Robert Rodriguez is Taking Over the Live-Action Jonny Quest Movie

By  · Published on May 26th, 2015

Remember when we told you back in 2013 that the live-action Jonny Quest movie is still happening as long as an evil scientist doesn’t stop it first? Well, it is still happening still, now with a mad scientist of cinema at the helm. According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Heat Vision blog, Robert Rodriguez is taking over as co-writer and director of the very-long-in-development cartoon adaptation, replacing Peter Segal, who himself had taken over from Richard Donner. I imagine this attempt, if successful, will feature a global adventure shot completely in Rodriguez’s garage and look like his Spy Kids franchise and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D.

Rodriguez will be joined by Terry Rossio (the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise) for a redo of the previous script, which was written by Dan Mazeau back when Segal was directing and Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron were linked to the project in starring roles. Producers Dan Lin (the Lego Movie franchise) and Adrian Askarieh (Hitman and its reboot, Hitman: Agent 47) have been with the thing for nearly a decade and aren’t giving up. Kids today may not know what Jonny Quest is anymore, but there’s no denying the premise of an 11-year-old boy going on adventures with his scientist dad has a lot of potential, brand-recognition or not.

The news does come ahead of another Jonny Quest project that’s about to be released. Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest is a direct-to-video animated feature that crosses the cartoon with Tom and Jerry, both properties created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera. It’s the first production of such length to involve the Quest characters in 20 years, and it’s been almost as long since the last incarnation of the animated series.

Hopefully Rodriguez will pull the sort of casting idea his pal Quentin Tarantino would do and cast Tim Matheson in some sort of role – it doesn’t even have to be Dr. Benton Quest or Race Bannon. Matheson, who later became more well-known for wild comedies like Animal House and Black Sheep, was actually the original voice of Jonny Quest in his youth.

Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.