Shrek 5 set for 2026 featuring original cast including Mike Myers Cameron Diaz

Shrek 5 set for 2026 featuring original cast including Mike Myers Cameron Diaz

We’re heading back to the swamp. DreamWorks Animation has officially announced that “Shrek 5” is in development, with a release date set for July 1, 2026. Fans of the beloved franchise will be thrilled to know that original stars Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz are all confirmed to return.

DreamWorks Animation shared the exciting news on social media, accompanied by a teaser clip featuring Smash Mouth’s iconic hit “All Star,” which famously played during the opening credits of the first “Shrek” movie. The teaser ends with a tagline, “The All-Star Returns,” as a big, green number five with Shrek ears bounces around the screen.

Antonio Banderas, who voiced the feisty feline Puss in Boots, has not yet been confirmed to return. “Shrek 5” will be directed by Walt Dohrn, who has a long history with the franchise, having worked as a writer and artist on “Shrek 2” and “Shrek the Third,” and as head of story on “Shrek Forever After.” Dohrn also voiced Rumpelstiltskin in the fourth film. Brad Ableson, known for directing “Minions: The Rise of Gru,” will serve as co-director.

The film will be produced by Gina Shay, a franchise returner, and Chris Meledandri, the founder of Illumination. Meledandri is also the powerhouse producer behind the “Despicable Me” franchise and “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.”

Eddie Murphy had previously hinted at the development of “Shrek 5” during a press tour for Netflix’s “Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.” He revealed that he had already begun voice recording for the film and mentioned the possibility of a Donkey spinoff movie. “We started doing [‘Shrek 5’] months ago,” Murphy told Collider. “I did this. I recorded the first act, and we’ll be doing it this year, we’ll finish it up. ‘Shrek’ is coming out and Donkey’s gonna have his own movie. We’re gonna do Donkey as well. So we’re gonna do a ‘Shrek,’ and we’re doing a Donkey [movie].”

The “Shrek” franchise has been a significant success for DreamWorks Animation, with four feature films released between 2001 and 2010. The original “Shrek” turned DreamWorks into a powerhouse studio, grossing $487 million worldwide and becoming the first Oscar winner in the animated feature category. “Shrek 2” grossed an impressive $928 million. Both films competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. While “Shrek the Third” and “Shrek Forever After” received less acclaim, they still managed to gross $813 million and $752 million worldwide, respectively. The “Puss in Boots” spinoffs were also theatrical hits, grossing $555 million and $484 million.

In 2018, Variety reported that Universal Pictures had tasked Meledandri with overseeing a revival of the “Shrek” and “Puss in Boots” franchises. Meledandri was adamant about retaining the original vocal performances, which he credited as being key to the films’ success. “When you look back on those vocal performances, they’re awesome, and while you certainly could make a case for a complete reinvention, I find myself responding to my own nostalgic feelings of wanting to go back 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 of which, “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” opened in theaters in December 2022. The film was a box office hit, grossing $484 million worldwide, and it 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, Murphy expressed his enthusiasm for returning to the role of Donkey, 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 was thrilled by Murphy’s comments, stating, “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 his desire to see the return of the original voice cast, including Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and Murphy, for “Shrek 5.” Although no deals were in place at the time, Meledandri said negotiations with the 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.

Universal Pictures has set a July 1, 2026 release date for “Shrek 5,” giving the celebrated animation franchise a prime launchpad over the July Fourth US holiday weekend. This marks the first entry in the 23-year-old series since “Shrek Forever After” came out in 2010. Myers will reprise his role as the eponymous green ogre, while Diaz, who has returned to acting after a long hiatus, will play Princess Fiona, and Murphy will once again voice Shrek’s sidekick, Donkey.

The four “Shrek” films have collectively earned $2.9 billion worldwide, making the franchise one of the most successful in animation history. With the return of the original cast and the creative team behind the scenes, “Shrek 5” is poised to bring the magic of the swamp back to theaters in 2026.

Source: DreamWorks Animation, Collider, Variety

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