Eddie Murphy Going Back to the Sound Booth as 'Hong Kong Phooey'
by Ethan Anderton
August 10, 2011
We haven't heard anything on the project in over two years, but today Alcon Entertainment announced via press release that Eddie Murphy will be lending his voice to the titular character in the live-action/CG hybrid adaptation of Hanna-Barbera's 1970's animated series Hong Kong Phooey. In recent years, when he hasn't been making terrible comedies like Norbit and Meet Dave, the once hilarious comedian has been voicing Donkey in the Shrek franchise. While his voice will certainly will lend the right attitude and style to the character, I can't help but disappointed that films like this are still happening. More below!
If there's anyone who can channel the same life and energy that Scatman Cruthers brought to the original series, it's Eddie Murphy. But when we're dealing with another live-action/CG hybrid of a Hanna-Barbara cartoon (or any classic animated show for that matter), I still hate how studios simply attach big names to voice their lead characters hoping to capture that same magic from the cartoon. While the imitations of the original vocal talents may be decent, not one of these films like Yogi Bear or Alvin and the Chipmunks have managed to craft a decent big screen adaptation of the classic cartoons from decades passed.
For those unfamiliar with the original cartoon, it followed a mild-mannered dog named Penry who stumbles into a mystic ceremony and is accidentally granted mystical 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. Here's hoping Alcon can effectively capture the spirit of the cartoon and deliver something that just doesn't seem to be cashing in on established intellectual property for a quick buck.