Word that someone is trying a new take on The Pink Panther might be cause for eye rolling and wondering why we need another re-imagining after the Steve Martin films. But forget visions of Inspector Clouseau: MGM has Simpsons veteran director David Silverman instead focusing on the actual panther himself.
Silverman has fellow Simpsons staff member Michael Price in talks to write the script for the new film, which would use the basic jewel heist caper setting of the original 1963 film, in which the Pink Panther was actually the gem targeted by a master thief and the cartoon version of the panther only appeared in the opening credits.
In the new version, the character will appear – non-speaking, as per his appearances in film shorts and on TV – in a blend of live-action and CG for a caper movie. Inspector Clouseau, so memorably played by Peter Sellers and gamely, if less successfully, updated by Martin, won’t be a part of the movie, though he will exist in the new stor, presumably to be useful in case of sequels.
Producer Walter Mirisch who helped steer the original films and TV series is overseeing the new movie, with Edwards’ widow Julie Andrews also involved, and seemingly happy with the idea.
“I am delighted that the legacy of Blake’s iconic Pink Panther franchise will continue to grow in its new hybrid form,” she said in a statement picked up by The Hollywood Reporter. “It is exciting that the quintessential ‘next step’ for our beloved Panther will be enjoyed by a fourth generation of audiences. I feel that Blake is encouraging us on.” Cue the Aardvark jumping on the phone to his agent wondering whether he can get in on the action.