It has been announced that yet another classic TV character is making his way onto the big-screen, “the number one super guy,” Hong Kong Phooey. Not only is the project moving ahead, but Alcon Entertainment already have both a director and a writer onboard to bring us a movie version of the mild-mannered janitor/kung fu crime fighter.
Alex Zamm (Snow) has been brought on-board to direct the live-action Hong Kong Phooey, while David A. Goodman will do the writing honors (note sarcasm). The film is an adaptation of the Hanna-Barbera 1970s cartoon TV series that ran for a surprisingly short 16 episodes (or 31 shorts). Alcon and Rat Entertainment will produce the project along with Brett Ratner (X-Men fans prepare your catapults) and Jay Stern (the Rush Hour movies). There’s no word on casting as of yet.
Now, when I say live-action I mean the people and surroundings will be so, but the titular character will be CGI. But before you go completely insane over why it’s a bad idea to make a live-action Hong Kong Phooey movie in this vein (especially considering the terrible results with Garfield, Scooby Doo and Alvin and the Chipmunks), the fact that Goodman is writing may provide at least some ray of hope. His IMDB resume doesn’t look too great overall, but we can hold onto that fact that he’s put out some quality material by writing and producing a fair amount of episodes on both Family Guy and Futurama.
However, just as Goodman provides a ray of hope, along comes the director, Zamm, who was responsible for Inspector Gadget 2 (no, not even the first one) and Dr. Doolittle: Million Dollar Mutts. Something tells me that this Hong Kong Phooey project is going to be very much in the same kid-friendly, zany, cringe-worthy style as those mentioned movies were.
I fondly remember Hong Kong Phooey from when I was a kid – that iconic titular character, the light and fun feel of the show, and that oh so memorable theme song. And who can top the voice of Scatman Crothers as the title character? And, considering that Crothers passed away over 20 years ago, is it even possible to find anyone that could work better?
As we have seen many times over these past months, this Hong Kong Phooey adaptation is just another example of trying to capitalize on an existing entity. I doubt the kids of today are that fond of, or even know about the character, so the notion of the youth demographic heading out in droves to see a movie version on the big-screen is bit fantastic at this point.
I certainly haven’t heard many kids singing the theme song as of late…
“Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy.
Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye…”
Hong Kong Phooey is currently in the early development stages, and doesn’t have a release date as of yet.
Sources: THR and Variety