¡Hola, comrades! Juan Cena here, manning the Cubano Review desk. El Presidente has been spending all day preparing for the series finale of How I Met Your Mother by binge-watching the entire series on his tablet in his sensory deprivation chamber. That leaves me to tell you Hollywood is once again trying to reboot the Pink Panther franchise. This time, with a twist that’s either brilliant, cynical, and possibly both. (But with more cynicism, if you catch my drift.)
Apparently, someone at MGM had the brilliant idea of trying to reboot the series by focusing not on Inspector Clouseau, the franchise's original central character played by the late Peter Sellers, but on the animated feline that first appeared in the credits of the first Pink Panther film in 1963. This comes after attempts to reboot the series by replacing Sellers with Roberto Beningi in 1993, and Steve Martin in 2006 and 2009, were less than successful.
The new film will, however, center on a jewel heist just like the original film. No word if the animated Panther will be the thief, the chief investigator of the crime, or some hopeless schmuck who gets caught in the middle.
The animated Pink Panther has had a sucessful life outside the film credits. He appeared in a series of animated shorts United Artists', including The Pink Phink, which won an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1964. The Pink Panther Show was a staple on NBC's Saturday morning lineup in one form or another from 1969 to 1978. Other TV animated series featuring the Panther were The Pink Panther and Sons (1984), The Pink Panther (1993), and Pink Panther and Pals (2007).
David Silverman, who directed The Simpsons Movie, has been picked to helm the film. Also on board are original film series producer Walter Mirisch, and Julie Andrews, widow of the director of the original Pink Panther films, Blake Edwards. (Yes, Julie "Mary Poppins" Andrews. Thanks for asking.)
Andrews believes her late husband would approve of the reboot, saying “I am delighted that the legacy of Blake’s iconic Pink Panther franchise will continue to grow in its new hybrid form. It is exciting that the quintessential ‘next step’ for our beloved Panther will be enjoyed by a 4th generation of audiences. I feel that Blake is encouraging us on.”
Of course, whether Edwards would actually be pleased with this reboot is questionable. I would have El Presidente try to commune with Edwards spirit in his sensory deprivation chamber, but he is too busy communing with Neil Patrick Harris in there at the moment. I mean communing with NPH’s filmed image on his tablet. I mean...oh, you know what I mean.