It may be the lovable ogre’s final outing. Shrek Forever After, the fourth and reportedly last Shrek film, will hit the theatres on May 21, 2010. The movie brings back the voice cast of Mike Myers (Shrek), Cameron Diaz (Fiona), Eddie Murphy (Donkey) and Antonio Banderas (Puss in Boots).
Last week, Shrek Forever After, the first Shrek film to be released in 3D, was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York a month ahead of its US release.
The reviews, unsurprisingly, have been ho hum. While Shrek (2002) received rave reviews, Shrek 2 (2004) and Shrek the Third (2007) could never quite recapture the magic of the first film in the franchise.
So will Shrek Forever After really be Shrek’s last time out?
Mike ‘Shrek’ Myers says the door may not be locked, but it’s latched, hinting that Dreamworks might come back with another film. He added that the Shrek experience had been quality from start to finish, and that he would miss the character.
Cameron Diaz, who plays Mike Myers’ wife in the series, said Shrek Forever After is a nice closing and is elegantly done.
What’s in store for Shrek fans this time?
Wedded to Princess Fiona and now a father of three, Shrek’s in the throes of a mid-life crisis, in Shrek Forever After.
Upset about the loss of his wilder days before marriage when he was a feared ogre and chafing at domesticity, Shrek decides to cut a deal with the devil himself – in this case, evil magician Rumpelstiltskin (Walt Dohrn).
The Scottish-accented ogre finds himself in an alternate Far Far Away. Here, Shrek was never born, Rumpelstiltskin rules as king, Fiona (who, by the way, Shrek isn’t married to) is the warrior leader of a band of rebel ogres and Donkey is employed by a group of cackling witches.
What happened to the Zorro-like Puss? The debonair swashbuckling feline is, hold your breath, now a coddled housecat with a serious eating disorder.
Shrek encounters a bizarre world, a mixed bag of familiar fairy tale characters who have been spotted in earlier instalments. But some things have changed. The Gingerbread Man, cute and meek earlier, is now a kickboxing warrior.
Keen to get out of this alternate world, Shrek has to woo back Fiona and get a kiss from his “one true love” to undo the effects of Rumpelstiltskin’s spell.
Speaking about Shrek Forever After, Cameron Diaz said people will get to see Fiona and Shrek fall in love again.
There may be a lot of personality changes, but one thing has not changed in the new Shrek movie, the tremendous draw of Puss in Boots. He may not wear the boots any more in his spoilt housecat avatar, but continues to steal the show.
The character, a sensation after he made his debut in Shrek 2, is likely to draw the most laughs this time as well.
Antonio Banderas, whose voice brings the strutting Puss in Boots to life, says the Shrek films have been popular because they’re enjoyed by both children and parents.
Josh Klausner and Darren Lemke’s screenplay generates a lot of fun and wordplay – especially due to the personality changes that the main characters have undergone. Keeping 3D in mind, the filmmakers have gone heavy on action sequences – the climactic battle sequence is a treat to watch.
The Shrek franchise has been quite the money spinner. The first three Shrek movies have raked in more than $2.2 billion at the worldwide box office. Shrek videos and comic books and other merchandise have also added to the kitty.
A Broadway musical version of Shrek, that opened in 2008, received rave reviews. Recently, Dreamworks announced that it will release Shrek, Shrek 2, and Shrek the Third in 3D, later in 2010.