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Eddie Murphy to Star as Inspector Clouseau in New Pink Panther Movie From Sonic the Hedgehog Director

Oscar-nominated actor Eddie Murphy is in negotiations to play Inspector Clouseau in a new Pink Panther movie taking shape at MGM, where the project is in early development.

Jeff Fowler (Sonic the Hedgehog) will direct from a script by Chris Bremner, and Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich will produce the family comedy under their Rideback banner along with Larry Mirisch and Julie Andrews.

Like Sonic the Hedgehog, the new Pink Panther movie is being developed as a live-action/CG hybrid that would find the animated title character being broken out of prison by his live-action crew, who need him to pull off a major heist. Of course, Clouseau is hot on their tail…

Peter Sellers originated the role of Inspector Clouseau in the ’60s, and Steve Martin took over in the early 2000s. Martin and Murphy co-starred in 1999’s Bowfinger together, and Murphy is also a longtime fan of Sellers and his knack for physical comedy, so it’s fitting that he would follow in both of their footsteps.

While the “Pink Panther” refers to a prized jewel in the original film, a cartoon panther appeared in its opening credits, effectively becoming a character in his own right, replete with his own animated series.

The comedic mystery franchise was created by Blake Edwards and includes 11 films at this point. MGM was recently acquired by Amazon, which has been eager to exploit the legacy studio’s library of recognizable titles.

Murphy is coming off of the Netflix comedy You People as well as the sequel Coming 2 America, which premiered on Prime Video last year. He’ll head back to the streamer for the upcoming holiday comedy Candy Cane Lane, and he’s also set to star in another Amazon movie, the heist comedy The Package, which the streamer acquired in a seven-figure deal.

Up next for Murphy is the long-gestating sequel Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley, which will be released on Netflix next year. He is represented by WME and ML Management, and Deadline broke the news of his casting in Pink Panther.

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