‘Shrek 5’ in the works, Donkey spinoff movie teased by Illumination CEO

Chris Meledandri says he's in negotiations to bring original "Shrek" actors Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers and Cameron Diaz back for a fifth film.

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“Shrek” fans are in for some good news. Chris Meledandri, Illumination founder and CEO, teased that a fifth “Shrek” film is in the works while teasing a possible spinoff with Eddie Murphy’s character, Donkey.

Meledandri spoke with Variety about Illumination’s forthcoming animation film projects, particularly “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” He stated that he desires to reboot the “Shrek” film franchise with DreamWorks Animation and bring back the original cast members, including Murphy, Mike Myers, and Cameron Diaz.

He said developing a new “Shrek” film is similar to what the company did in adapting “Mario” for the big screen. He told Variety that “you look at what the core elements are that audiences have loved, and you do your very best to honor those core elements.” The next step in the process, he said, is to work hard to “build story elements and new characters that take you to brand new places. Using the original cast members, he said, “is a huge part of that.”

Special Screening Of Universal Pictures' "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" - Arrivals
Chris Meledandri (right), CEO of Illumination, with a guest Saturday at a special screening in Los Angeles of “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” Meledandri said he is optimistic original “Shrek” stars will return for “Shrek 5”. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

Meledandri said negotiations with the actors have already begun. He is optimistic the stars will all return for another film. “We anticipate the cast coming back,” Meledandri continued. “Talks are starting now,” he said, noting that from everything he’s heard, the actors have indicated “tremendous enthusiasm” to return to their roles.

Murphy has expressed an eagerness to return to play Donkey in another “Shrek” film. He also stated that he would be down for a Donkey film after the success of the franchise’s “Puss in Boots” spinoff films.

“If [DreamWorks] ever came with another ‘Shrek,’ I’d do it in two seconds. I love Donkey,” Murphy told ETalk back in January, after the 2022 installment, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish’” When that movie was released, he said, “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, who also is a DreamWorks Animation creative partner, said he was “thrilled” when he heard Murphy’s comments, stating that the Emmy-winning comedian could “without question” carry a solo Donkey film.

He said Murphy’s remarks were proof of the actor’s excitement about “a role that he so brilliantly inhabited” and, in fact, created in coordination with other Dream Works artists. “I found that comment to be very exciting,” he added.

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