The Pink Panther is set to return to cinema screens in an animated/live-action hybrid; one that will focus on the cartoon panther from the classic title sequence rather than the main character, Inspector Clouseau, of the comedy films.
The panther, created by Blake Edwards, became the icon of the series' 11 film history, which originally starred Peter Sellers (and, in its critically panned modern day incarnation: Steve Martin) as the inept French detective. Despite merely being named after a jewel in the original 1963 film, the star of the title sequence took on a life of his own thanks to a distinctive look, and iconic theme music.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the new film will apparently revolve around a jewel heist, with the Panther set to remain silent in tribute to his animated origins. David Silverman of The Simpsons Movie has been hired to direct, while Julie Andrews, widow of long-term Panther director Blake Edwards, will be involved as an executive producer.
Andrews has said: “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.”