×
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

  • FX's 'Snowfall' Panel TCA Winter Press

    John Singleton Hospitalized After Suffering Stroke

    UPDATED with statements from John Singleton’s family and FX Networks John Singleton, the Oscar nominated director and writer of “Boyz N’ the Hood,” has suffered a stroke. Sources confirm to Variety that Singleton checked himself into the hospital earlier this week after experiencing pain in his leg. The stroke has been characterized by doctors as [...]

  • 'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow

    'Curse of La Llorona' Leads Slow Easter Weekend at the Box Office

    New Line’s horror pic “The Curse of La Llorona” will summon a solid $25 million debut at the domestic box office, leading a quiet Easter weekend before Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” hits theaters on April 26. The James Wan-produced “La Llorona,” playing in 3,372 theaters, was a hit with hispanic audiences, who accounted for nearly 50% [...]

  • Jim Jarmusch in 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    Film Review: 'Carmine Street Guitars'

    “Carmine Street Guitars” is a one-of-a-kind documentary that exudes a gentle, homespun magic. It’s a no-fuss, 80-minute-long portrait of Rick Kelly, who builds and sells custom guitars out of a modest storefront on Carmine Street in New York’s Greenwich Village, and the film touches on obsessions that have been popping up, like fragrant weeds, in [...]

  • Missing Link Laika Studios

    ‘Missing Link’ Again Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV ad measurement and attribution company iSpot.tv, Annapurna Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the second week in a row with “Missing Link.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.91 million through Sunday for [...]

  • Little Woods

    Film Review: 'Little Woods'

    So much of the recent political debate has focused on the United States’ southern border, and on the threat of illegal drugs and criminals filtering up through Mexico. But what of the north, where Americans traffic opiates and prescription pills from Canada across a border that runs nearly three times as long? “Little Woods” opens [...]

  • Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping

    Beyonce's Netflix Deal Worth a Whopping $60 Million (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix has become a destination for television visionaries like Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy, with deals worth $100 million and $250 million, respectively, and top comedians like Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle ($40 million and $60 million, respectively). The streaming giant, which just announced it’s added nearly 10 million subscribers in Q1, is honing in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content