Our last taste of Mike Myers as Shrek came wrapped in the dreadful 2010 Halloween TV special Scared Shrekless. Otherwise, the Shrek universe has lived quietly on the DreamWorksTV YouTube channel (which you can access here), occasionally popping up for a video.
Now, the green ogre is being forced out of semi-retirement by Comcast, who purchased Shrek’s animation studio, DreamWorks, for $3.8 billion last month.
According to Deadline, NBC Universal Chief Steve Burke told investors that Comcast hopes to crank out at least four new animated Shrek movies a year.
Burke said the company is attempting to revive interest in characters like Shrek, which will take “the low-single digit returns of the movie business and turn it into a different kind of business.” That “different kind of business” is reportedly licensed merchandise and theme park attractions.
Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind the Despicable Me franchise, will take creative control of the Shrek franchise with founder and producer Chris Meledandri at the helm.
According to Burke, Meledandri is “creatively going to try to help us figure out how to resurrect Shrek and take a lot of the existing DreamWorks franchises and add value as we create new franchises.”
The original Shrek was number five on our list of the 10 best animated movies of all time for its many onion-like layers of comedy and heart, a quality the next few hopefully won’t lack.