Originally scheduled to release in 2019, DreamWorks is yet to confirm whether there are still plans for a fifth Shrek film. However, if there is any chance that the film will return to the big screen, ace comedian and actor Eddie Murphy, who lent his voice to Donkey in all four installments of the animated comedy film series, has expressed his desire to reprise the role.
Murphy made this revelation during a recent interview with eTalk CTV, where he discussed his new film You People and the possibility of returning for another Shrek film. When asked if he was interested in a return, the actor reiterated his love for the series and confirmed his willingness to voice Donkey again. In his words, "Oh, I'd absolutely be open. If they ever came with another Shrek, I’d do it in two seconds. I love Donkey." He further joked that he would have preferred a Donkey-led film instead of Puss in Boots as the former is a funnier character.
Rumors of another Shrek film have been swirling around for some years now. Antonio Banderas, the Puss in Boots voice actor, voiced his belief that another Shrek film will happen during an interview last December. In his words, "The first time I did Puss In Boots, I was working on broadway, so I did my first session there. I’ve done five movies now. There is probably gonna be another, and Shrek is probably coming back."
Jeff Shell, the CEO of NBCUniversal, has also contributed to the rumors. During a recent earnings call, he stated that his company’s acquisition of DreamWorks was the right decision. He further commented that Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, which is currently having a great box office run, provides a way back into the Shrek universe. While this isn’t confirmation that Shrek will return, it suggests it.
Shrek is a popular animated comedy film series that is loosely based on the eponymous 1990 children’s picture book by William Steig. The four-film series earned rave commercial success, with a combined $2.98 billion box office earnings from a combined $535 million budget. However, while the first two films had rave reviews, the penultimate and final titles had disappointing feedback.
Apart from the animated film series, Shrek has spawned two spinoff films – 2011’s Puss in Boots and 2022’s Puss in Boots: The Last Wish – and a short – 2012’s Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos. It also spawned a short 4-D film, titled Shrek 4-D, which was released in 2003, and two television specials, Shrek the Halls and Scared Shrekless, which were released in 2007 and 2010 respectively.
For those who don’t remember, Shrek tells the story of a resentful ogre who lives alone in a swamp. However, his solitude is soon disturbed by the various fairy tale creatures banished by the ruler Lord Farquaad. To reclaim his swamp, the ogre makes a deal with Farquaad to rescue the latter’s love interest, Princess Fiona. This prompts him to go on a journey of numerous adventures alongside his soon-to-be best friend Donkey.
Eddie Murphy voiced Shrek’s best friend Donkey, while Mike Myers, Cameron Diaz, and John Lithgow, voiced Shrek, Fiona, and Farquaad respectively.
By the way, Murphy is reprising one of his iconic roles as cop Axel Foley in a fourth installment of Beverly Hills Cop. The film, titled Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley is slated for release at an unannounced 2024 date. The 61-year-old actor’s latest project, You People, is currently streaming on Netflix.