Shrek 2 Makes Cannes See Green

Talk about a classy start to what should be a big-budget bang at this summer’s box office.

DreamWorks has announced that the much-anticipated Shrek 2 has been selected for the main competition at the Cannes Film Festival 2004. According to a report in today’s Daily Variety, the sequel will debut Saturday May 15 at 7:30 p.m.

As much as Cannes organizers fancy the fest as a haven of cineastes, they’re not above some canny publicity moves. Having Shrek 2 in town should guarantee the presence of voice talents and A-list stars Eddie Murphy, Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, Julie Andrews, Antonio Banderas and Rupert Everett on the Croisette, as well as the attendant international press.

It’s no secret that after a lukewarm 2003, DreamWorks has a lot riding on the 3D animated toon about the green monster.The original Shrek grossed $477 million worldwide and Cannes will give the pic a nice platform to get the party started.

When DreamWorks gambled on debuting Shrek at Cannes three years ago, it didn’t win any prizes but benefited mightily from rave reviews while at the ultimate film festival. That’s why Jeffrey Katzenberg and company took Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron to the festival in 2002. In addition to Shrek 2, Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill, Vol. 2 will be screening at the prestigious Gallic festival this May.