Folks weren't leaping over one another to take in the latest Shrek entry (although I kind of dug it), but that certainly won't stop Dreamworks Animation SKG from shoveling out at least two more films. We already know that plans for a Shrek 4 are in the works (set to be released in 2010), but will that mark the end of our lovable green ogre? Studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg announced at the Allen & Co. media conference that work on a fifth and final chapter will begin after the fourth is released. Rich Sullivan, a Dreamworks Animation spokesman, added: "The story itself has five chapters. Based on the success of the first three films, at the very least, the next one, Shrek 4, is warranted."
This is all rather interesting, as Katzenberg (according to a story in The Hollywood Reporter this past May) always envisioned Shrek as a four-part package, with the fourth (and final?) film telling an origin story. So where did this mysterious fifth film come from? In the month and a half since Shrek the Third hit theaters, has Katzenberg changed his mind? Did he confuse the numbers? Because Sullivan said the story has five chapters, not four. Now I'm confused. I could understand not ending the series with an "origin story," because that would just be weird. Instead, they'll probably use the origin thing to set up a fifth and final film. But "does Shrek need an origin story," asked our own Scott Weinberg back when that story first hit the net. "He's a freakin' ogre. Is there some fascinating back-story about how he came to live in a swamp?" I sure hope so! If you were in charge, where would you take the Shrek franchise from here? Should they stop at three, or are you willing to give them another chance with four ... and five?