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‘Shrek 5’ Returns in July 2026 with Myers, Murphy and Diaz

Long live Shrek! Universal Pictures has announced that “Shrek 5” is officially in development and set for release on July 1, 2026.

The “Shrek” franchise, which consists of four feature films released between 2001 and 2010, turned DreamWorks Animation into a powerhouse studio. The original “Shrek” grossed $487 million globally, making it the first Oscar winner in the animated feature category. “Shrek 2” was even more successful, grossing $928 million and competing for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Though “Shrek the Third” and “Shrek Forever After” did not garner as much acclaim as their predecessors, they still managed significant worldwide earnings of $813 million and $752 million, respectively.

As reported by Variety in 2018, Universal tasked Illumination founder Chris Meledandri with overseeing a revival of the “Shrek” and “Puss in Boots” franchises. Meledandri emphasized the importance of the original vocal performances, which starred Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz. According to Meledandri, these performances were crucial to the films’ success and should not be altered.

“When you look back on those vocal performances, they’re awesome. While you could make a case for a complete reinvention, I find myself wanting to return to those characterizations,” Meledandri said. “The challenge for us has been to find something that really does feel like it’s not simply yet another film in a series of sequels.”

The “Shrek” franchise also includes “Puss in Boots” spinoff titles. The most recent, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” opened in December 2022 and was a box office hit, grossing $484 million globally. The film also picked up an Oscar nomination for best animated feature.

The success of “The Last Wish” reignited interest in a potential fifth “Shrek” movie. In January 2023, Donkey voice actor Eddie Murphy expressed his eagerness to return, saying, “If [DreamWorks] ever came with another ‘Shrek,’ I’d do it in two seconds. I love Donkey. They did ‘Puss in Boots’ movies. I was like, they should have done a Donkey movie. Donkey is funnier than Puss in Boots. I mean, I love Puss in Boots, but he ain’t funny as the Donkey.”

Meledandri told Variety in April 2023 that Murphy’s enthusiasm for the role was exciting and indicative of how much he cherished playing Donkey. “It’s evidence of his strong enthusiasm for a role that he so brilliantly inhabited and really created alongside the artists at DreamWorks. I found that comment to be very exciting.”

When asked if Donkey could support his own film, Meledandri responded, “Without question.” He also expressed a desire to see the return of the original voice cast, which includes Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy, for “Shrek 5.”

Though no deals were in place at the time, Meledandri mentioned that negotiations with the three actors were going well. “We anticipate the cast coming back. Talks are starting now, and every indication that we’ve gotten is there’s tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of the actors to return,” he said in April.

Source: Variety