Let me get this right out of the way -- I chose not to watch The Pink Panther (remake, was it?) when it hit theaters back in 2006. As a major fan of comedy, the original Panther flicks directed by Blake Edwards and featuring Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau are, in my mind, comedic masterpieces (with A Shot in the Dark being my favorite). From time to time I'll take in the occasional remake (and, more often, sequel), but there are some films I refuse to go near. Not because they look bad, or because people tell me they're bad -- I choose not watch them simply because I don't want the film to tarnish the awesome feelings I associate with the original work. Thus, I stayed far away from The Pink Panther (starring Steve Martin), so I will not use this space to rip apart a film I did not see.

Instead, I'll bring you news (via The Hollywood Reporter) that Harald Zwart has been tapped to direct The Pink Panther 2 for Columbia Pictures and MGM. The good news? Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel were brought on to rewrite the script; these are the two responsible for gems like Gung Ho, City Slickers and Parenthood. So, knowing they're involved should help boost some confidence. Zwart was the man behind Agent Cody Banks and One Night at McCool's, but let's not hold that against him. Steve Martin will once again return to play Inspector Clouseau, and this time it appears he teams up with a bunch of moronic European detectives to try to stop a massive crime wave. No word on a release date, but the powers that be are eying an August production start.