Warner Bros.' upcoming Tom & Jerry movie casts Michael Peña known for his role in the Ant-Man franchise, as one of its live-action stars. Tom and Jerry was of course a series of slap-stick theatrical animated shorts that were created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for MGM in 1940. The stories follow somewhat friendly rivals Tom, a cat, and Jerry, a mouse. Between 1940 and 1958, 114 shorts were made and the producers earned seven Academy Awards for Animated Short Film.
However, TV is where most people have their fondest memories of the little mouse who usually outwits the cat. Their shows include The Tom and Jerry Show, The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show, Tom and Jerry Kids, Tom and Jerry Tales and The Tom and Jerry Show. In 1992, Tom and Jerry: The Movie was released and more than ten direct-to-video films have been produced since.
According to Deadline, Peña is set to play Terrance, the general manager of the Park Hotel who torments new-hire Kayla, played by Chloe Grace Moretz. Jerry the mouse has no interest in leaving the hotel, so Kayla hires alley cat Tom to rid the property of the clever rodent, only for all three to eventually join forces against Terrance. The film will be a live-action/animation hybrid, with the CGI versions of Tom and Jerry following the original structure and remaining non-speaking characters. The story reinvents the circumstances of Tom and Jerry meeting and explains how they become frenemies.
Tom and Jerry will be directed by Tim Story, who helmed the first two Fantastic Four movies, the Ride Along movies starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart, and the upcoming Shaft sequel that brings back both Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree as their versions of the titular detective. The vast majority of Story's directorial work has been comedies, or at least had comedic elements, so he would seem to be a natural fit for this gig.
Michael Peña currently stars as undercover DEA agent Kiki Camarena on the hit Netflix series Narcos: Mexico. He's also known for his roles in Cesar Chavez, Ant-Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp, CHiPs, Collateral Beauty, The Martian and American Hustle. He's also set to star in the upcoming Dora and the Lost City of Gold from Paramount, and the Sony Fantasy Island remake. Like Story, Peña has a long resume in comedy, although it's not that often that he plays a villain, so seeing him do so could certainly be interesting. Now, if only Peña's Ant-Man character, Luis, could be allowed to recap Tom & Jerry's history before the new movie.
Tom & Jerry is set to be released on April 16, 2021.