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05th Apr 2023

Shrek 5 in the works with original cast set to return

Charlie Herbert

“We anticipate the cast coming back.”

Shrek 5 is in the works, and may well feature the original cast from the films. Undoubtedly one of the greatest animated film franchises of all time, a lot of Shrek’s popularity is owed to its A-list cast.

Whether it’s Mike Myers as the titular ogre, Eddie Murphy as Donkey, Cameron Diaz as Fiona or Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots, their characters simply wouldn’t be the same if voiced by anyone else. Well, fear not Shrek-lovers, as they may well all be returning.

Whilst we’ve known since 2017 that a new Shrek has been in the works and a script is ready, we’ve been told very little else about the project. But now, Illumination Entertainment founder and CEO Chris Meledandri has revealed the expectations for the upcoming film’s cast.

He explained that, similarly to the process the studio went through with the new Super Mario film, it was all about film creators looking at the core elements of a franchise that audiences loved. Speaking to Variety, he said:

“[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. 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.”

It sounds like the original cast members would be more than eager to return as well. Back in January, Murphy said he would return as Donkey for a Shrek film “in two seconds”, with Meledandri saying he was “thrilled” to hear Murphy’s comments”

“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,” he said.

Murphy isn’t the only one who’s openly spoken about the next Shrek film. Last year, Myers said he would be “thrilled” if he had to do one Shrek film a year, whilst Banderas told Deadline in November: “There is probably gonna be another [Puss In Boots movie], and Shrek is probably coming back.”

Shrek 5

Shrek 5 will be very different

Although the original cast look likely to be returning, it sounds like Shrek 5 will feel very different to previous films, and should perhaps be seen more as a reboot than a sequel. In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2017 to discuss the next Shrek film, screenwriter Michael McCullers teased:

“Shrek 5 is being developed. 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 reveal. 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. There’s been four movies and a lot of material, so the characters are pretty beloved and they’re great characters, but you also have to think of a pretty new take at that point.”

This follows the recent critical (95% on Rotten Tomatoes) and commercial ($442.5 million) success of Puss In Boots: The Last Wish.

This story originally appeared on