Following the huge opening of Shrek 2, Ann Daly, head of Dreamworks Animation, told The Hollywood Reporter that the studio will move forward with two more installments. The sequels will not be produced back-to-back as current trends dictate but will be tackled one at a time, according to Daly.
Before heading back to the swamp, DreamWorks was apparently waiting to see if Shrek had legs as a franchise. Execs got their answer when the eagerly awaited sequel took in a whopping $128 million during its first five days of release and became the fastest-grossing animated film in history. The studio is reportedly in final talks with voice actors Mike Meyers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz to reprise their roles for parts three and four.
Though DreamWorks had moderate success with The Prince of Egypt (1998) and Antz (1998), Shrek has been its only animated breakout mega hit to compete with the now defunct Disney/Pixar blockbuster machine. With recent efforts Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, the studio dared to ditch straight comedy in favor of action and adventure, a gamble that failed to pay off. Upcoming talking animal laffers Shark Tale, Madagascar and Over the Hedge should perform better, but it’s unlikely that any of them will replace Shrek as the jewel in the crown of DreamWorks Feature Animation.