Is Eddie Murphy starring in Pink Panther movie? Will he play Inspector Clouseau in diamond heist film

Beverly Hills Cop star Eddie Murphy is rumoured to have a lead role in an upcoming Pink Panther reboot

Eddie Murphy, whose career peaked in the 1980s with hit comedies Beverly Hills Cop and Coming to America, nosedived in the early 2000s following a string of major flops - Nutty Professor II, The Haunted Mansion, I-Spy, and of course Norbit.

Now potentially back in a career upswing the comedy legend is rumoured to be in negotiations to star in upcoming comedy reboot, The Pink Panther. The MGM property includes 11 films and a number of cartoon series spin-offs, but it has been more than 13 years since the franchise’s iconic sleuth, Inspector Clouseau last appeared on the big screen.  

Plans for a reboot have been in the works since 2014, but this year Amazon, who bought MGM in 2021, announced that the new film is going ahead. The movie will be directed by Jeff Fowler, the man behind the Sonic the Hedgehog films, with a screenplay penned by Bad Boys 3 and 4 writer Chris Bremner.

What is The Pink Panther about?

The original 1964 film starred Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau, who travels to Rome to catch a mysterious jewel thief who plans to steal a valuable diamond known as the Pink Panther.

The film featured an animated opening sequence which included the character of an anthropomorphic panther which proved so popular that it spawned its own animated series, The Pink Panther Show.

The first movie was followed by eight sequels over the next three decades. A two-movie reboot in 2006 and 2009 starred comedian Steve Martin as the bumbling detective.

Eddie Murphy is set to star in The Pink Panther rebootEddie Murphy is set to star in The Pink Panther reboot
Eddie Murphy is set to star in The Pink Panther reboot

Unlike early film iterations, the reboot is expected to blend live action and CGI, and see Murphy’s Clouseau team up with the Panther character - the animal, not the diamond.

Is Eddie Murphy starring in a Pink Panther reboot?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Murphy is currently in talks over his involvement in a new Pink Panther film, in which he is expected to star as Inspector Clouseau. 

Some have suggested that the move could be a career misstep for Murphy, who is due to reprise his role as Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop 4. Empire said that joining the Pink Panther reboot would be ‘going full Norbit’ a reference to the 2007 comedy that marked nadir in the star’s career decline.

Steve Martin and Peter Sellers both played Inspector ClouseauSteve Martin and Peter Sellers both played Inspector Clouseau
Steve Martin and Peter Sellers both played Inspector Clouseau

However, as Murphy’s only film role since 2021 was in the poorly received and forgettable Netflix comedy You People, and with no word on the progress of the long-awaited Shrek 5, the actor may not be in a position to turn down lead roles.

Where can you watch the original Pink Panther films?

You can stream the original Pink Panther film series and the Steven Martin reboot on MGM which is £4.49 per month - a seven-day free trial is available through Amazon Prime.

Season one and two of The Pink Panther Show, which is not connected to the films, are also available to stream on MGM. 

Has a release date for The Pink Panther reboot been confirmed?

The reboot is currently in the early stages of development, with casting still to be confirmed and filming is not believed to have started.

Therefore, a release date is yet to be confirmed and the film will not be landing in cinemas any time soon. If production gets under way this year then a release date in late 2024 is possible. Watch this space for updates on the release of The Pink Panther reboot.

Is The Pink Panther reboot a good idea for Eddie Murphy?

National World's entertainment writer Steven Ross tracks Eddie Murphy's rocky career

"I think it's almost certain that yet another Pink Panther movie will not go down well with critics - and there's always a danger with live action/animated hybrids that they turn out more Looney Tunes: Back in Action and less Space Jam.

"However, it's not as if Murphy has offers for lead roles coming out of his ears - after the abomination that was Norbit it's a wonder that he's getting any mainstream roles at all. One silver lining that Norbit produced is that it's unlikely that Murphy will ever appear in a film that bad again, so whatever he does, his worst movie is (probably) already behind him.

"Realistically, Murphy never has to work again - various estimates put his net worth anywhere between $85 million and $300 million. So if he wants to pick up the mantle left by Sellers and then Martin, he's got very little to lose. Worst case he makes another duff film and walks away several million dollars better off."

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