Robert Rodriguez (Spy Kids, From Dusk Till Dawn) will direct a live-action adaptation of Hanna-Barbera’s 1960s animated series Jonny Quest, Deadline reported this afternoon. The goal is to turn it into a live-action franchise.
The Warner Bros. film will be written by Rodriguez and Terry Rossio (Shrek, The Lone Ranger, Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) based on a draft by Dan Mazeau. The film will be produced by Dan Lin (The Lego Movie) and Prime Universe’s Adrian Askarieh.
One of the earliest action-adventure animated series, Jonny Quest was created and designed by Doug Wildey (1922-1994) for Hanna-Barbera. The show, which debuted in prime-time in 1964, follows the adventures of an 11-year-old boy Jonny Quest who travels the world with his scientist father, Dr. Benton Quest; personal bodyguard Race Bannon; Indian orphan/best friend Hadji; and bulldog Bandit.
Cancelled after just one season, the series has enjoyed a cult following throughout the years and was the inspiration for a more recent hit, Adult Swim’s Venture Bros. A less successful reboot, The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, was produced in the Nineties.
Multiple attempts have been made to produce a live-action version, though none has ever been produced. Film directors attached to earlier attempts include Richard Donner and Peter Segal. The original series, based on a radio drama and designed to feel like a live-action show, is better suited to live-action treatment than the average animated series.