Eddie Murphy has signed on to provide the voice of the title character in the upcoming live action/animated film version of the 1970s Hanna-Barbera TV ‘toon “Hong Kong Phooey.”
On the series, a mild-mannered dog named Penry is accidentally given meta-canine powers, including the ability to walk and talk like a human, and perform masterful martial arts like Bruce Lee. Naturally, Penry turns himself into a superhero named Hong Kong Phooey.
Presumably, a CG Penry/HK will inhabit a live-action world including some sorta well-known actors, in the successful style of “The Smurfs” and the “Alvin and the Chipmunks” films.
While no stranger to kiddie fare, Murphy’s best-known foray into animated voice acting is as Donkey in DreamWorks Animation’s “Shrek” franchise. He also played a supporting part in Disney’s 1998 2D animated film “Mulan.”
Alex Zamm (“Tooth Fairy 2”) will direct, while Alcon Entertainment’s Andrew Kosove and Broderick Johnson will produce with Jay Stern and Brett Ratner.
“We could not be happier that Eddie Murphy will star as Phooey,” said Johnson and Kosove in a statement. “There is no overstating his contributions to cinema, and to such enduring stars of family entertainments such as ‘Shrek” and ‘Dr. Doolittle.” We look forward to watching him re-imagine yet another classic character.”
Just in case you’re afraid the once-raunchy comic is now permanently lost to PG family fare, Murphy will next be seen in the more adult-oriented comedies “Tower Heist,” co-starring Ben Stiller and Alan Alda, and “A Thousand Words” from DreamWorks.