Everything old is new again, especially for Illumination. Whether it’s working in sequels to its franchises like Despicable Me or Sing!, or this week’s release of the Nintendo nostalgia trip that is The Super Mario Bros. Movie, the animation studio du jour has a lot on its plate, most of it continuations of familiar tales. That’s also the case for a fifth Shrek movie, apparently.
Speaking to Variety about the long-awaited release of the new Mario film, Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri also teased the plans the studio has as part of its collaboration with Dreamworks to revitalize the Shrek series, with the original cast from the 2001 fantasy comedy being pitched on a return for Shrek 5.
“It’s not that dissimilar to the process that we went through with Mario where you look at what the core elements are that audiences have loved, and you do your very best to honour those core elements,” Meledandri told Variety of Illumination and Dreamworks’ plans. “And then you’re hard at work to build story elements and new characters that take you to brand new places. The original cast is a huge part of that.”
Not only did Meledandri note that negotiations were underway with the original Shrek cast members to return for the film — noting that “every indication that we’ve gotten is there’s tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of the actors to return.” He also teased that beyond Shrek 5 there’s potential for another spinoff in the form of a standalone movie based around Eddie Murphy’s Donkey in the wake of the surprise success of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, reflecting on comments Murphy himself made about a desire for a standalone movie of his own.
With the Mario movie already predicted to make Nintendo and Illumination plenty Question Blocks’ worth of gold coins this weekend, it’s probably safe to say that Illumination is going to have the cache to throw around for its Shrek 5 plans and beyond soon enough.
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