The Faculty. From Dusk til Dawn. Sin City. Machete. These violent and stylish movies were all given life by genre director Robert Rodriguez. With the support of The Great Quentin Tarantino, Rodriguez made a name for himself presenting audiences with movies that are as tongue in cheek as they are action packed. However, the filmmaker is a huge family man and has shown just how diverse a writer/director he is by taking on less violent family fare such as his Spy Kids series, and The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl, a movie co-written by his (then) 8 year old son, Racer Rodriguez. It appears that Warner Brothers hasn’t forgotten that Rodriguez does have a bit of softness in his arsenal and has nabbed the Planet Terror director for a big screen adaptation of the classic 1964 Hannah-Barbera cartoon, Jonny Quest.
Jonny Quest, for those who are not old enough to remember or who somehow missed the reruns, centered around a young boy, Jonny, who travelled with his father around the world and wound up on some pretty awesome adventures. Accompanied by his trusty dog Bandit and his best friend Hadji, Quest was almost a young, cartoon Indiana Jones. At least, that’s the way it seemed to my 8 year old self who loved both Indiana Jones and Jonny Quest.
Robert Rodriguez is a bit of a strange choice here, not because of his previous violent offerings but because of his recent box office numbers. While his last box office success was the critically panned Spy Kids 4 (which was only a success due to its tiny budget), his last two big screen efforts, Machete Kills and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For were box office bombs that failed to capture audiences in the same way the first entries in each respective franchise were able to blow audiences away.
The project has gone through many hands and iterations since first being announced back in the early 90’s, most recently with Zac Efron attached as Jonny and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson rumored to play Quest’s bodyguard, Roger “Race” Bannin, though there is no word if that casting will stick, considering this new direction. With this version, Rodriguez will put his head together with writer Terry Rossio, whose family fare includes Disney’s Aladdin, the classic Howie Mandel/Fred Savage starrer, Little Monsters, Shrek, and the Pirates of the Caribbean films. Together, there is hope that Jonny Quest will once again find himself on an adventure that captures the imagination of audiences of all ages.
Are you ready to see the world with Jonny again? Are you worried with Rodriguez in the driver’s seat?