With minimal fanfare, Universal Pictures has just announced that the fourth film in DreamWorks Animation’s famed Kung Fu Panda franchise will hit theaters on March 8, 2024. No other info was provided.
After KFP3, Carloni spent several years in development as the original director on Skydance Animation’s Luck, released on Apple TV+ last week; Peggy Holmes replaced him on the film in early 2020 after reported creative differences between Carloni and producer John Lasseter. Back in 2016, Carloni spoke to AWN at length about his work on KFP3.
Inspired by traditional martial arts and set in ancient China, Kung Fu Panda tells the epic tale of wide-eyed Po, whose love of kung fu is matched only by an insatiable appetite. KFP1 remains the studio’s highest grossing original animated film.
The studio’s last animated features in the franchise, Kung Fu Panda 3, was released in 2016; combined, the three films have generated .8 billion at the box office since KFP1 was released in 2009. The franchise’s most recent animated series spin-off, Kung Fu Panda: The Dragon Knight, starring Jack Black reprising his role as Po, debuted last month on Netflix. Black starred in all three film along with Angelina Jolie, .
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.
Mark Osborne and John Stevenson directed the first film; Jennifer Yuh Nelson of recent Love, Death + Robots fame directed KFP2, and co-directed KFP3 with Alessandro Carloni. Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger handled screenwriting duties on all three KPF films.