Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) is developing for production a full-length hybrid animation and live-action feature film based on the animated Pink Panther character, it was announced today by Gary Barber, chairman and CEO of MGM and Jonathan Glickman, president of the studio's motion picture group. Walter Mirisch, executive producer of the original Pink Panther films and television series will serve as the producer of the new film, along with Academy Award-winning actress, Julie Andrews, wife of the late director Blake Edwards. David Silverman (The Simpsons Movie, Monsters Inc.) will direct. The Pink Panther character originated a remarkable fifty years ago.
The new caper film will focus on the Pink Panther character, rather than Inspector Clouseau, and will harken back to the tone shared by the original Friz Freleng and David H. DePatie cartoons as well as that of Blake Edwards' films.
Here's what MGM president Jonathan Glickman had to say in the following statement.
"We are incredibly proud to re-introduce the Walter Mirisch and Julie Andrews, as well as the talented David Silverman, whose enthusiasm convinced us to 'Think Pink!'"
Producer Walter Mirisch had this to say in his own statement.
"I am proud that the Pink Panther -- both the feature films and the great library of cartoons created by David H. DePatie 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."
Executive producer Julie Andrews offered her own statement about the new feature.
"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."
For an incredible fifty years, the Pink Panther has been one of the most beloved characters in the history of film. There are a select few animated characters who have reached the level of popularity and longevity that the Pink Panther has achieved. Next to James Bond, The Pink Panther movie franchise is one of the longest running in cinematic history, boasting 11 feature films, spanning five decades. The films have won 2 Academy Awards, 2 Golden Globe Awards and the Grammy Award-winning theme song still stands today as one of the greatest themes of all time.
MGM's Cassidy Lange, senior vice president of production, will oversee the film for the studio.