Even Jack Black Assumed That Dreamworks Would Never Make Another KUNG-FU PANDA Film

These days, it’s very uncommon for movies in Hollywood to go beyond their intended trilogy. Studio executives are usually more likely to approve a reboot versus a continuation if a long amount of time has passed.

Because of this, Jack Black, the star of the Kung-Fu Panda franchise, recently said that following the release of Kung-Fu Panda 3 in 2016, he thought the franchise was over and that Dreamworks was moving on.

Speaking to Total Film, the Nacho Libre star stated, “I had so much fun on the first three that I couldn’t really believe they were calling me to make another one. I was like, ‘Really? This is a dream come true. I thought we were done.’ You know, because it had the beginning, middle and end encapsulated in that first three? But this is kind of a reboot, in a great way.

The third film in the series, which had a $145 million production budget, brought in $521.2 million worldwide.

Kung-Fu Panda 4 is presently on track to surpass that amount, with a current global total of $347.3M. The production budget for the fourth installment also cost significantly less to make, at just $85 million.

Black went on to share his excitement to introduce the franchise to a whole new crop of kids, stating, “And in a lot of ways, it’s my favorite one of the bunch. I thought we really took it to another level and I think it’s gonna blow people’s minds. A whole new generation of kids will get the experience of Kung Fu Panda and that whole world.”

The film features the voice talent of returning stars Academy Award winner Dustin Hoffman as Kung Fu master, Shifu; James Hong (Everything Everywhere All at Once) as Po’s adoptive father, Mr. Ping; Academy Award nominee Bryan Cranston as Po’s birth father, Li, and Emmy Award nominee Ian McShane as Tai Lung, Shifu’s former student and arch-nemesis. Oscar winner Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once) joins the ensemble as a new character, Han, the leader of the Den of Thieves. 
Kung Fu Panda 4
 is directed by Mike Mitchell (DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls, Shrek Forever After) and produced by Rebecca Huntley (DreamWorks Animation’s The Bad Guys). The film’s co-director is Stephanie Ma Stine (She-Ra and the Princesses of Power).

Kung Fu Panda 4 Official Synopsis

This spring, for the first time in almost a decade, comedy icon Jack Black returns to his role as Po, the world’s most unlikely kung fu master, with a hilarious, butt-kicking new chapter in DreamWorks Animation’s beloved action-comedy franchise: Kung Fu Panda 4.

After three death-defying adventures defeating world-class villains with his unmatched courage and mad martial arts skills, Po, the Dragon Warrior (Golden Globe nominee Jack Black), is called upon by destiny to … give it a rest already. More specifically, he’s tapped to become the Spiritual Leader of the Valley of Peace.

That poses a couple of obvious problems. First, Po knows as much about spiritual leadership as he does about the paleo diet, and second, he needs to quickly find and train a new Dragon Warrior before he can assume his new lofty position.

Even worse, there’s been a recent sighting of a wicked, powerful sorceress, Chameleon (Oscar® winner Viola Davis), a tiny lizard who can shapeshift into any creature, large or small. And Chameleon has her greedy, beady little eyes on Po’s Staff of Wisdom, which would give her the power to re-summon all the master villains whom Po has vanquished to the spirit realm.

So, Po’s going to need some help. He finds it (kinda?) in the form of crafty, quick-witted thief Zhen (Golden Globe winner Awkwafina), a corsac fox who really gets under Po’s fur but whose skills will prove invaluable. In their quest to protect the Valley of Peace from Chameleon’s reptilian claws, this comedic odd-couple duo will have to work together. In the process, Po will discover that heroes can be found in the most unexpected places.