VIDEO: Movies That Weren't: Hong Kong Phooey, Marvin the Martian

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NOTE: This review is in Spanish with English subtitles. In 2011, Eddie Murphy signed on to voice Hong Kong Phooey, based on the cartoon about a dog who knows kung fu, but the project fell through. The same director was working on a Marvin the Martian film which also never happened, and now he’s leaked footage from both projects to show us how we dodged two bullets!

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  • Thomas Stockel

    I wonder how much Eddie Murphy got paid for a movie that never got finished? How much money was wasted on these films? How is it Warner Bros. is still in business?

    • It’s weird. As much as I love Hong Kong Phooey, I don’t see the modern appeal. It was a product of it’s time, especially considering it combined the popularity of blaxploitation and martial arts (okay… the character’s not Dolemite, but I think you get the point). So what makes an executive think it’s a good idea to make a movie out of it?

      And seeing that they would have Penry eat out of a toilet is mind numblingly dumb for a number of reasons:
      1- A really lazy toilet joke, but we may as well knock that point out first
      2- He’s a janitor! What makes you think that he wouldn’t know what toilets are used for!
      3- Let’s imagine if you never heard of the character, then how does it make sense for a well-spoken individual who can walk upright and communicate well NOT know what a toilet is used for?!

      • Thomas Stockel

        It’s an excellent point. Some properties simply are not meant to be brought back.

        • danbreunig

          I’ve nothing against bringing back properties, but they got to quit gearing the remakes to the younger generations who never first experienced and hence don’t care about what came out decades before.

          • Muthsarah

            That’s the real trick. The films are geared to the young, while the “old” are expected to show up based entirely on brand recognition. That way, they’re making something EVERYONE will like! Or at least just enough of both to make a quick profit in the three weeks before it hits Redbox and disappears into the aether.

      • Exactly! He’s a janitor! There’s no reason he wouldn’t know what a toilet is!

  • edharris1178

    Neat, I always enjoy hearing about cancelled film projects. A planet full of older relatives has been spared two movies the kids they’re related to will want to watch endlessly every time they’re around.

    • These projects make me wonder how “movies based on nostalgia” 10 years from now will look like, and what they’ll be based on.

  • Marozeph

    Well, we all know what happend the last time someone tried to combine Martians with Christmas…

    • I’d buy that premise a little bit more than what was originally planned tho, can you imagine it? Santa VS Marvin The Martian!

  • Misty

    I could be wrong, and the whole bit with the bathroom thing would have only been for the trailers (but I think that was unlikely). But it seems like plot for Hong Kong Phooey would’ve been “he was just an ordinary dog…until one day he transformed and could walk and talk and decided to fight crime!” which is a huge fail, but similar to live action Underdog which did very badly. Either way it must’ve tested horribly if they dropped the project when they hired Eddie Murphy. To be fair though I don’t see how something accurate to the source material would’ve done well even if finished.

    Marvin the Martian…I have no idea what the fuck the plot would’ve been. Even if we assume the script went exactly like that…what the hell does Christmas have to do with it? Is Marvin going up against someone? It doesn’t sound like they really had a proper idea what to do with it at all, so no wonder it never went anywhere.

    On a side note, the temporary music used for Marvin the Martian is actually from Home Alone. I wonder if they just picked a random Christmas movie’s music to use, or if the plot was intended to be similar to Home Alone so they specifically selected it?

    • Judging from the kid, the setting and yeah, even the season they picked, I’m gonna guess yes, maybe the film would involve wacky hi-jinks in the house with the kid being aided by Marvin (in the false pretense that he’s helping him destroy/conquer the world, I don’t know).

  • DavidWilmotLow

    ¿por qué está usted hablando español en este video? no me gusta leer subtítulos. lol;)