most surprising thing about Steve Martin teaming with barely sentient director Harald Zwart (One Night at McCool’s, Agent Cody Banks) for the sequel to the Pink Panther remake is how much it still hurts; I should have given up caring a long time ago. Which Martin sure seems to have done – it’s hard to imagine that the great stand-up of the 70s would be happy to be starring in lactose and often unfunny ‘family’ comedies.

The thing about Zwart coming on as director is that I would imagine Martin has the pull to get a decent guy in the chair. I wonder if he’s not actually planning on being the de facto director and has allowed this camera pointer to get hired so he can boss him around.

The sequel to the Pink Panther is being written by comedy movie robots Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, and I’m sure that Martin will get his pass in on there too, much like he did with the first film – which still managed to be astonishingly unfunny.

The career trajectory of Steve Martin really is the saddest thing in Hollywood today, I think. It’s like the guy has become addicted to selling out, and he keeps producing these turds even with the evidence of talents like Judd Apatow* showing that there is a market for something better. Maybe the failure of Shopgirl really hurt Martin in a very bad way, keeping him imprisoned in terrible family movies forever.

* Judd, hire Steve Martin! A recent New York Times Magazine profile had a very funny story about a young Judd Apatow visiting LA and trying – and failing to get Steve Martin’s autograph. Apatow wrote Martin an angry letter, saying that he was the kind of fan who kept his bills paid and that he should show more respect. Martin sent him back a signed copy of his latest book, with a note explaining he didn’t realize the kid was THE Judd Apatow.