Jonny Quest, originally created by Hanna-Barbera in 1964 is easily one of the longest-running and heralded action-adventure characters in animated history. After the first cartoon launched, various versions of Jonny were seen in comic books, video games, animated movies, and even more television series.
A live-action Jonny Quest feature film has been in development for a long time, leaving loyal fans wondering if they would ever see Jonny up on the big screen. Recently the project took a huge leap forward when Dan Mazeau’s Jonny Quest screenplay was rewritten by Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids) and Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean).
According to Mark Hughes of Forbes who has read the new screenplay, it's reportedly very faithful to the original Jonny Quest series, and great enough to potentially give Warner Bros. a new big tentpole film franchise.
While the initial report from last May had Rodriguez directing Jonny Quest, he's now serving as a writer while other names being tossed around to helm include Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Beyond), Scott Derrickson (Sinister, Doctor Strange), and Joe Cornish (Attack the Block). With buzz around the project growing, and even a new Jonny Quest comic proving popular for DC Comics, production meetings could begin this fall.
There's no movement in casting as of yet but Forbes claims from insiders that there's a lot of interest in a A-lister for the key role of Race Banon - the Quest team's resident tough guy. Specifically, Idris Elba, Bradley Cooper, and Will Smith were namedropped.
From the script review, here's what we know of the Jonnn Quest movie plot without giving away spoilers:
- It's based on episodes of the original '60s animated series.
- Race Bannon is an elite government agent and adventurer, and the story includes his introduction to the Quest family.
- It's character focused and emphasizes the relationship between Jonny and his father, Dr. Benton Quest.
- Hadji is part of the movie, and his origin tale will be included that ties into the main plot.
- Jade, who has history with Race Bannon, is also a key character - her loyalties are questionable.
- Expect robot arachnids and jet packs.
The script review claims the tone of the film is fun and adventurous, full of big set pieces and humor. From a style standpoint, the characters and nature of Jonny Quest stories lend themselves to some unique sci-fi tech, so if it works out, this project could offer a breath of fresh air for summer blockbuster style films. The official Jonny Quest logline:
Young adventurer, Jonny Quest, joins his scientist father along with his brother, Hadji, and his pet bulldog, Bandit, in extraordinary escapades around the world. A live-action feature based on the animated Hanna-Barbera series, "Jonny Quest."
Because Jonny Quest is such a cherished franchise, all of the above is exciting news for long-time fans which is clearly the goal in mind from producers Daniel Alter, Adrian Askarieh, Ryan Halprin, Dan Lin, and Matt Reilly. The screenplay was even compared to the likes of Harry Potter and Indiana Jones.