Soon, the ACME Corporation will tower over ALL OF CREATION!
~ Mr. Chairman announces his plan.
Are you all monkeys yet? Uh-oh!
~ Mr. Chairman's last words before a laserbeam hits him and turns him into a monkey and left him unable to speak
Luther J. Chairman, or better known as Mr. Chairman, is the main antagonist of the 2003 Warner Bros live-action/animated hybrid film Looney Tunes: Back in Action. He is the immature Slovak-accented president of the famous ACME Corporation.
He was portrayed by Steve Martin, who also played Orin Scrivello in Little Shop of Horrors, Hotep in The Prince of Egypt, and Captain Smek in Home. In the video game adaptation, he was voiced by Joe Alaskey who also played Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck in the movie.
The Chairman is first seen rambling about getting the Blue Monkey diamond to his "evil purposes" (as his minion, Bob Smith, reveals the gem to him) with his two Slovak-like henchmen Morty Badlock and Nathalia Inferna, and then showing interest on his Bad Ideas VP, Mary.
Later, he orders his first henchman, Yosemite Sam, to capture DJ (the films protagonist) and Daffy Duck in his casino at Las Vegas. After they escape along with Kate and Bugs Bunny to the Nevada Desert, the Chairman contacts his desert operative (Wile E. Coyote) to destroy them, but needless to say, he fails.
At Area 52, the heroes learn that the Chairman's goal is to use the diamond's power to turn every person in the world except himself and Mary into monkeys to use to massively produce ACME's machines and gadgets, then turn them human again to buy the products for profit.
Meanwhile, Mr. Chairman contacts Marvin the Martian and orders him to execute a breakout and get the map card DJ has, but they escape in the nick of time. His last attempt of taking the Looney Tunes out of the way is having Elmer Fudd to chase them at the Louvre Museum, but Kate's cellphone with a photo of the map to the diamond is stolen by Mr. Chairman's bodyguard, Bob Smith. The group travels to Africa and finally reaches the diamond, but the Chairman, Bob, and Taz the Tasmanian Devil (disguised as Granny, Tweety, and Sylvester, respectively) corner them and teleport them all to ACME's headquarters (with some minor complications). He ties Kate and DJ next to a train rail where DJ's father, Damien Drake (who was kidnapped before) is tied to, waiting for ACME's Death Train to come. Mr. Chairman then gives the Blue Monkey to Marvin, ordering him to get to ACME's satellite in order to unleash the monkey laser.
Daffy and Bugs then chase Marvin through space, trying to stop him from attaching the Blue Monkey to ACME's satellite to unleash the monkey laser. However, Daffy (as Duck Dodgers) manages to throw his beak at the satellite's antenna, unleashing only two small shots, one of which hits the Chairman, turning him into a monkey, much to Mary's sorrow. Damien Drake, who had been rescued earlier, put him in handcuffs. When Daffy and Bugs crash-land through the window in their ship, Monkey Chairman runs away in horror. It's unknown if Monkey Chairman escaped to avoid being arrested and even if he ever returned to normal or spend the rest of his days as a monkey.
Mr. Chairman is the totalitarian, all-powerful, and omnipotent owner and president of the ACME corporation, but surely doesn't seem or act like a chairman at all. He is immature, over the top and incredibly exaggerated, but he can be traitorous, fearsome, violent, and fierce sometimes, especially when he loses his temper. To help him in his decisions, he has many VPs (one of them being his own father) helping him, but they cannot speak normally as they have to press a buzzer in front of them to gain attention (it is not shown on the movie what happens if they don't press the buzzer, but a deleted scene shows the "Rhetorical Questions" VP forgetting to press the buzzer to speak and then getting wrapped in plastic tape). The Chairman also seems to have a severe lisp in his voice.
He is also shown to be dishonest and untrustworthy as shown when he promised to release Damien Drake once DJ handed over the Blue Monkey diamond, only to break his promise by refusing to release Damien after DJ gave him the diamond.
Before Steve Martin was cast as Mr. Chairman, Mike Myers was initially cast as Mr. Chairman, but had to drop out, due to scheduling conflicts with the live action film The Cat in the Hat. In addition to Myers, Tim Allen, David Koechner, Seth MacFarlane, the late James Gandolfini, the late Robin Williams, Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, William Flichtner, James Woods, Willem Dafoe, Paul Giamatti and the late Dennis Hopper were considered for the role of Mr. Chairman.
In the original ending, the Chairman's defeat happens after a fight that ensues in Africa between his henchman Bob and DJ, when DJ uses the Blue Monkey to turn Tweety into a pterodactyl, which eats Mr. Chairman alive in one gulp (before his death), the Chairman even gives Porky's closing line.
He seems to be a parody of many spy movie villains, as most of these villains are corporation owners and captains of industry.