Disney recruits writers Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell (Saturday Night Live) to work on a live-action movie reboot of the Inspector Gadget franchise.
Disney is developing a live-action movie reboot of the Inspector Gadget franchise. The original animated series Inspector Gadget premiered in 1983 and introduced the world to the titular character. A bumbling cyborg detective with countless high-tech gadgets embedded in his body, Gadget spent his days battling the sinister Dr. Claw and his organization M.A.D., oblivious that his niece Penny and her dog Brain were truly responsible for stopping Claw’s evil plans. The show ran for a few years and has since led to multiple spinoffs, including a sequel cartoon series in 2015.
It was the Mouse House that eventually brought Inspector Gadget to the big screen in 1999, with Matthew Broderick and Rupert Everett starring as Gadget and Claw. The movie received generally bad reviews, but grossed enough at the box office ($134 million against a $90 million budget) to convince Disney to release a direct to video sequel four years later. Now, the studio is dusting off the property and giving it another shot at success in live-action.
According to THR, Disney has hired writers Mikey Day and Streeter Seidell (Saturday Night Live) to work on a new Inspector Gadget live-action movie, with Jonathan Eirich and Dan Lin (the live-action Aladdin) producing. Day and Seidell are also working on a reboot of the Home Alone films for the Disney Plus streaming service.
For the time being, it’s not clear if the new Inspector Gadget movie is being developed as a Disney Plus exclusive or for a theatrical release. Day and Seidell’s involvement suggests it could go straight to streaming, much like the last live-action film went straight to the home market. The 1999 movie didn’t exactly rock the box office either, so streaming might be the safer route to go, anyway. On the other hand, Disney has release dates for several live-action films claimed over the next few years, and they might not all go to retellings of their animated classics, either. Inspector Gadget fits the bill of a four-quadrant movie with franchise potential, so the Mouse House may just as well decide to give it a shot at a theatrical run down the line instead.
It’s also easy to imagine how the studio will try to update the Inspector Gadget property, should this reboot move forward. Penny, as mentioned, was the real brains behind her uncle in the animated TV show, and the new movie will probably aim to make her more of a main character who gets her due credit for saving the day. Gadget’s actual gadgetry should be easier (and less costly) to manage in live-action now too, thanks to the improvements in digital effects since the 1999 movie was made. Whether that’ll be enough to allow Inspector Gadget to work as anything other than a wacky episodic cartoon series, well, that’s another matter.
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