What with Madagascar 3 maintaining an impressive gross in the weeks following its release, and Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises sure to come out of the gate guns hot, threequels don't really seem like all that bad of an idea anymore. As this weekend's Ice Age: Continental Drift sets out to prove, animated franchises in particular are fertile grounds for extensive exploration of new stories. Dreamworks Animation is clearly taking note of these factors, as the company has announced a third installment of the Kung Fu Panda series, as reported by The Playlist.
The first two films starred Jack Black as bumbling everypanda-turned-heroic warrior Po, with Dustin Hoffman as his sensei, and a band of martial arts colleagues including Angelina Jolie and Seth Rogen, among others. While this large cast was maintained in both films, Kung Fu Panda 2 opted for a new director to replace the team of Spongebob Squarepants helmer Mark Osborne and animator John Stevenson. Animator Jennifer Yuh took over for the second movie.
No word yet on who'll be handling number 3, but following the success of both Panda flicks, a third movie could likely attract even more talent, both on and off camera. A new adventure warrants a new villain — in other words, a new major role, and as such, a new big name actor to voice said character (Kung Fu Panda featured Ian McShane as its central villain, while Gary Oldman played the baddie in KFP2). Clearly, this franchise likes its evildoers with an English tongue (who doesn't?), so perhaps they're to vie for the newly omnipresent Peter Dinklage to take on the heavy in the threequel. The Game of Thrones star is currently handling the voice of a particularly nasty primate in Ice Age 4, so he's obviously up for the task of portraying rude animals.
Who would you like to see take the reigns of villainy for the Kung Fu Panda threequel?
[Photo Credit: Dreamworks Animation]