Most of the films in the series starred Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau and were directed and co-written by Blake Edwards. As detailed in the director's commentary for the first film, the Inspector Clouseau character was originally conceived as a vehicle for David Niven, but once written it was decided he should play the raconteur/thief. Then the role was offered to Peter Ustinov, with Ava Gardner to play his wife. When Gardner dropped out, so did Ustinov, so the role of Clouseau went to Sellers. Apparently, the tone of the film changed after Edwards picked up Sellers from the airport, and during the ride to the hotel, they bonded over their mutual love of old film comedians like Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and Laurel & Hardy. The role was then modified to include elements of slapstick. The jazz-based Pink Panther Theme was composed by Henry Mancini. In addition to the credits sequences, the theme often accompanies any suspenseful sequence in the first film and in most of the subsequent films featuring the character of Clouseau.