A fifth instalment of the Shrek franchise is heading our way, with the series’ starry cast expected to return for one more journey to a land Far, Far Away.
It’s been more than 20 years since Shrek first introduced us to its titular grumpy ogre, Princess Fiona and his fast-talking pal Donkey — and since then, a lot has happened.
Between 2001 and 2023, we’ve seen the original movie boast three cinematic sequels, two direct-to-TV spin-offs a 4D theme park ride in Universal Studios an unexpected meme-based afterlife and two films for series co-star Puss in Boots.
Read more: ‘Shrek 5’ With Original Cast Teased by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri (Variety, 5 min read)
In fact, it’s due to the unexpected critical and audience success of this year’s Puss in Boots sequel The Last Wish that we’re now faced with the possibility of another extended trip to Shrek’s swamp.
What will we find when we arrive? Well, it’s still early days but here’s everything we know about Shrek 5 and Donkey’s very first spin-off movie…
Will there be a Shrek 5?
According to former Dreamworks co-founder and CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, the studio had always planned to create five Shrek films, with each instalment designed to unpick “unanswered questions” regarding the character and his history.
As Shrek’s story played out in 2004’s Shrek 2, 2007’s Shrek The Third and 2010’s Shrek Forever After, the story of this grumpy ogre and his journey towards fatherhood and becoming a more sociable person seemed to have come to a close.
However, when parent company Dreamworks was sold to NBCUniversal back in June 2016, rumours of a potential Shrek 5 began to resurface once more.
Cut to early 2023 and the release of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which teased a long-awaited return to the Far Far Away in its final scene. Soon after, Chris Meledandri, founder and CEO of animation house Illumination, told Variety that not only was Shrek 5 in active development with its primary cast set to return but a Donkey spin-off film was on the cards too.
The studio has yet to announce release dates for either film.
What is the plot of Shrek 5 and the Donkey spin-off movie?
Despite getting confirmation that both Shrek 5 and a Donkey spin-off film are in the works, it’s still too early to know what each will be about, plot-wise.
Back in the day, Katzenberg had initially teased that the pre-planned final instalment of Shrek’s story would show us how he ended up as an angry recluse living in a swamp. However, whether or not this narrative will carry through to Illumination’s upcoming sequel is yet to be seen.
“You look at what the core elements are that audiences have loved, and you do your very best to honour those core elements,” Meledandri told Variety regarding rebooting the franchise. “And then you’re hard at work to build story elements and new characters that take you to brand new places. The original cast is a huge part of that.”
Shrek 5 cast
While nothing is official, Meledandri seemed confident that the majority of the series' original voice actors will return for Shrek 5. This includes Mike Myers as Shrek, Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona, Eddie Murphy as Donkey and potentially even Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots.
Following comments from Murphy in which he seemed keen to get his own movie centred around Donkey, it looks like this could be on the horizon as well.
“If [DreamWorks] ever came with another ‘Shrek,’ I’d do it in two seconds,” Murphy said in early 2023.
“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.”
Admitting that he was “thrilled” with this news, Meledandri suggested that Donkey could certainly support his own movie “without question.”
“It’s evidence of his strong enthusiasm for a role that he so brilliantly inhabited and really created alongside the artists at DreamWorks,” he told Variety. “I found that comment to be very exciting.”
Is there a Shrek 5 trailer?
Unfortunately, with the movie’s production still in its early stages, there is no trailer currently available for Shrek 5.
Shrek 5 and Donkey's spin-off movie are currently in early development.