Just days after Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse took home the Best Animated Feature Academy Award, Deadline reports that the film’s co-director Bob Persichetti is set to helm the sequel…to Puss in Boots, the 2011 Shrek spin-off starring Antonio Banderas as the voice of a sword-fielding rogue who also happens to be a cat who wears hats like a real human man.
It makes sense, though, at least money-wise. After the character was introduced in Shrek 2 and appeared in Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After, Puss In Boots—directed by Chris Miller—nabbed a mighty impressive $555 million at the worldwide box office. The cast was actually pretty stacked, too, including Salma Hayek, Zach Galifianakis, Billy Bob Thornton, Amy Sedaris, and Guillermo del Toro on the call list. A sequel titled Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves was announced but soon after shelved in 2015. In November of last year, Variety reported that both Puss in Boots and Shrek were getting the reboot treatment under the leadership of Despicable Me producer Chris Meledandri.
Nowadays, DreamWorks certainly does need something to be the animated face of the company. Once Shrek retired back to the swamp for good, the studio turned to the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, which went on to score $1.4 billion worldwide over three movies. But the third entry, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, is likely that franchise’s last.
And no matter your hype level for a new Puss in Boots movie—and if that level is extreme, I see you and respect your choices—I’ll say it’s in good hands. Persichetti has been a presence in the animation world for years, working as an inbetween artist on Disney classics like Hercules and Mulan, a storyboard artist on Monsters vs. Aliens, and the head of story on 2015’s The Little Prince and the original Puss in Boots. Spider-Verse was his first foray into directing and the result was one of the best films of 2018. If he can inject half the electricity of Spider-Verse into Puss in Boots, hell, bring on another round with that little sword-wielding weirdo. I mean, it could be worse. It could be a fourth Hotel Transylvania movie.