Shrek very quickly became a hit when it was released in 2001, grossing a whopping $491.8 million at the worldwide box office from a $60 million budget. The quirky fairytale boasted an impressive cast and went on to spawn multiple sequels, spin-offs, and merchandising opportunities for DreamWorks Animation.
Shrek is an undeniably unique character and one it's easy to imagine falling flat without the right balance of character design, performance, and tone. However, in some test footage which is pure nightmare fuel, we see just how strange the movie - and lead protagonist - could have been.
Set to "James Brown’s I Got You (I Feel Good)," the brief video shows a hideous Shrek enjoying a stroll before brutally dispatching a would-be mugger.
The whole thing feels oddly dark, while the visuals are more creepy than endearing. We're guessing this was from a very early stage in the development process, anyway, and it's not at all surprising that DreamWorks later chose to make the title character a little more friendly.
Original plans called for Shrek to be a motion-capture project, though the technology wasn't really there yet and the end result didn't work. The lead character also underwent significant changes as Chris Farley recorded nearly all of Shrek's dialogue before he passed away. Mike Myers was then enlisted to replace him, though he ended up re-recording all of Shrek's lines after realising he'd sound better with a Scottish accent.
Following four Shrek movies, two Puss in Boots spin-offs, various specials and TV shows, and even a stage musical adaptation, a fifth Shrek movie is believed to finally be on the way.
Illumination's Chris Meledandri is helping DreamWorks develop the next instalment and recently revealed his intentions to recruit the original voice cast (including Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy).
"It’s not that dissimilar to the process that we went through with 'Mario,' where you look at what the core elements are that audiences have loved, and you do your very best to honor those core elements," he said. "And then you’re hard at work to build story elements and new characters that take you to brand new places. The original cast is a huge part of that."
"We anticipate the cast coming back. Talks are starting now, and every indication that we’ve gotten is there’s tremendous enthusiasm on behalf of the actors to return."
While we wait for news on Shrek 5, you can check out this weird test footage (via Toonado.com) below.