‘Tom and Jerry’ Getting Live-Action Movie With Ken Jeong In It

Make a list of classic cartoons and Tom and Jerry will probably come to mind within the first 10 seconds of your thoughts. People have been yucking it up at the 75-year-old frenemies for generations and now the duo is being brought to theaters in a live-action “hybrid” film.

Before protesting the conversion of another sacred cartoon into a non-animated creation, remember that kids have welcomed what’s been done with favorites like the Smurfs, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Scooby-Doo. And let’s also remember that adult fans flocked to see the Transformers come to life on the big screen. Warner Bros. Animation is moving full steam ahead with Tom and Jerry, and just announced new additions to the cast.

Ken Jeong
Ken Jeong | Getty Images/Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Ken Jeong is joining the team

Funnyman Jeong is known for his work in Community and The Hangover. Earlier this year, he dropped a standup special on Netflix called “You Complete Me, Ho” and appears on The Masked Singer. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jeong will be playing a character named Jackie. Other newly announced cast members include Pallavi Sharda, Jordan Bulger, and Rob Delaney, who’s been in Deadpool 2 and Catastrophe, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Jeong will be part of a lineup that already stars Chloe Grace Moretz, Michael Peña, and Colin Jost. Tim Story will be directing the Tom and Jerry project, and fans are wondering how the “live-action hybrid” will look. People are wondering if it will be something like The Smurfs or more like Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In the midst of that, jokes abound on Tom’s fate as a big-screen cat incarnation and fans hope digital fur technology won’t be used as it was for the Cats movie.

What’s known about the film’s premise

When Warner Bros. first shared the news that Tom and Jerry would be getting their own major film, only a short description was given. According to THR, here’s the synopsis:

“The new film sees Tom the cat and Jerry Mouse getting kicked out of their home and relocating to a fancy New York hotel. A scrappy hustler named Kayla has taken a job there, but she will lose her employment if she can’t evict Jerry before a high class wedding at the hotel. Her solution? Hiring piano playing Tom to get rid of the pesky mouse.”

Moretz is set to play Kayla while according to ScreenRant, Peña was cast as Terrance, Kayla’s mean and tough boss. Though Tom and Jerry have been enemies and friends (mostly enemies) at times over the past few decades, it sounds like the film will keep the adversarial relationship between the two going. Hijinks will surely be involved.

Director Tim Story wants to stay true to the story

Previously, Variety reported that Warner Bros. was thrilled to land Story for Tom and Jerry. The Ride Along director loves the characters and wants to keep the cartoon’s classic style of comedy intact.

It was noted that he plans on keeping the famous cat and mouse silent in the upcoming film instead of giving them voice actors. That sounds like a good idea.

Not much else has been shared about cast roles, a title, and the movie’s storyline, but rumor has it that it will be released sometime in April 2021. With comedians Jeong and Jost on board, viewers should expect  more than a handful of chuckles.