper.

NEXT: 5 Characters That Will Appear In The Shrek Reboot (& 5 That Will Be Forgotten About)

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