The Pink Panther reboot is happening, with an all-new franchise concept in the works at MGM, marking the latest classic property to get rebooted as a CGI/live-action hybrid movie. Enlisting a filmmaker with experience on that front, MGM has tapped Sonic the Hedgehog director Jeff Fowler to helm the project with Bad Boys for Life co-writer Chris Bremner penning the screenplay. The deal has reportedly been in the works since the start of the year, and it appears that the movie is now officially a go.
Julie Andrews, who was married to the original Pink Panther movie co-writer and director Blake Edwards, is on board to produce. Also producing are Lawrence Mirisch and Rideback’s Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich. Lawrence’s father Walter Mirisch, who executive produced the 1963 original, will also return to executive produce alongside Rideback’s Ryan Halpin.
“Popular the world over, the legacy of the iconic Pink Panther has endured for more than 50 years and continues to be discovered by new generations,” MGM Film group’s Michael De Luca and Pamela Abdy said in a statement. “We are so happy to come together with Jeff, Chris, Larry, Julie, Dan, Jonathan, Walter and Ryan to bring one of MGM’s most well-loved franchise back to the big screen and in a way audience have never seen before.”
With the first installment of the movie series releasing in 1963, The Pink Panther starred Peter Sellers as Inspector Jacques Clouseau, a French detective investigating the theft of a large gem known as the “Pink Panther.” Appearing in the opening credits is an animated pink panther, a character whose own popularity grew to the point where he was given his own animated shorts and a cartoon series.
While full plot details haven’t been revealed, it appears that MGM will merge the two concepts together by bringing the animated panther into the real world. The movie “will focus on a smooth operating inspector who, thanks to a traumatic event, now has a pink panther for an imaginary friend. The latter, although he doesn’t speak, does help solve the case.”
In 2006, Steve Martin assumed the role of Jacques Clouseau in director Shawn Levy’s reboot of The Pink Panther, once again looking into the theft of the titular diamond. As the movie was a box office success, Martin would reprise the role for a 2009 sequel helmed by Harald Zwart. The animated panther was featured prominently in the movie’s marketing materials, though he was not featured as a character in the movies.
Fowler’s first and only movie as a director so far is this year’s Sonic the Hedgehog, which set the record for the biggest opening weekend for a video game movie in the United States and Canada. A sequel is already in the works with Jeff Fowler on board to step back into the director’s chair. Meanwhile, along with co-writing Bad Boys for Life, Bremner is also working on another Bad Boys project for Sony along with M.A.S.K. for Paramount and National Treasure 3 for Sony. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.