Director Eyed for Next Shrek

A day after the Los Angeles premiere of Shrek the Third comes news that DreamWorks Animation is already lining up a director for the fourth installment in the hugely successful CG-animated fairytale comedy series. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mike Mitchell (Sky High, Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo) is in negotiations to helm the next outing for Shrek, Fiona, Donkey and Puss in Boots.

If he gets the job, Mitchell, who recently directed an episode of Nickeloden’s SpongeBob SquarePants, will be working from a script originally penned by Tim Sullivan and recently rewritten by Josh Klausner (Factory Girl, Wonderland. The film will again expand on themes first presented in the children’s book Shrek! By William Steig.

During a press junket on Saturday, most of the voice stars of Shrek the Third, including Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews, Maya Rudolph, Amy Pohler and Rupert Everett, were enthusiastic about being involved in a fourth Shrek, though none have yet signed deals.

With money piling up around Spider-Man 3 and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End likely to sail into the record books, it’s shaping up to be a good summer for thirds and Shrek the Third should be no exception. The franchise got off to a bang in 2001, earning $484.4 million worldwide before Shrek 2 came along in 2004 and blew its predecessor out of the water with a $920.7 million gross. DreamWorks Animation is hoping to at least match the performance of the last film, though being sandwiched between the aforementioned live-action blockbusters could make for a box office struggle. The third Pirates feature arrives in theaters on May 25, one week after Shrek‘s debut, and Sony’s animated Penguin movie, Surf’s Up!, is close behind on June 8.