The LEGO Batman Movie director Chris McKay will helm Warner Bros.’ Jonny Quest movie, which was originally set to be directed by Robert Rodriguez. Plot details for the upcoming movie were reported a few years back, and indicated that the film would be faithful to its original source material. Terry Rossio, Dan Mazaeu and Robert Rodriguez all took a crack at the script at one time.
The original Jonny Quest series, following the globe-trotting adventures of the youthful title character and his pals Race Bannon and Hadji, was a Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon that debuted in 1964 and ran until 1965. The original 26 episodes aired in syndication for decades in edited form, becoming familiar to ’80s kids under the title The New Adventures of Jonny Quest. The Quest character would pop up again in the feature-length TV movies Jonny’s Golden Quest and Jonny Quest vs. The Cyber Insects, as well as the Cartoon Network series The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.
Plans for a Jonny Quest live-action feature film have been around since the ’90s, and seemingly gained steam in 2009 when Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron were tapped to star. Later Robert Rodriguez joined the project, but now he has exited as director and Chris McKay of Lego Batman Movie fame has jumped aboard (via The Wrap). Warner Bros. is reportedly seeking a major star to take on the role of Race Bannon, the special agent assigned to be Jonny’s bodyguard/tutor. The role of Hadji, a streetwise kid from India who becomes Jonny’s friend, also affords the opportunity for some diverse casting.
New Jonny Quest director Chris McKay’s background is in animation, with his early works including the cult series Moral Orel, Titan Maximum and Robot Chicken, as well as the TV movie Robot Chicken: Star Wars III. McKay made the leap to studio filmmaking on the computer-animated The Lego Batman Movie, which racked up $312 million at the global box office. McKay’s next announced project is the Dungeons & Dragons adaptation set up at Paramount through Hasbro’s Allspark Pictures. McKay is also lined up to direct Nightwing, a standalone DC movie based on the comic book character Dick Grayson.
When it comes to nostalgia titles, Jonny Quest carries a certain enduring charm for people old enough to have watched Saturday morning cartoons in the ’80s, though it certainly doesn’t have the same pop culture profile as other Hanna-Barbara titles like The Flintstones and The Jetsons, both of which have already found their way to the big screen. Warner Bros. and DC certainly know what Chris McKay brings to the table after his work on The Lego Batman Movie, and they now believe he’s the right man to finally make a Jonny Quest movie happen.
Source: The Wrap