Jeff Fowler is bringing back another popular animated character to the big screen.
Fowler, who helmed this year’s Sonic the Hedgehog movie, has been tapped by MGM to direct a new Pink Panther movie. He will team up with screenwriter Chris Bremmer ― co-writer of the critically acclaimed 2020 movie Bad Boys for Life ― for the feature project.
Previous Pink Panther movies tell the comical adventures of bumbling Inspector Clouseau who, in the original 1963 film, owns a case with a pink diamond décor that resembles a leaping pink panther. The opening credits of the said film also features an animated Pink Panther cartoon character, who proved so popular that he was given his own spinoff TV series.
Though the Pink Panther franchise has been rebooted several times, Inspector Clouseau and the Pink Panther cartoon character have never starred in the same movie together until now. While plot details for the new movie are being kept under wraps, sources told The Hollywood Reporter that the reboot will feature the two characters together, merging the human and animated elements of the franchise for the first time.
In the new Pink Panther film, Inspector Clouseau starts seeing an imaginary Pink Panther after a traumatic event. Though the Pink Panther doesn’t speak, the cartoon character helps the inspector solve his various cases. Following the style of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie, the titular character in the new Pink Panther movie will reportedly be a three-dimensional animated character living in the real world.
Rideback, the production company behind Disney’s 2019 live-action film adaptation of Aladdin, is producing the new Pink Panther movie. Also producing are Lawrence Mirisch and Oscar-winning actress Julie Andrews, who was married to Blake Edwards ― the director and co-writer of the original Pink Panther movie. Walter Mirisch, who executive produced the original and who is the father of Lawrence Mirisch, will also executive produce, as well as Ryan Halprin of Rideback.
Complicated by several rights holders and a search for the right take, the new Pink Panther movie has been in the works since the beginning of the year. It doesn’t have a release date yet.