Similar to when Disney bought Lucasfilm and immediately launched into an expanded Star Wars franchise, Comcast's NBC Universal is looking to do the same with their newly-acquired Dreamworks Animation studio. That means reviving their greatest cash cow of all, Shrek, which debuted fifteen years ago (!!!) and hasn't had a sequel since 2010's awful Shrek Forever After.
Speaking with investors, NBCU chief Steve Burke announced that Illumination Entertainment's Chris Meledandri (of Despicable Me fame) will be helping to "resurrect" Shrek and other Dreamworks franchises while launching new ones. It's an easy decision for them to make for obvious reasons. The Shrek movies earned nearly $3B worldwide and launched an animated series, theme park rides, Broadway shows, video games, and sold bushels of merchandise. And it's already got a whole Shrek cinematic universe started thanks to the Puss in Boots spinoff that earned $550M in 2011.
Will Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Eddie Murphy return to voice the lead trio? Kind of hard to imagine Shrek without them, isn't it? Let's just hope they find a solid reason to bring Shrek back, rather than just doing it to sell more stuff. Dreamworks let things get out of control after Shrek 2, expanding that world to such a degree that the characters you wanted to see were marginalized. Maybe Meledandri can bring a little bit of focus. [Deadline]