In Columbia Pictures' The Pink Panther 2, the sequel to the 2006 comedy, Steve Martin returns as French Inspector Jacques Clouseau, perhaps the most bumbling police detective in cinematic history. He plays the egomaniacal, delusional and pompous character made famous by Peter Sellers, and this time, Clouseau is out to bust a thief who is stealing all the great artifacts of the world, including the Pink Panther diamond.
"An international dream team of detectives is put together to solve the crime," Martin says. "So many things go wrong. He's disgraced. The dream team believes they have solved the crime, and Clouseau is the holdout to say they haven't. And he's proven right in the end."
Naturally, Clouseau, for all his obtuse blundering, cracks the whole crime caper wide open.
Producer Robert Simonds, who also produced the 2006 film, which grossed nearly $160 million worldwide, says the goal this time was to "surround Clouseau with the world's smartest detectives. We wanted to come up with very powerful actors."
Andy Garcia and Alfred Molina play fellow detectives. And this time, John Cleese replaces Kevin Kline as Clouseau's perennially frustrated boss, Chief Inspector Dreyfus.
The investigative dream team is completed by Yuki Matsuzaki (Letters from Iwo Jima) and Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. Also, Clouseau's affection for his assistant, Nicole (Emily Mortimer), deepens, and that sets off additional complications.
Like most working adults, Clouseau has to juggle his work, which he views as immensely important, and his personal life. "The plot is driven by adult dynamics," Simonds says.
The Sellers' Panther franchise continued for 10 installments. Does Simonds intend to keep going?
"If I had my way, absolutely," he says. "Our goal is to keep having fun with it. We want to keep doing this as long as we can."
Opening soon across the Philippines, The Pink Panther 2 is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.