DIC Entertainment’s Inspector Gadget franchise is turning 25 this year, and to celebrate, the studio is imbuing its long-running klutzy, bionic cop vehicle with more cinematic depth and darkness. A bible and character designs for a new 52 x half-hour series is in the works and will be introduced to international buyers at MIPTV.
The new show moves away from the original’s goofy stretch-and-squash style to combine CGI backgrounds and 2-D animated characters that sport the more angular features made popular by anime. Gadget’s trusty sidekicks Penny and Brain will continue to co-star and minimize his inept detective work, but there will be new villains to unmask besides the infamous Doctor Claw. And DIC CEO and Inspector Gadget co-creator Andy Heyward hints at celebrity voice work being part of the mix.
At press time, Heyward revealed that a major European co-pro partner had come on-board, but DIC plans to announce the partnership in Cannes. He adds that DIC’s Saturday morning block on CBS is a possible first home for the new Gadget spin-off, but that isn’t set in stone at the moment.
The original 2-D animated Inspector Gadget series boasts 86 half hours and airs in 55 countries, including Canada (YTV) and Australia/New Zealand (Cartoon Network) and Toon Disney (India). Over the years, the propery has also given birth to a live-action feature and a CGI special.