A Live-Action Inspector Gadget Movie Is Coming

Cartoons don’t come much more 1980s than ‘Inspector Gadget.’ If you’re 35 or above, you’ll have fond memories of the gadget-happy animated detective and his haphazard crime-fighting activities on television when you were growing up. You might even still find yourself saying ‘go, go, gadget arm’ when you’re required to stretch to pick up the television remote today. Now, a whole new generation is about to get introduced to the Inspector for the very first time – and that introduction will be happening in the flesh. While we’re at it, check out some retro toys at Funtastic Toy.

Through a circuitous route, the rights to ‘Inspector Gadget’ have somehow ended up in the hands of Disney. That’s probably not surprising – Disney is experiencing record growth in recent years, and have been buying up the rights of just about every entertainment property they can lay their hands on. They’ve also been releasing a lot of live-action films recently, too, including live-action remakes of several of their most famous animated movies, including ‘Aladdin’ and ‘The Lion King.’ They have even more live-action movies coming out during 2020, with ‘Mulan’ likely to be the most popular of the movies that are currently scheduled, but it might be the case that they’ve finally run out of films from the archives that they can use real actors in.

We say that because, as you’ve probably guessed by this point, the new Disney ‘Inspector Gadget’ movie is going to be a live-action film. Not only that, but it’s going to have some well-known and well-qualified people working behind the scenes to turn it into the best feature film possible. Dan Ling and Jonathan Eirich, both known for their recent work on ‘Aladdin,’ have been assigned the producing duties on the movie. They’re joined by Street Seidell and Mikey Day, who both cut their teeth in the entertainment business as writers on ‘Saturday Night Live.’ They’ll be teaming up to write the script, which heavily suggests that the film will be heavy on comedy – perhaps even more so than the much-loved TV show of the 1980s was.

Although many fans of the old show probably aren’t aware of this, the film – which doesn’t yet have a projected release date – won’t be the first attempt to revive Inspector Gadget as a franchise or an idea. Disney has had a go at making a film before, and that, too, was animated. Released in 1999, the previous ‘Inspector Gadget’ movie starred Matthew Broderick in the title role, but was a low budget production made for less than $100m, and barely made a dent at the box office. Based on the names who have already been connected to this re-imagined 2020s version of ‘Inspector Gadget,’ we can safely assume the presentation will be far grander this time around.

There may not have been a new movie or television show based on the old classic for quite a long time, but the Inspector hasn’t been totally absent from the world of entertainment. Just last year, an official ‘Inspector Gadget’ online slots game was released on website like Dove Casino and has proven popular with players who have retro tastes. It joins the official ‘Count Duckula’ online slots game in the very limited number of slots based on classic cartoons. The mere existence of the ‘Inspector Gadget’ online slots game is something of a surprise – Disney has recently been backing out of the casino market, and withdrew all of their official Marvel online slots a little over a year ago. It may be the case that the slot doesn’t remain online for very much longer.

As we’ve only just received confirmation that the film is being made at all, there’s no news on who might be appearing in it. We can safely assume that Matthew Broderick won’t be returning, and Don Adams, who voiced the 1980s cartoon series, passed away in 2005. We’ll therefore be seeing someone brand new take on the role. If the plot stays true to the characters we know from the past, we’d also hope to see someone cast in the roles of Dr. Claw, Penny, and Chief Quimby. If there is any animation used in the new film whatsoever – which is always a possibility when it comes to Disney – we suspect it will be used to give us a convincing 3D rendition of Brain, Penny’s dog. The film just wouldn’t feel right without him.

It may not be until closer to the time that we find out whether the movie will enjoy a full cinematic release, or whether it will be reserved for customers who subscribe to the Disney Plus streaming service. Disney rolled out their platform to Canada, the USA, and the Netherlands in mid-November, and have already amassed more than ten million subscribers. By the time the rest of the world gains access to the service, that number may double or even treble. All of those subscribers will want and expect exclusive content from Disney, and we can’t think of many things better to give them than a brand new ‘Inspector Gadget.’

Not every live-action Disney remake of recent times has been a success. The bulk of the reviews for ‘The Lion King’ were good, but some people still felt that the animals in the movie couldn’t convey emotion as well as the animated characters from the 1990s animation could. We all still vividly remember the negative reception that Will Smith’s ‘Aladdin’ got, even if the movie did go on to make five times its budget at the box office. ‘Dumbo,’ however, was far less successful. When promotional costs were factored in, the movie actually made a small loss for Disney, which is thought to have made the company second-guess some of the future releases it was considering up to that point.

You won’t find anyone at our website that doesn’t love ‘Inspector Gadget,’ and so we all have high hopes for this one. All we can do is hope that it’s more ‘Lion King’ than ‘Dumbo,’ and that we’re not left hanging on too many years waiting for it now that we all know it’s coming!

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