Thomas Crown is getting ready for one more heist, and Inspector Clouseau is on the case.
Okay, so they won't be appearing in some high-concept Freddy vs. Jason-like mash-up, but the big-screen characters will be making encore appearances.
MGM has decided to sequelize its hit remakes of The Pink Panther and The Thomas Crown Affair as part of a slate of new films announced Tuesday.
Starring an outrageously accented Steve Martin in the bumbling role made famous by Peter Sellers, the recent redo of The Pink Panther has been a bright spot for the hit-deprived distributor, karate-chopping its way to $70 million domestically, and still going strong.
Martin will be back, with costars Kevin Kline and Beyoncé Knowles also likely to return for the sequel. No word whether producers will try and tackle A Shot in the Dark, the most heralded of the original Panther sequels or start from scratch.
Meanwhile, according to Variety, Pierce Brosnan is committed to a sequel to 1999's The Thomas Crown Affair, a remake of the1968 Steve McQueen caper that grossed nearly $70 million domestically and another $55 million abroad, according to boxofficemojo.com. It's not know whether costar Rene Russo will also return for the sequel, titled The Topkapi Affair, which reportedly takes its inspiration from the 1964 MGM flick Topkapi, about the theft of a dagger from an Instanbul museum.
The announcements come as MGM tries to rebrand itself after being acquired by Sony in 2004. Hollywood's leonine studio has struggled mightily in the past two decades to reclaim its status as the studio responsible for a Blockbuster's worth of golden age classics, from The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
MGM is being recast as a distributor of high-quality fare infused with an indie sensibility.
Aside from the Pink Panther and Thomas Crown Affair sequels, MGM has several key films in the pipeline: I Could Never be Your Woman, a romantic comedy starring Michelle Pfeiffer; Harsh Times, a crime caper starring Christian Bale; the Josh Hartnett thriller Lucky Number Slevin; and two more sequels--Kevin Smith's Clerks II, due in August, and Van Wilder Deux: The Rise of Taj, targeted for December.
But the biggest of all are the 21st James Bond mission, Casino Royale, starring new 007 Daniel Craig, scheduled for Nov. 17, and Rocky VI, with Sylvester Stallone coming back for one last go-round as Italian Stallion Rocky Balboa, which is currently filming and due out next year.