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Eddie Murphy Tapped For “Hong Kong Phooey” Live Action/Animated Movie

LOS ANGELES, CA, AUGUST 10, 2011–Eddie Murphy will give voice to the animated lead character in Alcon Entertainment’s live action/animated big screen adaptation of the of the 1970s Hanna-Barbera animated TV series Hong Kong Phooey, it was announced by Alcon co-founders and co-CEO’s Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove.

In addition to voicing the character of Donkey in the box-office hit Shrek franchise, Murphy was also the voice of Mushu, the Dragon, in the successful animated epic Mulan.” Murphy will next be seen in the comedies Tower Heist, co-starring Ben Stiller from Universal Studios and A Thousand Words, from DreamWorks.

Alex Zamm (Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts, Tooth Fairy 2) will direct. Kosove and Johnson will produce with Jay Stern and Brett Ratner. Steven P. Wegner will executive produce.

State Johnson and Kosove: “We could not be happier that Eddie Murphy will star as Phooey. 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.”

Based on the 70’s cult classic Hanna Barbera animated TV series, a mild-mannered dog named Penry (Murphy) stumbles into a mystic ceremony and is accidentally granted mystic powers, including the ability to walk, talk, and do kung fu. Under the tutelage of his kung fu master, Penry dons a costume and becomes Hong Kong Phooey, and with the help of his trusting sidekick Spot the cat cleans up a rogues gallery of wacky criminals.

Murphy is represented by Adam Venit at WME, and Skip Brittenham and Matt Johnson at Ziffren Brittenham. Alcon’s in house counsel David Fierson negotiated on behalf of the Company.

  • Roland Denby

    That rumble you just felt was Bill and Joe turning in their graves. I smell another “Underdog.”

  • Michael F.

    A Hong Kong Phooey movie could work but this is just a bad idea; not only is a live action format a bad idea that will look awkward and uncomfortable but using a past-his-prime comedian as the voice of the character only hurts more. I bet SNL’s Jay Pharoah would have been better.

    • N W Smith

      RE: Michael F: ” . . . but using a past-his-prime comedian as the voice of the character only hurts more.”

      And what, pray-tell, was Scatman Crothers? The man was in his 60’s when he did PHOOEY, and spent much of the last 10 to 15 years of his life doing cartoon voices. Not that he wasn’t brilliant when they did give him something worthwhile to do (like, say, Eddie Murphy in DREAMGIRLS, MULAN and SHREK), but he wasn’t exactly hosting Saturday Night Live, doing two or three HBO concerts and three or four movies a year, either (again, like, say, Eddie Murphy right about now).

      I’m sorry: my first thought on reading this was, “OK, that’s about right. Murphy’s an excellent and proven voice talent, and he’s of the age where he probably grew-up on HONG KONG PHOOEY. The movie probably WILL suck – but, if the script isn’t completely awful, he might be the only decent thing in it.”

      • Michael F.

        You got me there! Also, I was not fully aware that Crothers did lots of cartoon work.

  • Roland Denby

    Scatman Crothers was no where near the personality that Eddie Murphy is/was. I’m sorry, but I am sick and tired of “celebrities” voicing cartoon characters. Voice actors should voice cartoon characters, not some celebrity that is being used more for publicity purposes than his/her vocal talents. Scatman Crothers could hide behind the character, even using — essentially — his own voice. Eddie Murphy is too well known to be able to hide behind a character. I am too aware that it’s Eddie Murphy voicing a character. It’s impossible to forget it when watching anything he has voiced. There is no different between his Mulan character and his Shrek character.

  • Maya A.

    Oh please tell me this isn’t actually happening. Please let this be one gigantic nightmare that will just disappear.

  • Chris

    The casting is great. So I guess in that sense, it has an advantage over live action / CG big screen versions of Scooby Doo, Yogi Bear, and Underdog. However, it will probably be no better in the end. I doubt better casting would made those movies significantly better. How great would it be, though, if somehow we got a great script for this, and somehow the movie defied odds and was good?

    I don’t think it will happen. But wow, I would love that. It would be a first, right? Is there a big screen cartoon adaptation of an HB that actually did work?

    If you had to pick, what was the best one? The Flintstones?