S. Morehead

S. Morehead

Shane Morehead, Entertainment Writer

After seventeen years, three sequels, countless spin-offs, and a massive amount of merchandising, the “Shrek” series is getting a reboot. There will obviously still be basis in the children’s book by William Steig, but is expected to go in a separate direction from the original movie. Part of that new direction is hiring someone new to helm it, and Universal Pictures has already found a person to fill the position: Chris Meledandri. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because of his immense popularity in terms of kids movies for the past decade. Meledandri, who was named “the most popular man in animation,” was the mind behind the now dreaded “Despicable Me” franchise, “The Secret Life Of Pets,” “The Lorax,” “Sing,” and most recently “The Grinch,” (2018). He’s also the founder, owner, and C.E.O. of Illumination. Hopefully the studio’s tired animation and crass sense of humor doesn’t interfere with the spirit of the story.

Currently, Meledandri is being tasked with figuring out a fresh and unique storyline for the reboot. What that means is still unclear at this point. He does hope to keep certain elements around though, like the voice actors in particular: Mike Myers (Shrek), Eddie Murphy (Donkey), and Antonio Banderas (Puss in Boots). In an interview with Variety, he said, “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.” That’s understandable, as their acting in the original movie is iconic, and it would be disrespectful to plaster over their work. The move is the result of Comcast’s $3.8 billion purchase of Dreamworks Studios in 2016. The soundtrack is another key element of “Shrek,” but no word is out on the new approach’s music. Considering the early stage of development and the planned release of “Secret Life of Pets 2” in 2019, you could expect a reimagined “Shrek” in either 2020 or 2021.