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DreamWorks managed a feat that very few other movie studios have accomplished: produced a sequel to a film (an animated film, no less) that was arguably better than the original. Not only did Shrek 2 do almost twice as well at the box office than its predecessor, most people agree it was a funnier, more entertaining show. All that praise (but more likely all those box office receipts) has apparently finally gone to the heads of the execs at DreamWorks. They have the Shrek cash-cow hooked up to the milking machine and it’s set to full power.

Variety reports that with Shrek 3 barely entering pre-production (set to release Summer 2007) and a spin-off film based on the Puss In Boots character from Shrek 2 already under development, DreamWorks has commissioned a script for Shrek 4. Given the quality effort and tender loving care that went into the first sequel, Shrek 2 (anyone else getting a little dizzy?), I’m reluctant to start calling foul on the sequel mongering. After all, if DreamWorks manages to continue their trend of improving on the stories with each new movie, who am I to complain?

On the other hand its impossible to say that DreamWorks motives are entirely pure. Sure, they’re in the business to make quality entertainment, but it’s also tough to argue with the $1.5 billion the first two Shrek films grossed. Who wouldn’t want to start cranking out the sequels and spin-offs, regardless of their quality? We’ll have to wait and see.

Tim Sullivan, a lawyer turned stand-up comedian who wrote and directed the movie Jack and Sarah (no, you’ve probably never heard of it before) has been drafted to pen the first version of the Shrek 4 script. No word yet on whether Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and Mike Myers would continue on with a fourth movie. All three, along with Antonio Banderas, are all signed on for Shrek 3.