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Shrek 5 Possible Returning Cast, Development Details And More

"Shrek" celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2021, with the franchise comprising multiple canonical movies, a couple of big-screen spinoffs, and multiple TV specials and streaming series. And the journey isn't "ogre" yet. Fans might have more fairytale adventures to look forward to featuring the titular green monster, his waffles-loving best friend Donkey, and their fairy tale friends. 

In fact, the wait for another "Shrek" movie has been so long that "Shrek 5" will undoubtedly be met with some excitement across the board. It's been over 10 years since the last sequel, "Shrek Forever After," made us think that DreamWorks' hit franchise had completed its run, but the appetite to make more "Shrek" movies never went away. A fifth installment was announced in 2016, though it hasn't enjoyed the smoothest and swiftest journey to the screen thus far.

Filmmakers appear to still be amidst the very early stages of production, so that film will be coming along ... eventually. Here's all the news and developments for the still untitled fifth "Shrek" movie.

When will Shrek 5 be released?

Given that it's been over 10 years since "Shrek Ever After," the trajectory of "Shrek" releases has been disrupted. At the height of the franchise's popularity, new "Shrek" movies came along every three years, having been released in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010, respectively. 

Originally slated for a 2019 release, it's been all quiet on the "Shrek" front for a few years. According to Cinema Blend, Eddie Murphy (the voice of Donkey) previously publicly stated that "Shrek 5" could hit theaters in 2020, but that was more of an estimation than a concrete confirmation. According to Fandom, "Shrek 5" was reportedly scheduled for a September 30, 2022 release, indicated by a home media debut planned for the holiday 2022 season. The coronavirus pandemic and the WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes have undoubtedly stalled the film's progress, so it's currently unknown to the public just how far into production "Shrek 5" actually is. The positive news is that the project hasn't been cancelled and remains a work in progress. 

What is the plot of Shrek 5?

Despite the title proposing that the next movie will be a continuation of what came before, "Shrek 5" is a reboot that promises to reinvent the wheel. The filmmakers aren't interested in exploring familiar ground. But how they'll go about revamping things remains to be seen. 

"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," Chris Meledandri said in an interview with Variety. At the same time, the super producer isn't looking to forgot about what came before either, noting how he's still "nostalgic" for the old characterizations and the vocal performers who brought them to life. Similar comments were echoed by Mike McCullers, who described the reinvention as "pretty big." The screenwriter also revealed that the story is very "personal" to him, though he didn't spill the beans on what to expect from it.

It seems that the creators are keeping the details of the story close to the vest for now. The vague summary indicates that viewers can expect something completely different, but with the spirit of "Shrek" remaining intact to some degree.

Who is starring in Shrek 5?

Eddie Murphy's comments about the upcoming (but however indefinitely delayed) fifth "Shrek" essentially confirm that he'll reprise the role of Donkey in "Shrek 5." According to Radio Times, Mike Myers and Murphy are game to return to the franchise when and if they're asked. "If I had to do 'Shrek' a year, I'd be thrilled," Myers told GQ, while Murphy told Etalk (via EW) that he'd sign up for another installment "in two seconds." 

DreamWorks animation consultant Chris Meledandri told Variety in April 2023 that the company was in the midst of working out deals with core cast members. "Talks are starting now, and every indication that we've gotten is there's tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of the actors to return," Meledandri revealed.

The "Shrek" movies are a rogues gallery of characters from the world of fairytales, so it's highly probable that some fresh mythical beings will join the established players in "Shrek 5." Viewers can also bet money on Dragon making an appearance due to her relationship with Donkey, and it wouldn't be a "Shrek" movie without the Gingerbread Man stealing a scene or two.