In April, we reported that Warner Bros. was thinking about making a Speedy Gonzales movie, despite the fact that he’s generally seen as a rather offensive ethnic stereotype here in the United States. He’s less controversial in Mexico, though, where Speedy Gonzales actually speaks Spanish instead of just with a stereotypical accent, and Warner Bros.’ plan was to sidestep any controversy by having him be voiced by popular comedian Eugenio Derbez—who also played the Donkey in the Spanish-language version of Shrek.
Now, though, Warner Bros. is apparently working on a movie about another old Looney Tunes character, but it’ll be significantly more difficult to sidestep any controversy. That’s because the focus this time is lovable skunk Pepe Le Pew, whose whole shtick kinda screams “sexual predator.” Basically, he’s a cartoon lothario who believes that he’s so romantic that no woman could ever conceivably reject him, which is to say that he doesn’t take “no” for an answer.
This news comes from Deadline, which reports that Chronicle and American Ultra writer Max Landis announced that he’s writing a Pepe Le Pew movie during the Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Comic-Con panel. He didn’t offer any details beyond that, but Landis is a rather accomplished screenwriter, so it stands to reason that he could find a way to handle this character without being deeply, profoundly sexist. Of course, Landis is also the guy whose biggest takeaway from Star Wars: The Force Awakens was that Rey was “a Mary Sue” because she was too capable—and yet the farm boy who blows up the enormous planet-killing space station after five minutes of Jedi training is totally fine.
But maybe the point here isn’t that Max Landis shouldn’t write a Pepe Le Pew movie, it’s that nobody should write a Pepe Le Pew movie. Is it really necessary that someone tells the story of a skunk who just wants to have sex with cats, even if they hate him? That’s for Warner Bros. to decide, but either way, we hope Landis’ script makes sure that the cats Pepe Le Pew is hitting on aren’t too good at anything they attempt, even if they’re the main character in a Star Wars movie. That would just be awful.