Shrek 5: Release, Cast, and Everything We Know

By Klein Felt Posted:
Shrek, Donkey, Puss in Boots

Another swamp-buckling adventure is seemingly coming from Dreamworks, here is everything we know about the upcoming Shrek 5

It has been over a decade since the last mainline Shrek movie, but the franchise has lived on in the form of the Puss in Boots animated spin-offs. The latest being Puss in Boots: The Last Wish excelling at the box office, grossing nearly half a billion dollars in 2023!

In total, the Shrek franchise has grossed over $3.9 billion at the box office (via The Numbers) across its four mainline films and two spin-offs, so another full-fledged blockbuster starring Mike Myers' iconic ogre was an inevitability.

Shrek 5 Release: When Will It Come Out?

Shrek, Fiona, Shrek's kids

As of right now, Shrek 5 has no official release date, as it has been pushed down the Dreamworks slate several times over the years. 

The sequel has been in development limbo for quite some time. The film was originally teased back in February 2014 by Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who at the time said, "We like to let [the characters] have a little bit of time to rest," but "I think you can be confident that we'll have another chapter in the Shrek series" in an interview with Fox Business Network:

"We like to let [the characters] have a little bit of time to rest. But I think you can be confident that we'll have another chapter in the 'Shrek' series. We're not finished and, more importantly, neither is he."

In September 2016, star Eddie Murphy again confirmed the existance of the film, being the first to mention some sort of release timing for the movie, hinting that "they've got a good script" and it would be ready sometime in "2019 or 2020" (via CinemaBlend):

"They took a nice long break [after 2010's Shrek Forever After]. The next 'Shrek'... I think Jeffrey [Katzenberg, producer] told me 2019? 2019 or 2020, it will be ready. But they've got a good script, they wrote a nice good script."

Of course, the movie did not hit that 2020 date and was not even officially announced until April 2023 by Illumination Entertainment founder and CEO Chris Meledandri.

Meledandri told Variety that Universal and Dreamworks (two creative partners to Illumination) were looking to possibly reboot the Shrek franchise, but that he would also love to see the film's original cast return for a fifth movie.

Additionally, the team "[anticipates] the cast coming back," but nothing had been confirmed as the film was still in early development:

“We anticipate the cast coming back. Talks are starting now, and every indication that we’ve gotten is there’s tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of the actors to return."

Shrek 5 Cast: Who Will Return?

Shrek, Puss in Boots, Donkey

As Illumination CEO Chris Meledandri previously teased, the core Shrek cast is expected to return for the upcoming fifth film; however, no deals have yet been put in place, and (as of April 2023) negotiations were ongoing. 

Ahead is a list of every actor and character expected to appear:

Mike Myers - Shrek

Mike Myers, Shrek
Mike Myers

Of course, no Shrek movie would be complete without its titular fan-favorite ogre. Mike Myers has played the role of Shrek since the very beginning of the franchise and has expressed interest in doing more within the franchise, saying to Variety "If I had to do one Shrek a year I’d be thrilled."

Eddie Murphy - Donkey

Eddie Murphy, Donkey
Eddie Murphy

Comedy legend Eddie Murphy plays the fun-loving Donkey. Murphy's equine goofball has been on quite the journey across the films, marrying and starting a family with Dragon, the former fierce guardian of Princess Fiona. Murphy has plenty of enthusiasm for his role, saying he would "do [Shrek 5] in two seconds" (via Entertainment Weekly).

Cameron Diaz - Princess Fiona

Cameron Diaz, PRincess Fiona
Cameron Diaz

Princess Fiona, played by Cameron Diaz, found love in the form of Mike Myers' Shrek, as she learned to embrace her ogreous side. 

One small roadblock Shrek 5 could run into with Diaz is that, as of 2014, she retired from acting. That actress seemingly was back after taking a role in the Jamie Foxx-starring action film, Back to Action, but reportedly (according to Page Six) stepped away from the industry again because of problems with Foxx behind the scenes. 

Antonio Banderas - Puss in Boots

Antonio Banderas, Puss in Boots
Antonio Banderas

Having been a part of the franchise since 2004's Shrek 2, Antonia Banderas' Puss in Boots is finally getting his due, having gotten two spin-off films since the release of Shrek 4, the second of which (titled Puss in Boots: The Last Wish) was critically acclaimed upon its December 2022 release. 

What Will Happen In Shrek 5?

Shrek, Shrek's kids

Not much is currently known about Shrek 5's plot, but some details have been revealed. 

In March 2017, Shrek 5 screenwriter Michael McCullers revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that the film is a "pretty big reinvention" of the franchise.

"There’s been four movies and a lot of material," he added. So with a fifth one, "You [have] to think of a pretty new take at that point:"

"'Shrek 5' is being developed. I finished that script, which I really, really, really love. It’s really personal to me. It’s got a pretty big reinvention behind it that I guess I can’t really reveal, but since DreamWorks was sold to Universal in that time for over $3 billion, I imagine they’re particularly interested in it stepping up and actually figuring out the future of the franchise in that way on the corporate level. Reinvention was sort of called for. There’s been four movies and a lot of material, so the characters are pretty beloved and they’re great characters, but you also have to think of a pretty new take at that point."

Illumination CEO Chris Melendandri echoed this "reinvention" sentiment. 

The executive said in an interview with Variety, "The challenge for us has been to find something that really does feel like it's not simply yet another film in a series of sequels."

So, whatever happens, Shrek and co. will likely look a little different than anything that has come within the franchise before. 

Who Will the Main Villain of Shrek 5 Be?

Shrek, The Pied Piper

A villain has yet to be confirmed for Shrek 5. However, rumors point to the Pied Piper, who was a supporting character in Shrek Forever After, becoming the big bad in the upcoming sequel. 

This fantastical bounty hunter uses his iconic pipe to musically control creatures of this fairy tale world. He has yet to be fleshed out in the Shrek universe, but maybe Shrek 5 could be the place to do it.

Another name that could pop up is Shrek 1 villain Lord Farquaad. With all this talk of 'reinventing' the franchise, this could be the perfect spot to dig into Shrek's past antagonists and Farquaad was where it all started. 

Shrek 5 Trailer: When Will It Release?

Shrek, Fiona

With Shrek 5 seemingly still early in development, it seems that fans will be waiting quite some time for a trailer for the film. 

Universal, with its two animation studios (Illumination and Dreamworks) usually likes to pair new trailers for its movies with the theatrical debut of others.

Given Shrek 5 being pretty far out, if a trailer were to come in the next year, it would likely be released around the time Despicable Me 4 hits theaters.

The upcoming Despicable Me sequel is due out on July 3, 2024, which could be a prime spot to debut a Shrek 5 teaser (a year or so out from the movie's debut itself).

However, given the uncertainty surrounding release dates thanks to 2023's actors' and writers' strikes, there is always the chance that everything on the Dreamworks and Illumination slate gets shuffled because of the lengthy work stoppages in Hollywood. 

Shrek 5 is still early in development with no official release timing.  

- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.