It’s no secret that Shrek and his pals are heading back to theaters yet again. One only needs to look at this summer’s box office grosses to see that. It was never a question of “if” they were heading back, it was a question of “when.” Now that question has been answered.

DreamWorks animation and Paramount Pictures announced today that they are targeting May 21st, 2010 for the release date of the next Shrek picture, currently being referred to as The Next Shrek. I’m hoping that title is a reference to the next Shrek movie, not a kind of Shrek: the next generation like Ace Ventura is facing.

Hard to believe the studio has so much confidence in their franchise that they’re planning another sequel for three years from now, nine years after the original movie hit theaters. Somewhere in here also fits that alleged Puss-in-Boots spin off.

According to Variety, this becomes the first title to lay claim to 2010. Although several other franchises are looking at that year for releases, nothing solid has been set in stone. At least for a little while, the big green Ogre has the year all to himself. Doubless, sooner than later he’ll be getting some competition.

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