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Teenage Johnny Quest casting

JohnnyQuest.jpgI've never seen The Adventures of Jonny Quest, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon that featured a group of people headed by Doctor Benton Quest who would investigate strange occurrences, occurrences which usually found them rather than the team searching for them. The main focus of the show was the son of the Doctor, Johnny Quest, a boy aged eleven.

Now there's talk of the cartoon being made into a live-action feature film and with various members of the team already being discussed in casting, but the big surprise is that the studio want to change the age of Johnny and alter the dynamics of the show completely.

It seems that Roger T. “Race” Brannon, who is assigned by the government to look after Johnny - I'm not exactly sure why he needs protection and why he's going on the adventures to begin with, but it's deemed he needs a bodyguard and tutor - is most likely going to Dwayne Johnson aka Rock.

Meanwhile there's talk of giving the role of Johnny to Zac Efron and making the boy a lot older, in his late teens in fact.

Now while that might make for an interesting film with some strong dynamics, it's a different take on the original 1964 The Adventures of Jonny Quest story where Johnny is a boy who essentially needs protection and looking after. IESB, who have the casting story, also make an interesting point in that as soon as they make the character a late teenager then the need for protection is gone, perhaps guidance and teaching, but the main role there disappears.

What this seems like is a story that is more suited to a trilogy. Make the first film with Johnny Quest as a young boy, recapture the original comic series. Then make the second film with him as a teenager and look to the dynamics of a rebellious youth who believes he knows better and can find his own way. Then hit the last film with him all grown up and ready to take on the adventures himself, maybe even have his father die on the journey.

Oh, that's the Luke Skywalker story. Well it works doesn't it?

I understand that for a lot of people the ageing of Johnny for his first screen outing might be a bit upsetting, but it could work really well with that teenage rebellious quality, however they're missing out the main crux of the original story.

IESB have some good quotes from Dwayne Johnson who basically confirms he's interested in the role and briefly discusses both sides of the age change with them. It's not a great deal, but it's interesting enough.

They also reveal that the name rumoured to direct is Andy Fickman, a director who has already worked with Johnson on The Game Plan and Race to Witch Mountain.

What do you think? Can we British film fans get some guidance from those who are fans of Johnny Quest and tell us about the series and your thoughts on the film version? Should he be young or old, and is there enough there for a trilogy?



I wish they would have done this movie in James Coburns prime, he would have been a perfect Race Bannon...This was my dads favorite show, so growing up I too watched it quite a bit...It's the whole boy adventurer with a super scientist dad bit...He rides on dinosaurs, fights frogmen, runs away from Mummys and such. It's great. It won't be the same now, they'll make it 'hip', and 'current'. Like G.I. Joe, Transformers, this too will most likely be turned into something that in no way accurately portrays the source material...A shame really...Making him a sassy late teen is a horrible idea...What Hollywood needs to do is just start writing these ideas and calling them something else...Whatever these guys churn out won't be Johnny quest, just like whatever Michael Bay pukes out wont be Transformers, it will just be giant robots that have the same names as other giant robots that were actually cool...What a mess.

It struck me when Stormbreaker was on television lately that this is the way that the story will most likely end up, a late teen idea superspy which has been done quite a few times already.

I know what you mean, if they could take the ideas and add some originality into them and call them something different, not trying to sell it as a reimagining then they might be more accepted. However it needs some originality, not just adjustments to hit the highest yielding target audience.


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