DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg will be making an annual pitch to the company’s shareholders today and he’ll have some important updates on popular franchises and new projects to announce.
According to Variety, Katzenberg will reveal that Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman have agreed to reprise their vocal roles as Po and Shifu respectively in “Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom,” a sequel to the blockbuster “Kung Fu Panda” that grossed a staggering $631 million last year. Angelina Jolie, who voiced Tigress is also confirmed to return. Notably, “Kaboom” will feature the directorial debut of longtime DreamWorks story executive Jennifer Yuh Nelson and is slated for release on June 3, 2011.
Arriving much sooner is the fourth installment of “Shrek” which will now be known as “Shrek Forever After.” Our guess is the verbal semantics of the previous title, “Shrek Goes Fourth,” must have confused children and educators alike. The only remaining viable franchise for Mike Meyers and Eddie Murphy is slated to open a little less than a year from now on May 21, 2010.
Intriguingly, the trade reveals that Katzenberg will finally confirm the long-rumored “Puss in Boots” solo feature, with Antonio Banderas reprising his role as the swashbuckling feline. Taking place before the events of “Shrek 2,” “Puss” will feature original characters as well as a love interest voiced by Salma Hayek. The duo previously appeared together in “Desperado,” “Once Upon a Time in Mexico” and “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over.” Still, “Puss in Boots” is a ways off, not hitting theaters until March 30, 2012.
DreamWorks Animation has a company mandate of releasing at least five feature films every two years beginning in 2010 (pressure which no doubt excites and scares distributor Paramount Pictures to death). Additional titles for the company include “How to Train Your Dragon” (March 26, 2010), “Oobermind” (Nov. 5, 2010), “The Guardians” (Nov. 4, 2011) and a third “Madagascar” feature finding everyone’s favorite Central Park Zoo inhabitants heading from Africa to…Europe. Will King Julien be able to avoid Ibiza? Find out in May of 2012.
The studio is also juggling a number of projects for its Nov. 12, 2012 date including the former Aardman collaboration “The Croods,” “Truckers” (adapted from Terry Pratchett’s “The Bromeliad Trilogy” and centered on tiny creatures dwelling in a department store) or the tentatively titled “Super Secret Ghost Project.”
And as previously announced, all DreamWorks Animated features will be developed and released in 3D.
Which of these new animated features are you most excited about? Share your thoughts below.