pepelepew_landis pepelepew_landis
Feature Film

Comic-Con 2016: Warner Bros. Developing Animated Pepe Le Pew Feature

Warner Bros. is developing an animated feature film based on the classic Chuck Jones character Pepe Le Pew. The news was revealed on Saturday during an unrelated Comic-Con panel by the film’s writer Max Landis, who also pitched the project to Warners.

In a subsequent video statement released on Sunday, Landis acknowledged that the French skunk’s nonconsensual attempts at romance might be considered controversial nowadays, but said that he “came up with a story to kind of redeem him.”

The movie will contain elements of Amélie and The French Connection, Landis elaborated. He also read a little bit of the script, which he prefaced by saying it was “the dumbest dialogue maybe I’ve ever written.”

Landis, the 30-year-old son of director John Landis, scored a hit with the first mainstream feature he wrote, Chronicle, which was followed by a string of unsuccessful films, including American Ultra, Mr. Right, and Victor Frankenstein. Landis is currently the lead writer on the BBC America series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and is also one of six credited writers on next year’s Power Rangers film.

Landis is still in the process of finishing a script for the Pepe Le Pew movie. There’s no guarantee that the film will ever be produced, and considering how long Warners has been developing a Speedy Gonzales film, don’t expect to see a Pepe film anytime soon.

  • AnimatedMadness

    C’est la vie. Laissez-le à Warner Bros. pour développer un film puant autour d’une mouffette.

    Là encore , les miracles sont sortis de Warner Bros. Anomation avant …

  • Cameron Ward

    that’s cool if he can find a way to make Pepe’s actions look….less controversial these days, but how long can they stretch out his antics? that’s why characters like Pepe worked in short cartoons, because they didn’t overstay their welcome. Sometimes, a character or idea only works in certain formats.

    • Dave 52

      Actually, the movie will not be antic after antic. It will be more so a “60s romantic comedy heist caper” at least that is what he said on his twitter page. I think the route he will probably be going for is the character will be slight altered and be in a different setting. Also, when it comes right down to it all depends on the quality of the script. Making a movie based on a character who was in shorts is sort of like giving a comedic character a spin off film, if you have a good script and can flesh them out more as characters (Puss In Boots, Finding Dory) or keep them funny throught the film while forming a big movie around them (Penguings Of Madagascar, Shaun The Sheep Movie, hopefully The Lego Batman Movie) it can work but if you don’t have a good script at all it won’t end up that way (Minions)

  • AnimatedMadness

    Well, lol. I just watched that video of the writer. I’m glad he’s excited about the project. It was funny up until the frosting bit. That went a bit gross.

  • I can’t even begin to imagine how you could turn this into a feature-length film and make it be good, even if you change Pepe Le Pew to not sexually assault the cat, I just don’t see what material you could work with. It’s been ages since I’ve seen one of the cartoons, but that’s pretty much how each cartoon played out wasn’t it? Pepe Le Pew confuses the cat for a skunk, silly antics ensue and he forces himself on the cat. That was his character, nothing more than that if I remember right. As f**ked up as it is by today’s standards, if you were to erase all that to avoid controversy, why even bother using the character since you’d have to make such a drastic change to them?? It wouldn’t be the same character anymore. So the whole thing seems pointless

    As for Max Landis, he is just, so obnoxious. I’ve seen him in a couple videos when he became “friends” with popular movie critics from Red Letter Media after they trashed his American Ultra video. He did a few videos with them to defend his work, he sat in with the Red Letter Media Guys for their Best of the Worst movie review series where they watch and review crappy b-movies, but boy oh boy is is insufferable.To describe Max’s personality, he’s like that one obnoxious jackass who would always hang out in your group of friends, trying to make everyone laugh with his lousy humor, thinking he’s funny when he’s not, but he’s so desperate for attention he just never shuts up and thinks he’s hot shit.

    • Dave 52

      There is always the possibility that a film can be good regardless of how if sounds. As for this film, I think the route Landis is going for is the same character just altered a bit to be more so a clueless romantic who can’t take a hint than a chase you around and try to cuddle and kiss you kind of guy. And if you are wondering what they will probably be working with the film will be a “60s romantic comedy heist caper” which to me sounds very interesting.

    • Dante Panora

      Honestly… knowing what I know about consent and assault now, I still can’t think of Pepe le Pew as anything but a harmless 1940’s cartoon.

    • Too Many Cooks

      My issue with Max Landis is that he claims virtue signalling doesn’t exist, and that accusing people of virtue signalling makes you a jerk. Other than that, I’m fine with him.

  • All I really want is a CG-animated full-length Looney Tunes movie :(

    • GOATmaybe

      Why not just add whatever Landis wants to do to the backdrop of a fully animated Looney Tunes FIlm. A film in the same vein as the first Muppets movie would be fantastic. Like a quest to return to glory.

      • Netko

        If the Looney Tunes could work in a feature-length feature, it’d have to be with the whole crew (Space Jam). There’s no point in devoting a feature to one character. They can’t carry the feature because they’re too flat and simplistic. An ensemble-cast can work because it has strength in numbers, a ton of simple personalities that could play off each other.

        • Roberto González

          I feel that I have had this discussion before here but no, they are not all flat or simplistic. Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck were more complex than most of the characters we see nowadays in animated features. Are you saying Remy from Ratatouille for example is more complex than most Looney Tunes characters? I don’t think so. Looney Tunes work better with a pair or characters (Daffy-Porky) but not necessarily the whole crew.

        • Dave 52

          I disagree, with good writing and other characters to back it up a Looney Tunes character could hold his own film. It’s sort of like making a movie starring a spin off or comedic character. You can either add more depth to the character and add other characters around him/her to bounce off of ( Finding Dory, Puss In Boots, hopefully The Lego Batman Movie) or you can keep the character the same but keep the comedy going by having more characters to work off of and keep the main character or characters funny throughout the film and form a bigger story around them (Shaun The Sheep Movie, Penguins Of Madagascar). When it comes down to it it all depends on the script. With a good script you can possibly end up like the ones I just mentioned or you can end up like Minions.

          • Roberto González

            Yeah. Shaun The Sheep is a great example. I also thought something like Rango could pretty much be a Daffy Duck movie (it starts with a scene reminiscing Duck Amuck and the personality of Rango is not so different to Daffy’s). Kung Fu Panda also feels a little like a Looney Tunes movie. Flint Lockwood in Cloudy is a wackier and kinda more irritating character than many LT.

            You dont need to look farther than the Duck Dodgers tv series to see how Daffy and Porky could work in longer adventures.

            This is also a very odd opinion I have and of course it couldnt be made in this day and age but each time I rewatch Edgar Wright’s The Worlds End I think it could totally work as a LT movie with Daffy Duck playing the Simon Pegg character, Porky playing Nick Frost and other LT like the other friends. Of course nobody would approve a LT movie about drinking beer but I think it wouldnt have been a problem in the Bob Clampetts days. Its not like The Worlds End presents being an alcoholic in a good light either and I dont remember an excess of cursing so I can imagine a simmilar movie being a little bit more kid friendly (which I dont think LT should be necessarily but thats what they ultimately are considered to be today).

            And this next

  • Abdullah Zubair

    Even though they were all bombs…I loved all of those movies!!!

  • Netko

    The only gag behind this character is that he’s a womanizer who makes everyone run away because of how smelly he is. You’re supposed to spread that across an hour? These characters are not meant to work in feature length stories, I thought Tom and Jerry taught us that.

    I never liked Pepe both because his antics made me uncomfortable and because I found his gag very repetitive. But I don’t think it’d be impossible to make him not-rapey and still keep the point behind him if the writers were competent (which is a huge, giant IF). If you take the joke that he doesn’t know it’s his smell that’s repulsing everyone rather than he himself, and a cat who can’t talk, you could maybe have some fun with the misunderstandings coming out of that without unfortunate implications. Though I have to question what’s the point of trying so hard to bring back the character who’s clearly not appropriate for modern times and doing all sorts of mental gymnastics to try and make him work when you could just make a new character. Oh, we know why.

  • Flimflamcousin

    I don’t know if I should be happy or fear this movie. Pepe was one of my favorite characters, but I fear he hardly would have a place on this world that forgot to take a joke – or learned that some things should not be a joke, not sure with one. At any rate, I wish the eam luck, and treat the character well, silver plate :D

  • hernandez2014

    if anything, the following cartoon characters should have their own animated features:
    Daffy Duck
    Tex Avery’s Wolf and Red (from 1943’s “Red Hot Riding Hood”)
    Michigan J. Frog (From 1955’s “One Froggy Evening”)
    Owl Jolson (from 1936’s “I Love To Singa”)
    Screwy Squirrel (from 1944’s “Screwball Squirrel”)
    Mickey Mouse
    Oswald The Lucky Rabbit
    The Minah Bird (from 1943’s “Inki and The Minah Bird”)
    Tweety (the Bob Clampett version)

    • Tre

      Well I know a while back Burny Mattinson said about a Mickey Mouse feature idea, but whether Disney has ever considered it, I don’t know. Although I think if they did, I’d enjoy a Mickey and Oswald movie. Even if it was a new and expanded adaptation of the ‘Epic Mickey’ story.

      • Tony

        If they’re going to do a Mickey Mouse feature, they should take their cues from the comics and make it a rollicking action-adventure film in the Indiana Jones vein.

    • Marc Hendry

      nah, let ’em be. A Mickey Mouse feature could be ok if they had the guts to give him some personality, though

  • Tigercat919

    Max Landis had a good start with Chronicle, one of the better “found footage” movies in that trend. And American Ultra had a few laughs here and there. But it seems like he doesn’t know how to handle fame. That and he doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut. This is the same guy who has also gone online and claimed that female characters can’t be strong in action movies and that they’re inherently weak so imagine how ugly this could be.

    On a related note, it’s clear that he’s not trying to be like his father John. Considering his track record (Blues Brothers, Trading Places, Animal House, Kentucky Fried Movie, etc) it would be impossible to do that. But Max is not doing himself any favors to blaze a GOOD path for himself.

  • Marcos Vitor Lopes Araújo

    Cool. I can’t wait for the movie.

  • Too Many Cooks

    I was taught early on that you keep your hands and your body to yourself unless someone gives you permission. If parents and teachers are doing their jobs, then kids will know that Pepe Le Pew, like ALL of the Looney Tunes characters, is not someone you’re supposed to emulate.

  • Mister Twister

    Before anyone mentions a Fifi la Fume movie, I will mention it first.

    Just to be the first I guess.

  • Kyle_Maloney

    I’ll believe it when I see it. All these looney tunes projects have a way of never amounting to anything.

    • Dave 52

      That is mostly because of A. The writing and B. The fact that it never actually focuses on the Looney Tunes. Looney Tunes Movies do not need to be masterpieces they just need to be funny comedies and respect what made the character’s and their legacy great. Films lie Space Jam didn’t do that at all. However, Back In Action was a lot closer to what the Looney Tunes are. My only hope is that with these future films is that they respect the characters in some way and are least funny and have the humor of Loomey Tunes. With characters like Pepe and Speedy I get having to change them for a more modern audience but still have Pepe be a hopeless romantic who can’t take a hint (but less rapey like) and still have Speedy run fast (but tone down the stereotype and make him more of a character).

      • Kyle_Maloney

        By not amounting to anything I don’t just mean released things like space jam, but these unreleased projects like the speedy gonzales movie, or the Marvin the martian movie, or the one that was being written by Jenny Slate. We don’t know what they writing was going to be like.

  • Steven Bowser

    People are so sensitive nowadays that if you aired the original Looney Tunes Classics on TV today for the first time people would point out all the senseless violence and be horrified by almost everything in them.

    It’s slapstick. It’s a joke. It’s fun. Lighten up a bit.

    Also, I don’t see this film making sense, but I love Looney Tunes so I’ll be optimistic.

  • Roberto González

    I’d never get sick of Bugs Bunny. Also Bugs sometimes had realistic motivations. In 8 Ball Bunny for example he’s an altruist who wants to help the little penguin. There are also life action parodies like Monty Pythons Life of Brian or the Naked Gun that work as features.

  • Roberto González

    As eccentric as he is and as uneven as his work is, I think Max Landis could be creative enough to write a funny script for this movie, although Pepe is not one of the most complex Looney Tunes characters and not the most p.c. nowadays (although he operates in the conviction that girls loves him, I wouldn’t see him trying to ‘rape’ anybody ever, he is not a bad guy). I see two problems: his shorts were very simplistic and it’s difficult to create secondary characters for the movie (if you write a Daffy Duck movie you could use Porky, Bugs, Elmer, Taz or Marvin, among others, here you have to create the whole world apart from Pepe and the kitten). Secondly, I’m pretty sure they are planning one of those horrid hybrids of ‘realistic’ CGI and human actors, a la “Alvin and the Chipmunks”.

    • Dave 52

      Actually, aside from Space Jam 2 (which while I did not like the first one this one actually has a funny writer writing it so it could be good and if they make the CG for the characters more cartoony than realistic like how you see in the shorts it shouldn’t be horrid) all of their Looney Tunes Movies will be fully animated. Heck, they even have plans to release a new CG Wile E Coyote and Road Runner short in front of Storks.

  • Rodrigo

    The important thing for Warner Bros. is that young children, the likely target audience, will learn about the evils of sexual harassment. Mutilating the creation of a dead genius, who can’t defend his work, is just a bonus.

  • Chris Webb

    Mel Blanc is dead.