The live-action Jonny Quest movie has new life. Warner Bros. has officially tapped The LEGO Batman Movie director Chris McKay to tackle the adaptation. Dating back to the early 1960s, Jonny Quest has been a recognizable and popular figure in pop culture, but has never made the trip to the big screen. That looks like it’s finally set to change, as a promising filmmaker is now in the captain’s chair.
According to a new report, Dan Lin, Jonathan Eirich and Adrian Askarieh are set to produce the Jonny Quest movie, with Chris McKay at the helm. Daniel Alter is also on board to executive produce. Previously, Robert Rodriguez, known for the Spy Kids franchise, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sin CIty and the upcoming Alita: Battle Angel, among other things, had been attached, initially boarding the project in 2015. Development unfortunately stalled out under his watch.
Jonny Quest initially debuted as an animated series from Hanna-Barbera in 1964, running for just a single season through 1965. The show sees the title character tagging along on a series of adventures alongside his scientist father, Dr. Benton Quest. They are accompanied by Race Bannon and Hadji. Eventually, thanks to its popularity in syndication, the show was revived as The New Adventures of Jonny Quest in the 1980s, followed by The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest in the late 90s. The character has also been to a couple of made-for-TV movies, as well as the 2015 home video crossover, Tom and Jerry: Spy Quest. But never has he made the jump to live-action or the big screen. DC Comics recently launched a new comic series based on the show that has done quite well, titled Future Quest.
As for Chris McKay, he had primarily been known for his efforts working on Adult Swim animated shows such as Moral Orel and Robot Chicken before making the jump to features with The LEGO Batman Movie last year. That movie did quite well for Warner Bros. and was very well-received. McKay was then tapped to develop a Nightwing movie, which has since been put on the backburner, but isn’t canceled. It seems the studio decided it was best to make use of his talents elsewhere while they wait to give Dick Grayson his own movie, when the time is right. While McKay hasn’t done nearly as much in the world of live-action, he’s certainly proved he can faithfully adapt a pre-existing property quite well.
While few details are available currently, the report also notes that a “major movie star” is being eyed for the role of the former secret agent bodyguard Race Bannon. There is currently no word on who could wind up with the titular role. Previous drafts of Jonny Quest were penned by Terry Rossio and Dan Mazeau, but it’s likely that a new writer will be brought on board since a new director has come into play. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as more details on the project are made available. This news was first reported by The Wrap.