CATEGORIES CinematicalI hope to God that some of you are old enough to remember the glory days of SNL, back when it was funny, and Steve Martin was both a wild and crazy guy and the funkiest Tut the world has ever known. If you are, you'll understand why, when I read the news this morning that Paramount is planning to make a movie about King Tut (different from Roland Emmerich's King Tut, which seems to have stalled to the point of death), my first thought was that Martin must have at least a cameo in the movie - I mean, think of the potential! The obvious inspiration here is the success of the Mummy series, and people went to see those films because they were campy fun - how can a good King Tut movie properly follow in those footsteps without Steve Martin? Sadly, however, Paramount has not yet seen the light, and Martin isn't associated with the project, which is described as "an action-adventure/romance pic, loosely based on Howard Carter's discovery of...Tut's treasures in 1922 Egypt."
Even more disappointingly, Martin is sure to appear in the movie that no one wanted but everyone saw coming: a sequel to his Pink Panther. The thing about this series is that even the originals weren't that good. Peter Sellers made them fairly tolerable, and there were rare moments of inspiration (most of them involving the above-it-all David Niven and George Sanders) but, really, even the real thing was average at best. If nothing else, then, Martin's installments will send us running back to the Sellers versions with a newfound regard for their passionate mediocrity.