Robert Rodriguez to Direct Live-Action ‘Jonny Quest’ Movie
Despite only lasting a single season, the animated series Jonny Quest has become immortal in our collective pop culture memory. Even those who aren’t familiar with the series are familiar with the tropes (and parodies) it has inspired. Warner Bros. is apparently counting on everyone who can afford a movie ticket having a basic familiarity with this property because they’ve redoubled their efforts to get a big screen version off the ground and they’ve hired Robert Rodriguez to make it happen.
As you probably already know (even if it’s deep in your subconscious), Jonny Quest followed the titular boy adventurer, who journeyed around the world with his scientist father, his orphaned best friend/sidekick, his government agent bodyguard, and his pet dog, getting involved in all kinds of pulpy derring-do. The original Hanna-Barbera produced series ultimately spawned new cartoons and comic books over the decades, but it’s the kitschy, adorably square original series that looms the largest.
So that brings us to the big question here: what does a Robert Rodriguez-directed Jonny Quest movie look like? He’s already mined vaguely similar territory with his four (increasingly dire) Spy Kids movies, but this will hopefully give him a chance to actually stretch his directorial muscles. For all the promise he once showed, Rodriguez has been in a holding pattern for some time now, culminating in last year’s especially disappointing Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. Making a big studio movie based on a recognizable property may be exactly what he needs to shake out the cobwebs and stretch himself again. By actually being accountable to someone, he will be forced to bring his A-game. Maybe. Hopefully. Give us this one single moment of faith, please.
Rodriguez will also co-write the screenplay with Terry Rossio, whose past credits include several of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and The Mask of Zorro. Since another creative person in the room may be exactly what Rodriguez needs, this is a good thing.
Interestingly, a Peter Segal-directed Jonny Quest movie almost came to fruition in 2010, with Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson set to star. Efron is now a little old to play an intrepid boy adventurer, but Johnson? Oh, Johnson was born to play a macho private bodyguard to a family of scientists. Get started on a good foot by stealing that casting, Mr. Rodriguez.