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The Pink Panther - Preview



Preview by: Jack Foley

ALARM bells must be ringing in just about every movie buffs head at the prospect of another Pink Panther film without Peter Sellers.

The legendary comedian is virtually synonymous with the role of the bumbling Inspector Clouseau, so any attempt to revive the series ought to be considered sacrilege.

Step forward Steve Martin, who has bravely decided to step into the shoes vacated by Sellers, with Cheaper by the Dozen director, Shawn Levy (it doesn’t bide well, does it?).

The film in question marks the tenth outing for the French inspector, and follows the murder of a world-famous soccer coach, for his priceless ring – a ring set with the stunning diamond known as the Pink Panther.

The French government needs a master detective to solve the crime and recover the gem... but he’s not available, so they recruit Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin), to fill in the breach.

The all-new adventure co-stars pop star, Beyonce Knowles, Jean Reno, as Ponton, Clouseau’s partner, and Kevin Kline, as the detective’s boss, Dreyfus.

Needless to say, viewers are being promised they will be ‘tickled pink’.

Filming has already begun on the re-imagining of the Blake Edwards’ comedy series, in Paris, during which a press conference was held, to introduce the world’s media to the latest comic incarnation.

Needless to say, Martin was quizzed about whether the prospect of filling Sellers’ shoes was intimidating, and what the reasoning behind the project was.

He responded, enthusiastically, by saying that ‘we’re sort of re-creating it, re-energising it and doing a lot of new jokes’, adding that ‘it has a very good feel to us’.

As for the obvious reservations about following a comedy legend, Martin revealed that he had said no a couple of times, before opting in for two reasons.

Firstly, he claimed to have secretly started writing down some ideas of his own, to see if he could come up with material, much like Peter Sellers and Blake Edwards had done in their heyday.

And secondly, because he ran into Shawn Levy, in a parking lot, and ran his ideas before him, and got him interested in directing it.

Martin considers Levy to be ‘a fabulous director’, particularly of comedy director, and jumped at the chance of reuniting with him, following their successful collaboration on Cheaper by the Dozen.

And he now maintains that he feels comfortable with the role - French accent and all!

Levy, meanwhile, maintains that he is ‘either brave or stupid’ to be directing the project and predicted that only time will tell.

But he was equally complimentary about Martin, whose vision for the new Pink Panther he found very appealing.

"So while I am appropriately respectful of the originals, it’s not like I am remaking in willy-nilly fashion; I’m remaking it with Steve Martin, and Kevin Kline, and Jean Reno, and Steve Martin wrote the screenplay, thereby giving it a level of intelligence and wit that is exceptional," he commented. "So I feel like I’m coming from a place of strength."

Of the other cast members at the press conference, Kline said it was a delight to be working with Martin, while Knowles confessed that she was having a terrific time trying not continually laugh at Martin’s sense of humour.

Whether that translates to the finished product, however, remains to be seen. But audiences can judge for themselves (or not, as the case may be), when the film is released next year.

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