Yes, you read that right. Even though Shrek 3 isn’t due to hit theaters until like 2007, Dreamworks has hired a writer to start development of Shrek 4.
The good folks over at Monsters and Critics offer us this little tid bit:
DreamWorks has hired Tim Sullivan to write the script for “Shrek 4.” Variety reports the studio is about to move into pre-production on “Shrek 3,” which has been scripted by Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price. It seems Sullivan was working on some other animated projects and was invited to submit a pitch, which the studio evidently liked.
This really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Making a Shrek film is like printing free money right now. With 2 quality films already in the can, Shrek 3 is guaranteed to make huge money no matter how good or bad it is. Even if 3 is horrible, the first 2 were great and most people would be willing to give 4 a shot. Dreamworks can’t lose on this one. Well, unless in #3 Shrek decides to become some huge Anti-Semitic Crusader on a quest to “cleanse” the lands. Other than that I think the Shrek series is looking just fine for a fourth.
The other quality about Shrek that saves it from the pitfalls most other franchises have to worry about when developing sequels, is that the story isn’t tied down. In the Shrek universe, you don’t have to really worry about continuity. Shrek can face any number of adventures that are free to be completely unrelated to anything the character have gone through before in previous films.
Think about it. Even another animated hit like “The Incredibles” will have to pay attention to character development, consistency of story, the boundaries of the “real world” and things like that. But Shrek has been set up in such a way that it’s free to do just about anything. That doesn’t mean it’ll be good. It just means they creators have more freedom with the type of material they can explore in this outrageous fantasy land Shrek takes place in. All they have to do is make sure the characters of Shrek, Fiona and Donkey are in there… and everything else is negotiable.