The Inspector Gadget property is primarily known for its time as a popular animated series in the 1980s, and in recent years it returned to those animated roots for a revival show on Netflix. But Inspector Gadget has also gotten some time on the big screen, and now word’s come in that Disney intends to give it the live action film treatment again.
Saturday Night Live writers Mikey Day (who also performs on the sketch comedy series) and Streeter Seidell have been hired by Disney to pen a “new live action take” on Inspector Gadget. This will be Day and Seidell’s second project with the Mouse House, as they’re also behind the Home Alone reboot for Disney+. The Hollywood Reporter also mentioned that Aladdin producers Dan Lin and Jonathan Eirich will produce the Inspector Gadget movie through their Rideback banner.
In case you missed out on the Inspector Gadget craze, the eponymous protagonist is a cyborg law enforcement officer who has many high-tech gadgets built into his body that makes catching criminals easier… ideally. On the flip side, Gadget is also clumsy and dim-witted, resulting in comedic hijinks on his adventures. He’s comparable to Inspector Clouseau from the Pink Panther movies in attire and personality.
Inspector Gadget is usually aided by his niece, Penny, who is incredibly intelligent and relies on her own high-tech devices to solve cases. Gadget’s arch-nemesis is Dr. Claw, the leader of the MAD crime syndicate whose rarely shown outside of his arms, which are either covered in silver gauntlets or he has actual claw hands. Other main characters in the Inspector Gadget world include Penny’s dog, Brain, and Gadget’s continually frustrated boss, Chief Quimby.
The first live action Inspector Gadget movie hit theaters back in 1999, and starred Matthew Broderick as Gadget, Rupert Everett as Dr. Claw (whose real name was revealed to be Sanford Scolex), Michelle Trachtenberg as Penny, Dabney Coleman as Chief Quimby and D.L. Hughley as the voice of the Gadgetmobile. It was met with mostly negative reception and only made $134.4 million off a $90 million budget.
That was the only big screen Inspector Gadget outing, but Inspector Gadget 2 was released direct-to-video in 2003. With the exception of D.L. Hughley, the sequel featured brand-new actors, with French Stewart playing Gadget and Tony Martin playing a Dr. Claw whose face was never shown, just like his cartoon counterpart. It also received a tepid critical response.
With two decades having passed since Disney delivered the first Inspector Gadget movie, it’ll be interesting to see how this reboot will compare to what’s come before. The hiring of two Saturday Night Live writers makes it abundantly clear that the comedic tone will be kept intact, but will they stick close to the original source material or take the character and his supporting cast in a radically different direction? We’ll have to wait and see, and as with so many projects, it’s possible other writers will later be brought aboard to polish or even overhaul the story.
Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates concerning this Inspector Gadget reboot. For now, keep track of the rest of the movies coming out this year with our 2019 release schedule.