In May 2004, Jeffrey Katzenberg revealed that the Shrek story had been outlined into five films almost from the beginning. "Before the first one was finished we talked about what the whole story of Shrek is, and each of the chapters answers questions about the first movie and gives us an insight," said Katzenberg. "Shrek 3 and 4 are going to reveal other unanswered questions and, finally, in the last chapter, we will understand how Shrek came to be in that swamp, when we meet him in the first movie." In June 2007, Katzenberg announced that the fifth film would be released sometime in 2013, but to this day, they are still working on it.
In May 2009, DreamWorks Animation announced that the fourth film's title would be Shrek Forever After, indicating that it would be the last in the Shrek series. In November 2009, that was confirmed by Bill Damaschke, head of creative production at DWA, with him saying: "All that was loved about Shrek in the first film is brought to the final film." In May 2010, Josh Klausner, one of the writers of Shrek Forever After, explained in 2010 the script's evolution: "When I first came onto the project, it wasn't supposed to be the final chapter — there were originally going to be five Shrek movies. Then, about a year into the development, Jeffrey Katzenberg decided that the story that we'd come up with was the right way for Shrek's journey to end."
In February 2014, in an interview with Fox Business Network, Katzenberg hinted that a fifth film still may be made, saying, "We like to let [the characters] have a little bit of time to rest. But I think you can be confident that we'll have another chapter in the Shrek series. We're not finished and, more importantly, neither is he." In June 2016, after NBCUniversal purchased DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion, NBCUniversal's president and chief executive officer Steve Burke discussed plans to revive the franchise, as well as other DreamWorks films. In July 2016, The Hollywood Reporter cited sources saying that a fifth film was planned for a 2019 release.
In September 2016, Eddie Murphy confirmed that the film was expected to be released in 2019 or 2020, and that the script had been completed. In October 2016, Mike Mitchell stated that Austin Powers screenwriter Michael McCullers had written a script based on his own original idea. In March 2017, when asked about the script, McCullers said it featured "a pretty big reinvention" for the film series.
All cast members unconfirmed at this time but were likely to return.
- Mike Myers as Shrek
- Eddie Murphy as Donkey
- Antonio Banderas as Puss in Boots
- Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona