×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Shrek,’ ‘Puss in Boots’ Getting Rebooted (EXCLUSIVE)

Shrek” and “Puss in Boots” are getting rebooted and Chris Meledandri, the man behind “Despicable Me,” is overseeing their revival.

Universal Pictures has tasked Meledandri with finding some fresh story lines to reintroduce the lovable ogre and the sword-wielding feline to new generations of moviegoers. One thing the animation guru doesn’t want to mess with is with the vocal performances. Part of the popularity of “Shrek” is attributable to a voice cast that included Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Antonio Banderas, and in a lengthy profile in Variety, Meledandri says he would like to get the band back together.

“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,” explains Meledandri. “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 move comes after the studio’s parent company, Comcast, bought DreamWorks Animation, the studio behind “Shrek,” in 2016 for $3.8 billion. Initially, there had been speculation that Meledandri, whose Illumination Entertainment is co-owned by Universal, would be asked to oversee DreamWorks Entertainment. However, Meledandri says he came to feel that he couldn’t manage the two companies and still maintain the same level of quality in the films he makes.

“The way in which I work with my team to make movies is very intensive and hands-on, and it really doesn’t allow me the opportunity to think about running a second operation,” says Meledandri. “I love the process of making films and working with artists. I don’t think I’m particularly great at managing companies.”

Even though he hasn’t cracked the code on “Shrek,” Meledandri sounds confident that it’s only a matter of time before moviegoers get to revisit the magical fairy tale setting that made the original movies such a treat.

“There’s a tremendous amount of fun to be had in that world, but it’s a high bar to find a story that’s truly world,” said Meledandri. “You want to find something in the narrative that really feels like a departure.”

Illumination’s next film, “The Grinch,” opens in theaters on Friday.

POPULAR ON VARIETY: 

More Film

  • Festival director Thierry Fremaux speaks to

    Cannes: Thierry Fremaux on the Lineup's Record Number of Female Directors, American Cinema and Political Films

    The Cannes Film Festival has unveiled a lineup for its 72nd edition that includes some high-profile Hollywood titles, genre movies and films from 13 female directors. The official selection has been applauded by many for mixing established auteurs like Pedro Almodovar (“Pain and Glory”), Terrence Malick (“A Hidden Life”) and Xavier Dolan (“Matthias and Maxime”) [...]

  • RUDOLF NUREYEV 1961

    Film Review: 'Nureyev'

    It would be absurd to say that Rudolf Nureyev lived, or danced, in anyone’s shadow. He was a man who leapt and twirled and flew onstage, all muscle but light as a feather, with a freedom and force that reconfigured the human spirit. There’s no denying, though, that over the last few decades, and especially [...]

  • Die Kinder Der Toten review

    Film Review: 'Die Kinder Der Toten'

    The hills are alive (or rather, undead), with the sound of music (also mastication and the moaning of zombies) in Kelly Copper and Pavol Liska’s experimental, dialogue-free, home-movie-style riff on Elfriede Jelinek’s “Die Kinder Der Toten” (The Children of the Dead). A seminal text in Jelinek’s native Austria, the 1995 book has never been translated [...]

  • Idol review

    Film Review: 'Idol'

    How many twists can a plot undergo before it snaps? This, more than any of the many political, moral and personal conundrums that snake through “Idol,” seems to be the question writer-director Lee Su-jin is most interested in posing with his extravagantly incomprehensible sophomore feature. A seedy political thriller by way of grisly revenge movie [...]

  • The Last to See Them review

    Film Review: 'The Last to See Them'

    Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” stretches long as a late-evening shadow over Italian director Sara Summa’s feature debut “The Last to See Them.” The Italian title, “Gli Ultimi Viderli Vivere” which translates literally to “The Last to See Them Alive,” is also the heading of the opening chapter of Capote’s book. The setting is, similarly, [...]

  • Kalank

    Film Review: ‘Kalank’

    Events leading to the 1947 Partition of India serve as the forebodingly serious backdrop for the exhaustingly overextended razzmatazz of “Kalank,” writer-director Abhishek Varman’s lavish but ponderous Bollywood extravaganza, which opened in the U.S. on more than 300 screens the same day as its Indian release. Despite the preponderance of sets and costumes spectacular enough [...]

  • WGA Agency Packaging Fight Placeholder Writer

    WGA: 92 Percent of Writers Who Signed Statement of Support Have Fired Agents

    The Writers Guild of America estimated that over 92 percent of their members who support a new code of conduct for talent agencies have fired those representatives. Letters announcing formal termination will be delivered on Monday, the guild said in a late-hitting memo on Thursday, as most agencies will be closed tomorrow in observance of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content