I was born at just the right time for Jonny Quest to have absolutely no impact on my childhood. According to Wikipedia, the show’s Saturday morning reruns ceased airing in 1972, while The New Adventures of Jonny Quest didn’t debut until 1986, at which point I was thirteen-years-old and habitually waking up to the work of John Donne in my cork-lined bedroom (ah, Combray!). And they have yet to air The Erotic Adventures of Jonny Quest, so if you’re looking for someone to get worked up over Adrian Askarieh’s and Daniel Alter’s plans for a live-action JQ, I ain’t your man.
But this doesn’t mean I think Jonny Quest is a rotten candidate for a franchise; au contraire, Matt Frewer, I think the Hanna-Barbera series offers up some insanely exploitable material. And I’m genuinely happy for Askarieh and Alter, who’ve been hustling there asses off looking for a signature piece of material that might define their geek-friendly taste. As a "family-friendly" series, I’m not sure you can do much better than Jonny Quest: it’s got an eleven-year-old adventuring protagonist, a bad-ass, prematurely gray bodyguard in Race Bannon, and an Indian sidekick who isn’t depicted in a culturally insensitive manner (to the best of my knowledge). Frankly, I think this is a much better idea than a Speed Racer movie.
Warner Brothers has been scrambling for an heir apparent to the soon-to-end Harry Potter franchise for a couple of years, and, thus far, Jonny Quest is probably their best option. The trick now is to hire a screenwriter and director with a unique vision – i.e. one that doesn’t just throw the best parts of Potter, Pirates of the Caribbean and Looking for Mr. Goodbar into a blender. Is Dan Mazeau the right scribe for the job? Who knows? He’s yet to have a single screenplay produced, which means I can’t in good conscience lambaste his work sight unseen. This isn’t fun at all.
But Jonny Quest should be. Still, if Askarieh and Alter are planning to get this sucker done before the strike, they better ride Mazeau like Barbaro (at the Derby, not so much the Preakness).