Another Legendary Comedy Actor Might Take Up Pink Panther’s Starring Role
Unless you count the animated shows (which I wouldn’t because they’re very different), we are in a drought of new Pink Panther media centering on Detective Clouseau. It’s been almost 14 years since the last film. Between this and (more likely) the desire to milk existing intellectual properties, MGM (owned by Amazon) decided the time is nigh. Since at least 2014 (five years after Pink Panther 2) Hollywood has been itching to make another film. Now, in a recent exclusive from The Hollywood Reporter, Eddie Murphy is in talks to become the fifth (live-action) Inspector Clouseau.
As a 90s baby, I grew up on the Beyoncé version (starring Steve Martin). That entry in the series had everyone in my middle school saying “hamburger” in the silliest French accent. As for Martin passing the torch to Murphy, I couldn’t think of a better actor. Now roughly the same age as Martin when he first played the incompetent detective, Murphy could bring a new spin on the character. While the humor styles between Murphy and Martin are very different, they both have that experience with physical comedy and playing the likable, bumbling hero that saves the day. Additionally, both actors have a semi-similar career track. The Bowfinger colleagues started in edgier and more adult comedy before mellowing to (mostly) more family-oriented content.
When MGM first announced this project, the focus was on the animated creature rather than Clouseau. For those unfamiliar with the characters in live-action movies, the Pink Pather is a pink jewel. Only in the animated series (also post and pre-film credits) is the Pink Panther a furry cat. Like Bugs vs. Elmer, the Pink Panther and Clouseau are at odds. The sly feline usually makes Clouseau’s life more difficult (and dangerous), whereas, in the movie, Clouseau is his own demise. So to bring in a version of a live cat over a metaphor is an interesting choice.
With the same director as Sonic (2020), Jeff Fowler, this could work. Sources told THR that this fuse between live-action/CGI would be a “buddy cop movie tone.” I’ll take a conspicuous, alive Pink Panther in the film over a few sexually inappropriate jokes that bring the series down. Whatever happens, I know we will require a bop like this (and A Woman Like Me) released, too!
(via The Hollywood Reporter, featured image: NBC)
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