Robert Rodriguez Tackling 'Jonny Quest' for Warner Bros.
Jonny Quest is back on.
Robert Rodriguez has come aboard the adventure project, an adaptation of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon, which has been dormant for the past several years.
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Moving the Warner Bros. adventure along is Terry Rossio, whose credits range from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies to The Mask of Zorro.
Rodriguez and Rossio are rewriting the script initially penned by Dan Mazeau, with Rodriguez on board to direct. Dan Lin and Adrian Askarieh are producing.
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Quest was a 1964 ABC primetime cartoon that chronicles the neato adventures of Quest, a boy who accompanies his father on globe-spanning missions. Rounding out the team are Hadji, a Kolkatan orphan and Jonny's best friend; his pet bulldog, Bandit; and government agent/bodyguard Race Bannon. (Jonny was voiced by Tim Matheson of Animal House fame, and his father, Benton C. Quest, was voiced by John Stephenson, who passed away last week.)
While the show lasted only a season — it was canceled not due to ratings but because it was expensive to produce — it lived on lucratively for the next few decades in syndication. The late 1980s and the 1990s brought forth cartoon revivals and comic books. And Hollywood interest.
After Ted Turner bought the Hanna-Barbera library in the early 1990s, Richard Donner (Superman, Lethal Weapon) and Lauren Shuler Donner were involved in an adaptation.
Lin, one of the producers behind The Lego Movie, and Askarieh, who is producing the upcoming Hitman: Agent 47 movie, began developing a new version in 2007. It was also then that Mazeau was hired to pen the script. A movie was close to a green light in 2010 with Zac Efron as Quest, Dwayne Johnson as Bannon and Peter Segal (50 First Dates) circling to direct.
Quest may have found the right fit this time around with Rodriguez, who, apart from his violent and R-rated fare (Sin City, Machete), has shown a love and proficiency in making kids' adventure movies with his four-installment Spy Kids series.
Rodriguez is repped by WME and Loeb & Loeb. Rossio is repped by CAA.
Andy Fischel and Nik Mavinkurve are overseeing for the studio.
by Sheraz Farooqi
by Graeme McMillan