Eddie Murphy Lines Up to Star in ‘The Pink Panther’ Reboot
Eddie Murphy star in a new update of a classic comedy. Grayling The Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning actor and comedian is discussing the planned reboot of the “Pink Panther” film series. THR reports that Murphy would play the franchise’s longtime protagonist, Inspector Jacques Clouseau.
Eddie Murphy is talking about starring in a new reboot of The Pink Panther
If signed on, Murphy will star in director Jeff Fowler’s (“Sonic the Hedgehog”) reboot of the classic property from a script by Chris Bremner. Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich (Disney’s “Aladdin”) produced the project from their Rideback production banner. Larry Mirisch and Julie Andrews are also attached as producers.
THR also reports that the new film would be a hybrid of live-action and CGI, combining the traditions of the original films, primarily with live-action animated opening and closing sequences. Let’s say the plan is to have Eddie Murphy hook up with a literal CGI Pink Panther. In which case, it makes more sense why Fowler is on board, noting his experience with two successful “Sonic the Hedgehog” films based on the iconic video game series.
The premise of the new film is for Inspector Clouseau (Murphy) to team up with the real Pink Panther (an anthropomorphic live panther, not the diamond) for the first time on the big screen. THR notes that the project is still in early development.
The first “Pink Panther” movie was released in 1963. It was originally designed as the star vehicle of Niven, a thief who wants to steal a priceless diamond called the “Pink Panther”. While Niven was originally intended to star as the thief Sir Charles Lytton, also known as ‘The Phantom’, the film’s real standout was Peter Sellers as the bumbling, clueless detective Inspector Jacques Clouseau.
Sellers later took center stage in the film’s first sequel, 1964’s A Shot in the Dark, which focused on Sellers and his antics as Clouseau rather than Niven’s Sir Lytton. Sellers returned to the role again for several sequels in the 1970s.
The first major reboot of the franchise was attempted in 1993 with Son of the Pink Panther, starring Roberto Benigni, who was revealed to be the long-lost son of the late Inspector Clouseau. Longtime franchise filmmaker and co-writer Blake Edwards returned to direct the sequel, but the film was a critical and box office success.
MGM had more success with another reboot in 2006, directed by Shawn Levy and starring Steve Martin as Clouseau. It also featured Beyonce Knowles as a famous pop star named Xania. It was panned by critics but did well at the box office, grossing $164 million worldwide. The 2009 sequel didn’t fare as well, grossing less than half of the original.
The franchise is also well known for its iconic theme song and animated mascot, the Pink Panther, who appears in the films’ edgy opening and closing credits. The character will later appear in his animated shows.
Murphy recently starred in Coming 2 America, the 2021 sequel to the 1988 all-time classic Coming to America. He also appeared in the 2023 Netflix comedy You People. In 2020, Murphy won his first Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for hosting “Saturday Night Live.” As previously reported by The Blast, Murphy also began work on the long-awaited sequel to “Beverly Hills Cop” last year. “Beverly Hills Cop IV” will be released later on Netflix.
MGM’s planned “The Pink Panther” reboot is in the works and doesn’t have an official release date yet.