Much like the time Jonny had to deal with mummies coming back to life or with the arrival of real life space men(!), the process toward developing and finishing a live action Jonny Quest movie has been an adventure. While a previous live action film was announced in 2009 with Zac Efron set to play Jonny and Dwayne Johnson as Race Bannon, it’s safe to say that’s not the version we’ll be getting anymore.
Jonny Quest, for those not acquainted with Cartoon Network at 3:00am, is the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon that centered on an intrepid young explorer, the son of a scientist/inventor who usually got into zany adventures with Hadji, his best buddy. Hadji wore a turban, had mystical powers (like snake charming and hypnotism) and was Indian, and since this was the 1960s, they never let you forget this. Rounding out the crew was the buff Race Bannon, the Quest family body guard and Bandit, their lovable canine companion.
While out doing his rounds to promote the upcoming Grudge Match, director Peter Segal said that the once dormant adaptation is actual alive and kicking — and he’s still firmly on board to get it into theaters.
“I would love to make that my next movie,” Segal said. “We just hired a writer to do another pass. We already have a very good script. Then we go through budgeting hell and trying to get it into shape.”
Clearly, Efron isn’t going to be playing an 11-year-old boy wonder anytime soon, so the race is on again to find a suitable Jonny and his trusty sidekick (But The Rock as Race Bannon is still a welcome pick). Each episode of Jonny Quest was a high-flying fantastical adventure full of sword fights, poisonous snakes, buried treasures and fearsome villains and foes. So here’s to hoping those budgeting woes that Segal mentions are him trying to get as much money as possible to make this production overblown and as full of explosions as he can humanly manage.
Jonny Quest only lasted for a season when it originally aired, but the show spawned two spinoffs and inspired countless other Hanna-Barbera productions. Not to mention, anyone who is a fan of The Venture Bros. has the show to thank for the ample source material provided for mocking. Though there haven’t been any new Quest cartoons in awhile, his is the kind of name that can span decades and hold an audience regardless of the relevance; the story of a kid zooming around the world with his best friend and his dog beating up bad guys isn’t going to feel dated…as long as they address the inherent racism in Hadji’s one-note character before moving forward with production first.
And, of course, if they keep the jazzy score:
Segal only offered up those details about the production, so it may be awhile before we hear anything more about the film. Maybe a live action Venture Bros movie is what we should be hoping for instead.