Friday, May 07, 2004

Gag me 

I'm a little surprised that Trixie isn't on this, but no matter. If the thought of a Pride and Prejudice remake with Brad Pitt as Mr. Darcy wasn't enough to make you retch, this will:

NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Comic actor Steve Martin will star as a new Inspector Clouseau in a fresh "Pink Panther" movie due out next summer, the film's makers said on Friday.

Martin, who will be starring alongside Beyonce and Oscar-winner Kevin Kline, said he was intimidated at first by the thought of following in actor Peter Sellers' stumbling footsteps as the hapless Clouseau, but he got over it.

"They have different James Bonds," he quipped at a news conference on Friday.

But here's the money paragraph, the one that convinced me most of all that this is a bad, bad, BAD idea:

Director Shawn Levy, who steered Martin through the commercially successful comedy, "Cheaper by the Dozen," promised the "Pink Panther" would be updated for contemporary viewers.

"Clouseau is still this bumbling, absurd character, but he now is at the mercy of today's technology, things that weren't around 30 or 40 years ago. There are a lot of new play things for Clouseau to screw up," Levy said.

Oh god. Now, I'm not that big a fan of the Panther canon (25 words or less: The Pink Panther was funny, A Shot in the Dark is a classic, the rest can all go hang) but this is just dog poop. It makes the Benigni remake seem like an artistic triumph. Why is Clouseau getting a love interest who's a third his age? Why can't Steve Martin be as funny as he was 20-25 years ago? Why does every good--and worse, bad--idea have to be remade?

Excuse me. I believe there's a paper bag with my name on it.

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