Like it or not, the Hong Kong Phooey movie is moving forward. Based on the Hanna-Barbera cartoon TV series, the new movie will combine live-action with animation.
Eddie Murphy has been announced as the voice of the title character. He’ll follow in the footsteps of another African-American comic actor, Scatman Crothers. He voiced bungling Hong Kong Phooey in the 16 episode animated series back in 1974.
The two performers also share a connection in that they both worked with Redd Foxx. Crothers appeared on Foxx’s Sanford & Son and Murphy has said that he idolized Foxx. Murphy also directed and acted with Foxx in the Harlem Nights feature film. Crothers died in 1986 at the age of 76.
Here’s the press release:
LOS ANGELES, CA, AUGUST 10, 2011 — Eddie Murphy will give voice to the animated lead character in Alcon Entertainment’s live action/animated big screen adaptation of the of the 1970s Hanna-Barbera animated TV series HONG KONG PHOOEY, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.
In addition to voicing the character of Donkey in the box-office hit “Shrek” franchise, Murphy was also the voice of Mushu, the Dragon, in the successful animated epic “Mulan.” Murphy will next be seen in the comedies “Tower Heist,” co-starring Ben Stiller from Universal Studios and “A Thousand Words,” from DreamWorks.
Alex Zamm (“Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts,” “Tooth Fairy 2″) will direct. Kosove and Johnson will produce with Jay Stern and Brett Ratner. Steven P. Wegner will executive produce.
State Johnson and Kosove: “We could not be happier that Eddie Murphy will star as Phooey. There is no overstating his contributions to cinema, and to such enduring stars of family entertainments such as ‘Shrek’ and ‘Dr. Doolittle.’ We look forward to watching him re-imagine yet another classic character.”
Based on the 70’s cult classic Hanna Barbera animated TV series, a mild-mannered dog named PENRY (Murphy) stumbles into a mystic ceremony and is accidentally granted mystic powers, including the ability to walk, talk, and do kung fu. Under the tutelage of his kung fu master, Penry dons a costume and becomes Hong Kong Phooey, and with the help of his trusting sidekick Spot the cat cleans up a rogues gallery of wacky criminals.
Murphy is represented by Adam Venit at WME, and Skip Brittenham and Matt Johnson at Ziffren Brittenham. Alcon’s in house counsel David Fierson negotiated on behalf of the Company.
In case you need reminding, here’s the catchy theme song:
What do you think? Are you interested in seeing this movie? Do you think it could be good?