In the years since Shrek Forever After, our most recent check-in with the friendly Mike Myers-voiced ogre, DreamWorks’ animated franchise has matured from a massively successful creative property into something vaster and stranger. Gradually but undeniably, the Shrek films have turned into a Whole Big Weird Internet Thing, with various denizens of the World Wide Web creating disturbing fan-art and cracking absurdist jokes about the smart-alecky series of animated films. In certain online circles, even uttering the words “Some-BODY once told me” is enough to prompt a barrage of surreal humor and warped image macros. And now that Shrek lives on as a sense-stymieing parody of its former self, what better time to revive the franchise?

DreamWorks has decided to strike while the iron of memetic nostalgia is hot. The good folks at /Film have noted a new interview in The Hollywood Reporter with The Boss Baby screenwriter Michael McMullers, in which he discusses the process of writing the script for the upcoming Shrek 5:

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.

What new take could McMullers possibly have in store? Has the time finally come for a gritty, dark reboot of this mud-loving lummox? Whatever he’s got in store, the onus is now on Dreamworks and McMullers to check themselves... before they Shrek themselves.

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