×

‘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

  • Rob Schneider'The Week Of' film premiere,

    Film News Roundup: Rob Schneider Wins SAG-AFTRA National Board Seat

    In today’s film news roundup, Rob Schneider wins a SAG-AFTRA board seat; “Badland,” “Sorry We Missed You” and “Extracurricular” find homes; and “The Shawshank Redemption” gets a re-release.  SAG-AFTRA Rob Schneider has won a SAG-AFTRA national board seat as a member of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Schneider won a four-year term [...]

  • This photo shows actor David Oyelowo

    David Oyelowo Joins George Clooney in 'Good Morning, Midnight' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    David Oyelowo is in final negotiations to join George Clooney in Netflix’s untitled adaptation of Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel “Good Morning, Midnight,” sources tell Variety. Felicity Jones and Kyle Chandler are also on board, with Clooney set to helm the pic — his first feature film directing gig since 2017’s “Suburbicon.” “The Revenant” screenwriter Mark [...]

  • Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the

    Disney Delays 'Cruella,' 'Woman in the Window'

    Disney is shaking up its release calendar, delaying its live action “Cruella” until Memorial Day 2021 and pushing Fox 2000 drama “The Woman in the Window” to 2020. “Cruella,” starring Emma Stone, is based on the classic “101 Dalmatians” villain Cruella de Vil. The revisit to Disney’s animated classic was originally set to hit theaters [...]

  • Spider-Man Could Leave the Marvel Cinematic

    Spider-Man Could Leave MCU if Disney, Sony Can't Reach Financing Deal

    Disney’s Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have hit an impasse on new financing terms for upcoming Spider-Man movies, sources have told Variety. If a deal cannot be reached, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige will not produce future Spider-Man films, effectively removing Tom Holland’s Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Reps for Disney, Marvel and Sony [...]

  • Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality

    Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality in Film and TV

    Screen Australia, Australia’s federal film and TV funding body, has made sufficient progress in furthering gender equality that it has set more ambitious targets. The organization has exceeded its long-term Gender Matters key performance indicator, with 56% of projects receiving production funding having at least half of the key creative roles occupied by women, based [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content