The prospect of a live-action Jonny Quest film has been in the cards for years now, but the recent news that Robert Rodriguez is onboard to direct the project has signaled that the film will become a reality, sooner rather than later. Given his experience with the Spy Kids franchise, Rodriguez does seem to have the perfect background for bring young Jonny’s adventures to the big screen.
However, even though Rodriguez seems like a logical choice to bring the animated series to life onscreen, there are still a fair number of questions revolving how the director and his filmmaking crew will adapt the material for live-action. Now we have a better idea of what the Jonny Quest film will look like whenever it does make its way to theaters.
Collider caught up with producer Adrian Askarieh and managed to get a few more details on the approach the new Jonny Quest will take. Here’s what he had to say:
“We’re working based on the original 1960s Jonny Quest prime time animated show. That is our source of, not only inspiration, but the pool that we’re culling our inspirations from. I know a lot of people like The New Adventures of Jonny Quest, and that’s fine, but we are now focusing on the original 60s animated show. Robert [Rodriguez], Dan Lin, Terry Rossio, myself, big fans, and look, there’s nothing wrong with it, so if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. That thing is a work of genius. We’re lucky to have it to reference.”
The New Adventure of Jonny Quest, for those unfamiliar, marks the return of the series in 1986, which is often viewed as a long-awaited second season to the original 1964-1965 run of episodes. According to this information, it seems Askarieh and Rodriguez’ team which, as mentioned, includes producer Dan Lin (The LEGO Movie) are basing their live-action film solely on the 26 episodes that introduced the world to the characters of Jonny Quest, Benton Quest and the rest of the gang. Most of the show’s main characters are now confirmed to make appearances, thanks to Askarieh.
“Jonny Quest is in it. Race Bannon, Benton Quest, Hadji is in the movie, even Bandit. Jezebel Jade. If you love Jonny Quest, the potential that this movie has to honor that show, I think you’ll be thrilled by it.”
Askarieh – who has been developing the project for eight years – claims that the high-profile failure of the Wachowskis’ live-action Speed Racer (another Warner Bros. production), which brought in just $93 million worldwide against a $120 million production budget, contributed to the slow development that Jonny Quest has faced. However, with Rodriguez set to turn in the script he co-wrote with Terry Rossio (the Pirates of the Caribbean series) in the coming weeks, it sounds like Askarieh and company have nailed down how to bring Jonny to the big screen.
“We want to make a PG-13. Again, I never want to be presumptuous to stamp a rating before the studio gets involved; that’s ultimately their decision. This is not going to be a kiddie action-adventure movie; this will be an action-adventure that happens to have a 12-year-old in it … That’s what we want. That’s our M.O. for this movie. Indiana Jones meets James Bond.”
With that logline, it’s hard to argue with the distinct possibility that a Jonny Quest film could turn out to be the kind of adventure franchise that families can enjoy together. That the people involved seem to be passionate about the property could only help them execute that plan in a way that should please the existing fanbase, though there’s no telling how the finished film will turn out just yet. Moreover, as Askarieh has admitted, the project’s start date depends on a number of factors. We’ll keep a close eye on this one for now.