It’s been one hell of a 24 hour period for Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger and Jack Black. Yesterday, it was announced that the Aibel/Berger combo would be writing an action comedy vehicle for their Kung Fu Panda star, Black, in which he would play an amnesiac who thinks he’s a top secret agent. And today, DreamWorks Animation confirmed that they’ll also be reteaming on Kung Fu Panda 2, the sequel to this year’s unexpected smash hit.

The visually stunning and surprisingly funny CG comedy grossed over $600 million at the worldwide box office this summer – and so it seemed only a matter of time before a sequel was confirmed. And lo, it’s already marked out a date: June 3, 2011.

There’s no word yet on plot details, but Black has been confirmed to return as the lovable protagonist, Po, while Angelina Jolie – who voiced Tigress – is also set to come back. Deals haven’t yet been concluded for the rest of the first film’s voice talent, including Dustin Hoffman (Shifu), Jackie Chan (Monkey) and Seth Rogen (Mantis), but we’d expect them to come on board officially very soon. With Mark Osborne and John Stevenson moving onto other projects. Jennifer Yu Helson will move up to assume sole directorial responsibility for the film, which will be released in 3D.

I’ve got mixed feelings about this, to be honest. With really liking the first one – it was an enormous and very welcome surprise – and I hope that this sequel can deliver on the quirky characters, and astonishing action setpieces of the original, and that it’s not just a cynical cash-in that will milk the franchise dry. But – hey! – when has Hollywood ever done that?

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