Kung Fu Panda 5 Gets Hopeful Update from Franchise Director (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Po in Kung Fu Panda 4, Kung Fu Panda logo

Kung Fu Panda 5 just got a hopeful update from the director of the recently released fourth film in the animated franchise.

The titular panda's latest adventure saw Jack Black's Po team up with an ethically gray fox (Zhen, played by Awkwafina) as the duo ventured out of the Valley of Peace to stop Viola Davis' The Chameleon. Oddly enough, the iconic Furious Five sat this installment out.

Even though Kung Fu Panda 4 only just came out, audiences are already clamoring to know what is next for the franchise.

[ Kung Fu Panda 4 Cast, Characters & Voice Actors (Photos) ]

Mike Mitchell Gives Hopeful Update for Kung Fu Panda 5

Po in Kung Fu Panda 4
DreamWorks Animation

In an exclusive interview with The Direct, Kung Fu Panda 4’s director, Mike Mitchell gave a hopeful update on the possibility of Kung Fu Panda 5 in the future.

When asked what he would personally want to see in a hypothetical fifth movie, Mitchell was quick to mention that "The Furious Five" would be "front and center."

He then pointed to a fun Easter egg from Kung Fu Panda 3 that he’d love to explore further: Master Dolphin’s armor:

"This is my very strange, weird, nerdy wish. But in 'Kung Fu Panda 3', which I executive produced, A guy came up with a gag, and it's in the film, where Po--We always go to the Hall of Heroes with Po and look around, and I loved the little taste of like, previous Masters that Po always geeks out on. And Poe looked up, and hanging on the wall, he's like, 'Oh my God, it's Master Dolphin's armor, and you see this Dolphin armor that's hanging up on the wall. And that just blew my mind. I was like, 'There's a whole underwater world for Kung Fu Panda?'"

"I want to see more aquatic animals," the director elaborated, pointing out how those same thoughts regarding kung fu wildlife in the ocean inspired the inclusion of Ronny Chieng’s fish:

"Is there an ocean with, you know, animals that are fighting kung fu? And so that's really what led us to the idea of Ronny Chieng as the fish inside the pelican's mouth... So that came from that. And then our Stingray fight at the beginning came from that Master Dolphin armor joke that was just a random storyboard joke... And so I always think, what's it like in an ocean in a 'Kung Fu Panda' world, but I don't know if that's possible. It's probably too expensive. No idea what the story would be. But I want to see more aquatic animals."

Mitchell also wants to see more "bugs," as he thinks the "franchise can go on and on and on if it wants to:"

“[I’d like also to see more] bugs. I love it that Seth Rogan's character is Mantis. And he's, like, the only bug you see. And I'm like, there's a whole bunch of bugs in the 'Kung Fu Panda' world. So again, I honestly think, I mean, just with the Furious Five alone, this franchise can go on and on and on if it wants to. If the fans want it, rather, I should say."

Kung Fu Ocean Life for the Next Panda Film?

Given how well Kung Fu Panda 4 is doing at the box office, it is probably safe to assume Universal and Dreamworks will not want to keep the franchise stagnant for long.

The film earned the best opening day for the franchise since the original movie in 2008, taking in $20 million domestically. It is currently forecasted by Variety to score a $58.3 million domestic opening weekend—dethroning Dune: Part Two on its second weekend.

With how passionate Mike Mitchell is about the series, hopefully, he gets to stay on for another go, whether that be a Kung Fu Panda 5 or something else.

After all, it would be extremely interesting to learn what an underwater world of Kung Fu would look like. Perhaps the next big bad will be a relentless great white shark bent on revenge against the surface world (for whatever reason).

Then, the film could also offer flashbacks to finally show what Master Dolphin looked like in their prime.

Kung Fu Panda 4 is now playing in theaters.

Catch up on other news regarding Jack Black's latest film:

Kung Fu Panda 4: Mr. Beast Special Cameo Explained

Kung Fu Panda 4 Celebrates Release Date in First Official Clip

- In This Article: Kung Fu Panda 4
Release Date
March 08, 2024
Jack Black
Jackie Chan
Seth Rogen
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.