Zwart leaps into 'Panther' helming chair


Harald Zwart will direct "The Pink Panther 2" for Columbia Pictures and MGM.

Steve Martin will reprise his role as the bumbling Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the modern-day farce. Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber penned the screenplay, which follows the continuing adventures of the French detective.

In January, Sony tapped veteran comedy scribes Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel to rewrite the sequel (HR 1/12).

Robert Simonds is producing, and Shawn Levy, who directed the most recent "Pink Panther," is executive producing.

Elizabeth Cantillon and Devon Franklin are overseeing for Sony, which is eyeing a late August start date.

Zwart, whose helming credits include "Agent Cody Banks" and "One Night at McCool's," is repped by ICM.