Barbenheimer was a significant cultural phenomenon that saw two vastly different movies inspire a social media and societal event that ultimately led to major box office success and plenty of entertainment for viewers.
Now, with two other major entertainment franchises looming on the horizon, it begs the question of whether we could see another event of that magnitude again, only this time involving everyone’s favorite ogre and a beloved gaming franchise.
Could We See “Grand Shreft Auto” Happen in 2025?
We know this sounds a bit out there, so let’s break down our rather absurd question and lay out our thinking.
On November 8, 2023, we saw the official announcement of GTA VI, with a trailer coming in early December that will reveal the next entry to the legendary franchise. However, this wasn’t the only major news reveal involving a beloved series; as according to TMZ, Shrek 5 is also in the works and expected to be released in 2025.
This year, we saw something similar in the film industry, with two major film releases coming out simultaneously, Barbie and Oppenheimer, and we don’t need to tell you how vastly different the two movies are from one another. Despite their differences, cinema-goers created a movement and social media trend that took over the internet, with memes, t-shirts, and so many more outlandish celebrations of these two films that became known as Barbenheimer. It was so big that it even played a part in the two films becoming major box-office successes.
We have two major cultural entertainment franchises getting big releases, GTA VI and Shrek 5, in the future, potentially around the same time, and that naturally has people excited, much like Barbenheimer. But, it also got our brains ticking away on an idea: what if these two franchises create another Barbenheimer-level cultural event, which we lovingly have dubbed “Grand Shreft Auto?” It’s not as outlandish as you might think.
On various social media platforms, you can already see the seeds of this new movement being planted, with people already sharing their excitement about these two franchises making their returns. So what’s to say we don’t see the two play off each other to generate hype and attention?
With Barbenheimer, the two lifted each other in a back-and-forth of hype. Viewers discussed what order to watch the film, made outfits they wore to both films, and even the makers of both movies went in on the action and the cast, and that’s only naming a few examples. Ultimately, both films went on to major box office success, with Barbie becoming the biggest opening for a female director, and it’s hard to imagine that Barbenheimer didn’t play a role in that.
With Grand Shreft Auto, we could see Barbenheimer’s level of fan engagement. Shrek is already a breeding ground for memes and is the gift that keeps on giving, and with Grand Theft Auto, you have a significant release of one of the most popular gaming series in the world.
We could see the usual memes and discourse online, but that could once again turn into something more tangible like merchandise or even see the developers or film studios lean into it, much like those involved with Barbenheimer. A small trailer? Perhaps modders will work their magic and throw Shrek into the game? The mind boggles with ideas, and it’s not like Rockstar isn’t afraid to poke fun or crack jokes at themselves or their games occasionally.
Of course, this is contingent on GTA 6 and Shrek 5 sharing the same or very close release dates, and in truth, we might be getting ahead of ourselves. But it’s not like we haven’t seen something like this in gaming before; Doom Eternal and Animal Crossing were released in 2020 during COVID lockdowns, so why can’t we see film and gaming crossover in this unexpected way?
Will Grand Shreft Auto happen? Who knows, but the potential is there, and I am intrigued to see if this somewhat ridiculous idea bears fruit as we wait for more information on the two entertainment juggernauts.