Would you believe that one of the most iconic cartoon characters came simply from a title sequence? You would if we told you it was The Pink Panther, whose antics would delight audiences in the title sequence to almost all of the films in the titular series. Of course, some people are more familiar with the solo cartoon of the Panther himself, which came not too long after the character’s introduction in 1963.
Jump ahead decades later to today, and you’ll see that The Panther’s image has been much more resilient than that of the studio that created him. Which makes it no surprise that MGM has announced (via The Wrap) they’re in the business of making a CGI/Live-Action reboot of The Pink Panther. Walter Mirisch, the legendary producer of the original film series, was on hand to announce the news recently, and had this to say:
I am proud that the ‘Pink Panther’ — both the feature films and the great library of cartoons created by David De Patie and Friz Freleng that sprang from it — continues to be one of the brightest jewels in the crown of Mirisch films. Now, for the first time, the live action franchise will be united with the world- famous cartoon character in a new hybrid feature film. I am excited by our concept and I look forward to an outstanding movie entertainment.
David Silverman (Monsters Inc. and The Simpson's Movie) will be directing this new film, while Julie Andrews will be on board as a producer. Her late husband, Blake Edwards, was the steward of the original franchise through a majority of its entries, enduring the series’ highs and lows, as well as a rather testing friendship with series’ lead, Peter Sellers. Previously, the franchise was resurrected with two Steve Martin lead films was in 2006 and 2009.
Regardless of the quality of those two films, this new opener will be taking the route of the cartoons and focusing on giving the Panther himself "a very 21st Century spin." For those of you who wanted to know what The Pink Panther would be like with a Snapchat account, your day has finally come. Whether the Panther will be speaking or not has not been determined just yet. MGM might surprise the world and announce that a human protagonist will square off against the silent but mischievous feline.
This seems less than likely, as it’s a prime opportunity to cast a big name that’ll hurl witticisms at said Human, while making their life a miserable existence. Clearly we haven’t learned from Bill Murray’s Garfield.
With a release date or any other creative forces unannounced as of yet, let’s consider a couple of things: what "big names" would be an interesting fit for voicing The Pink Panther? Who should play the human? Should The Panther even talk, if there’s enough time to work out a decent script? When all of those factors fall into place, the picture of what type of film this could become will be a lot clearer. For now though, check out the opening from the 2006 film down below, and tell us if you think this sort of concept could work for an entire film.