MGM is on board bringing back another classic IP, but not in the way you might think with The Pink Panther. This isn't going to be built around the Inspector Clouseau character made famous by Peter Sellers, later played by Steve Martin in the film reboots. This will be based on the animated character and mascot of the franchise, which will be rendered in CGI mixed in a live-action setting. The studio will trust Jeff Fowler, who came off the successful live-action hybrid Sonic The Hedgehog for Paramount, to direct, according to Deadline Hollywood. Chris Bremner (Bad Boys for Life (2020) will provide the screenplay.
Lawrence Mirisch, Julie Andrews Edwards, Dan Lin, and Jonathan Eirich will produce with Walter Mirisch, and Ryan Halprin will executive produce. "Popular the world over, the legacy of the iconic Pink Panther has endured for more than 50 years and continues to be discovered by new generations," said Michael De Luca, MGM Film Group chairman, and Pamela Abdy, MGM Film Group president. "We are so happy to come together with Jeff, Chris, Larry, Julie, Dan, Jonathan, Walter, and Ryan to bring one of MGM's most well-loved franchise back to the big screen and, in a way, audience[s] have never seen before."
The Pink Panther is MGM's longest and most successful comedy franchise created by writer-director Blake Edwards in partnership with Walter Mirisch. Edwards' legacy is survived by his widow, Julie Andrews Edwards. In 1964, the Mirisch Company produced the Edwards-directed The Pink Panther, which starred David Niven as the Phantom, but Sellers' Clouseau became so popular, the remaining films focused on him. The equally iconic score that produced the theme by Henry Mancini didn't hurt. Following Sellers' passing in 1980, unused footage from previous films was repurposed for his sixth film in the franchise in The Trail of the Pink Panther (1982). Edwards' final theatrical film was The Son of the Pink Panther (1993) that saw Roberto Benigni as Clouseau's son that flopped at the box office.
What might be confusing is that the live-action films that bear the Pink Panther title doesn't feature the mascot as an actual character but focuses on Clouseau. The mascot and an animated Clouseau are featured in the title sequences. The animated cartoons and shorts feature the animal and almost never the inspector as the main character. Fowler will also be working on Sonic 2 for Paramount. Bremner finished writing the script for The Man from Toronto and will be working on National Treasure 3.