Universal Pictures is planning a reboot of the Shrek franchise, as headed up by the creator of Despicable Me. The new take on the character would ideally maintain the iconic vocal performances that helped define the series, but feature fresh new stories. Puss in Boots, the sidekick character who got his own spin-off movie of the same name, is being considered a part of this reboot effort as well.
Variety reports that Chris Meledandri is overseeing the project. In a profile, Meledandri said he would like to bring back Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Antonio Banderas as the three leads. He said his main goal is to find new stories to tell within the fractured fairy tale world of Shrek.
“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,” said 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… You want to find something in the narrative that really feels like a departure.”
When Universal parent company Comcast bought Dreamworks, some industry watchers speculated that Meledandri could be brought on to oversee Dreamworks in addition to his own Illumination Entertainment. He has said he didn’t feel comfortable with juggling the roles at two separate studios.
“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,” he said. “I love the process of making films and working with artists. I don’t think I’m particularly great at managing companies.”