Following the success of Shrek 2 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.” After the release of Shrek the Third in 2007, Katzenberg announced that the fifth film would be released in 2013.
In May 2009, DreamWorks Animation (DWA) announced that the fourth film’s title would be Shrek Forever After, indicating that it would be the last in the Shrek series. Later in 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.”
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 5 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 a 2014 interview with Fox Business Network, Katzenberg hinted that the fifth film still may be made. “We like to let them have a little bit of time to rest,” he said of the characters. “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.”