It's raining live-action reboots of beloved animation features in Hollywood, and the cat and mouse duo of Tom and Jerry will soon be added to the list. The live-action adaptation of the popular children's cartoon show is in the middle of filming, and Michael Pena, who plays a central character, Terrance, recently spoke about doing scenes for the film with co-star Chloe Moretz.
"Oh, man, that was so cool. Sometimes, you show up on these movies, and the actor is still trying to find it. I don't know if they're not prepared or whatever, but it happens every so often. But, Chloe Moretz was so on the money... She knew the script, and she was just awesome to go back and forth with. And Tim Story is just a stud.
There are some directors who are good indie directors or good dramatic directors, but he's a big movie director. He's meant to be doing big movies. It didn't seem like work when we were on set with the guy. He just wants fun, and fun is what we gave him. You always want to perform for your director, because he's your first audience, and he was really easy to perform for. There's a certain freedom that you want, especially for that kind of family movie. And sometimes, you don't want that freedom. You want there to be a little bit of an edge and a little bit of tension. You can definitely sense that on some films."
From what we know so far, Pena's character Terrance and Moretz's character Kayla both work at a hotel, where their jobs are hindered by the arrival of Jerry the mouse. In an effort to get rid of the pesky rodent, Tom the cat is brought onto the premises, which sets the stage for the kind of wacky hi-jinks fans remember and love from the original cartoons, with Tom turning the hotel upside down in his quest to track down Jerry, and the minuscule mouse proving to be more than a match for his larger opponent.
The Tom And Jerry cartoons relied heavily on broad slapstick to make viewers laugh, but what made the show so popular was the strong emotional core it frequently showcased. Despite appearing as rivals most of the time, Tom And Jerry were also shown to have genuine regard for each other and often teamed up to take down bigger threats.
From Pena's description of the filming process, the makers seem to be making an effort to stay true to that spirit of joyful chaos but also warmth and camaraderie that the original series became famous for.
Tom and Jerry hit theaters in Spring 2021. Apart from Michael Peña and Chloe Grace Moretz, a number of distinguished actors and comedians have joined the cast, including Colin Jost, Rob Delaney, Pallavi Sharda, and Ken Jeong. Clearly, the makers are leaving no stone unturned in making the upcoming feature a quality product rather than a soulless cash grab that relies on fan nostalgia instead of good storytelling and interesting characters and situations. This update comes from The Hollywood Reporter.