Zac Efron and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in JONNY QUEST … or not?

Jonny-quest-logoBefore we get to the news story (well comics/movies/animation news anyway) that has been jerking me around so bad that I’ve got whiplash, we need to cover a few housekeeping chores here first.

1. Don’t forget … if you’re reading this blog and you want me to answer a question that you might have about comic books, especially behind the scenes stories that may have occured since I went professional in 1982 … ASK! We’ve even given this special fanatic feature a name and its own logo. This is your chance to ASK THE DWO. If you’re curious about me and what I might have some intimate knowledge of … check out the BACKGROUND page.askthedwo2

2. Vote for me. Immediately below the “Calendar” and the “Contact the DWO” headers in the right-hand, there is a little blue box that says “Vote for me.” While I admit that I don’t know exactly what this does, apparently the slaves rowing in the galley of the internet get an extra bowl of gruel if you vote regularly.

3. Send me a new header. I’d love to run a new header from a fanatic reader. The George Perez header that I’ve been running for the last few months is perfectly fine. I’m sick of it though and I’d love a change. So send me something cool. The size is exactly 200 pixels by 770 pixels.

4. There has also been a sever lack of pithy comments lately. Even the recent shot of Diana Rigg/Emma Peel in the suit that inspired the Black Widow costume raised hardly an eyebrow … or a “hubba hubba” for that matter. So if you’re reading this, don’t forget that you’re free to contribute with comments as well.

And now … on with the show.

Doug Wildey painting for a Comic comic cover

Doug Wildey painting for a Comico comic cover


One of the reasons that I ended up loving comic books, becoming a funny book fanatic, is the original Jonny Quest animated series. I could go on and on and on about my love for this television show. From the first drum beats of the rousing and unsurpassed cartoon theme song, to the fantastic locations, the advanced science, the monsters and the believable action (at least for a cartoon), Jonny Quest had it all.

Jonny & Race character designs by Doug Wildey

Jonny Quest & Race Bannon character designs by Doug Wildey

There are a legion of fans all over the world (in my age range) that feel exactly the same way. My love of the show has seeped into this fanatical blog a couple of times (HERE and HERE). Not only does the theme song make you want to leap off the couch and go have adventures of your own, the title sequence is absolute genius. That mummy still gives me the creeps to this day. There are mysteries of course, like why the Pteranodon and the condor sound exactly the same.

So for you old guys, here is a bit of exciting childhood nostalgia and if you haven’t seen the opening credits to Jonny Quest before, you are in for a treat. I apologize in advance for the quality and the non-English voice-over, but this is the best one from YouTube.

The Jonny Quest movie producers also produced HITMAN

The Jonny Quest movie producers also produced HITMAN

Now the embarrassing part for me, apparently I’ve been living under a rock … or simply not paying attention … or this story didn’t get much (if any) coverage from the traditional comic book news channels. It turns out that the producers (Daniel Alter and Adrian Askeriah) that brought us Timothy Oliphant in the video game inspired HITMAN movie are producing a JONNY QUEST live-action movie at Warner Brothers. And this is an OLD STORY. The announcement of the plans for the movie date back to August 2007.

I can’t explain my lack of knowledge about this … or my lack of comment … except to say that I think my lack of interest has to do with how common these announcements are, how many of the announcements never get as far as casting and how even fewer of them ever go before the cameras. Why spend a lot of time talking and worrying about stuff that isn’t going to happen?

Then recently the project started moving forward. But no one seems to be able to keep their stories straight. I’m confused and the whiplash starts right here, with this wonderful news story where the reporter and Dwayne Johnson don’t seem to know the difference between the GOOD Jonny Quest and the MOSTLY CRAPPY Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.

Here is the link to the leak that Dwayne Johnson was talking about.

Lillard as Shaggy and Cardellini as Velma (great casting!)

Lillard as Shaggy and Cardellini as Velma (great casting!)

I have a bit of a reputation for having very strong opinions about the casting decisions made for live-action versions of comics and animated programs (especially those for which I have a great deal of affection). I hated Michael Keaton’s casting as Batman (I was wrong). I hated Jack Nicholson‘s casting as The Joker (I was right). Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini were both brilliant in the Scooby Doo movies despite other significant weaknesses in the movies. I did backflips the day Robert Downey Jr. agreed to do Iron Man and I wrote an angry and inflammatory blog entry when they announced the extraordinarily wrong-headed casting of Scarlett Johansson as Natasha, The Black Widow.

I know it is going to seem like I’ve lost my mind, but except for the age problem, I don’t really have a problem with the proposed casting of Zac Efron as Jonny and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Race Bannon. While the movie Race won’t have white hair (I hope), I think that Mr. Johnson has all the right attributes to be the perfect Race Bannon … and sometimes attitude and aura are more important than exact physical characteristics. (And let’s all admit it, classic Jonny Quest always flirted at the edges of child endangerment anyway, right?)


The whole QUEST gang in their Dragonfly plane


Let’s start with the rumor about the Jonny Quest movie. The rumor no one is writing about specifically. The rumor, if it is to believed, won’t stop you from getting whiplash like I did, but should help to explain the circumstances the Jonny Quest movie now faces.

It turns the Dan Mazeau script is (rumored to be) REALLY GREAT. So great in fact that the star of High School Musical is interested in the lead … oops … sorry … that sounded snarky … let me start again. Mr. Mazeau turned in a really good script to producers Alter and Askeriah, or so the rumor goes, and it has encouraged everyone in the process to try to move the production of the Jonny Quest movie to the next step. (On a side note, Mazeau is also working on a screenplay for DC’s THE FLASH.)

Check this link for a take on the movie that doesn’t involve Zac Efron.

Quest screenplay writer Mazeau is also working on THE FLASH

Quest screenplay writer Mazeau is also working on THE FLASH

But the colossal bomb that was the SPEED RACER movie has the execs at Warner Bros. running scared. They have a property that could be a terrific franchise if done properly. They have a great script (or so they say). So their solution to the problem, make the movie from the script they have … BUT WITH A DIFFERENT NAME. According to movie executive thinking if you can’t sell the American public on a Wachowski Brothers SPEED RACER movie, then you might have to come up with a different title for a Jonny Quest movie.


Following that logic, you shouldn’t release MARLEY & ME because BEVERLY HILLS  CHIHUAHUA was a box office disappointment. Clearly the American public can’t tell the difference between a good dog movie and a bad dog movie. To see what the LA Times said about it, CLICK HERE.

Quest cast promo model sheet

Quest cast promo model sheet

And just so that the Jonny Quest lovers that are also Funny Book Fanatic are forewarned, you can expect lots more Jonny Quest stuff sneaking into this blog in the coming days … when you start researching this stuff … you find all sorts of cool stuff.

And I haven’t told you about my visits to Jonny Quest creator Doug Wildey’s house yet … so there is that yet to reveal.

That’s my version of the story.

— Dave Olbrich (DWO) Mon. May 18, 2009



Filed under Behind the Scenes, Fanatic General, Point-of-view

5 responses to “Zac Efron and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in JONNY QUEST … or not?

  1. Mak Herr

    I can definitely see Rock as Race. The futher out this movie gets pushed, the less “right for the part” Zac would become, though. (IMO)

    I think Secret Saturdays on Cartoon Network (one of my son’s current faves) owes a lot to Johnny Quest. And that’s not a bad thing at all.

    And I believe Boomerang shows the orignal Quest series at like 1:00 AM or something.

  2. ostrakos

    Thanks to The Venture Brothers, I don’t think I could ever take Johnny Quest seriously again.

  3. Mark Bourne

    Nothing pithy. My homelessness has kept me in poor spirits. I hope to be pithy again one day. :)

  4. Dave Olbrich

    Too bad you can’t pitch a tent on the Terminator Ride. You seemed to like that a lot.

  5. Mark Bourne

    I think pitching a tent anywhere in public is against some law.

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