Despite the last movie being the most successful in the franchise to date, Madagascar 4 still hasn't happened - here's what we know about the animated sequel. The original Madagascar arrived in 2005 and told the story of four pampered Central Park Zoo animals who find themselves shipwrecked on Madagascar and have to tap into their inner instincts to survive. The film's colorful visuals and likable characters, voiced by the likes of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, and Jada Pinkett Smith, saw it become a sizable hit.
The voice cast returned for 2008’s Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, which saw the gang try to make their way back to New York only to crash land in Africa, where Alex the lion is reunited with his parents. The sequel was a bigger hit than the original, with Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted following in 2012. The third movie was the biggest of the franchise by far, grossing nearly $750 million worldwide. The franchise also spawned an animated TV series called The Penguins of Madagascar, which ran for 3 seasons
Related: Bee Movie Pitch Meeting
Despite this, Madagascar 4 still hasn’t arrived. Here’s everything we know about the planned sequel.
Madagascar 4 Was Officially Greenlit In 2014
In addition to the major success of the third movie, Dreamworks kept the series alive with 2014 movie spinoff Penguins Of Madagascar. Madagascar 4 was confirmed that same year with a planned release date for May 2018. The movie was later removed from the schedule following Dreamworks Animations policy to release two movies a year.
While it’s assumed Madagascar 4 is still in active development, its status hasn’t been updated in some time and Dreamworks haven’t penciled in a new release date for it.
What’s The Story Of Madagascar 4?
There’s little information about the plot of Madagascar 4, though the movie will reportedly be the final entry of the franchise. The third movie ended with the gang joining the circus after they realize they don’t want to be in captivity anymore, and the story will apparently involve the group heading back to Africa. The main voice cast is set to return, but since a solid update hasn’t been given on the project in some time, those plans may have changed.
Madagascar 4 Will Happen - Eventually
Despite little sign of Madagascar 4 happening, it's too valuable of a property to leave alone. The movies have collectively grossed close to $2 billion worldwide, which isn’t counting various TV and video game spinoffs, in addition to merchandise. While it’s a little strange Dreamworks would leave the series dormant for so long, it’s not unheard of for animated sequels to take long breaks between entries – fans had to wait 12 years for Toy Story 3, for example.
Franchise director Tom McGrath last updated the status of Madagascar 4 in 2017, stating that while nothing was ready to be announced at that point, he expected the characters to return one last time.