|This article is out of universe from Kung Fu Panda.|
|This subject has been distinguished as part of the real world and should not be taken as part of the fictional universe of the Kung Fu Panda franchise.|
|Kung Fu Panda 3|
Kung Fu Panda 3 is the upcoming third film in the Kung Fu Panda franchise. It is being developed in China as a co-production between DreamWorks Animation and its Chinese partners at Oriental DreamWorks. It will be distributed by 20th Century Fox and have returning filmmakers Jennifer Yuh Nelson as the director, and Guillermo del Toro as producers, and as its writers. Also returning are the franchise's original cast members, as well as three additional new cast members: Bryan Cranston, Mads Mikkelsen, and Rebel Wilson.
In DreamWorks Animation's April 2013 announcement, some of the film's plot details were revealed:
[The film] follows Po, the chosen one, as he continues on his journey mastering the art of kung fu... and noodle slurping. Continuing on his now legendary adventures of awesomeness, Po must face two hugely epic, but very different threats: one supernatural and the other a little closer to home.
|“||Having the wonderful Jennifer Yuh Nelson return as director is incredibly exciting for the studio. Under her guidance I have no doubt that our returning cast and our outstanding new voice talent will take the franchise's story to the next level.||”|
|—DreamWorks Animation Chief Creative Officer Bill Damaschke|
In April 2012, Jack Black first spoke to the press about the possible development of another Kung Fu Panda sequel: "I think they're writing it, writing hard as we speak," he shared. "I'd love to [return]. Yeah, it's a blast." The sequel was then officially confirmed on July 12, 2012 at the San Diego Comic-Con by Bill Damaschke, chief creative officer and co-president of production at DreamWorks Animation. A fan at the Comic-Con had asked him about the tease right before the credits in Kung Fu Panda 2, and if it might possibly lead to a sequel. Damaschke paused and then answered, "Yes, there will be a Kung Fu Panda 3."
The film is being majorly produced and distributed by DreamWorks' new Shanghai-based company called Oriental DreamWorks (ODW). According to Li Huaiyu, chief investment officer of China Media Capital (one of the founders of Oriental DreamWorks), Kung Fu Panda 3 "has been given priority on the agenda of ODW, which is set to begin operations later this year." Li also shared that "it's likely for ODW to participate in the distribution of Kung Fu Panda 3." Approximately one-third of the film is being produced at ODW, and the remainder at the main DreamWorks Animation headquarters in Glendale, California.
On November 12, 2012, producer Guillermo del Toro commented on the film's current progression:
We basically talked about where we would go in the third one in the second one. We really finished [Kung Fu Panda 2] with the real father of Po saying 'My son is alive,' so that allows us to continue that arc of Po as a character. All I can say is the bad guy in the third one is possibly the most formidable villain in the series... We finished an outline, we presented a character design, we presented a couple of sequences in storyboard, and we're very hard at work on a screenplay.
On April 9, 2013, DreamWorks announced the addition of three new cast members (Bryan Cranston, Mads Mikkelsen, and Rebel Wilson), as well as the film's new slated release date of December 23, 2015. In addition, some of the film's plot elements were also revealed.
On June 17, 2013, one of the film's Shanghai-based partners (Peter Li) announced and confirmed that production on the film will officially commence in August.
On July 10, 2013, del Toro shared a brief update on the film in an interview, mentioning that it's "going great," that it's "very different from the second one. We came up with a really good idea [for a character]," and "it sort of links with the ending of the second one . . ." Two days later, on July 12, ODW vice president Shuai Min disclosed another brief update. "The script has been finished and production will soon start. What the work demonstrates is not just 'Chinese elements,' but profound Chinese culture and rich local flavor."
In October 2013, the film's production team spent a week in Shanghai with their production partners at Oriental DreamWorks. While there, they were treated to some authentic Chinese experiences by the ODW team to help them incorporate ideas for the film; these included "a tea ceremony, incense ceremony, high kicking Kung Fu action, as well as wedding ceremonies from the Tang, Song, and Qing dynasties."
In May 2014, DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg spoke to the press briefly about the film. Addressing the comedic value of his company's films, he stated that "'Kung Fu Panda 3,' the next story[,] is actually more broadly comedic. It's actually close to the first movie than the second movie. The second was dealing with Po's past and had dark elements to it."
- Kung Fu Panda 3 is the first major Hollywood animated feature film to be co-produced with a Chinese firm.
- The film was previously announced to release on March 18, 2016, but a later press release confirmed the earlier and current release date of December 23, 2015.