Robert Rodriguez seems to have two modes – crazy, action-packed genre flicks and crazy, action-packed kids films and it is in that latter category where his next gig will have him working as he has signed with Warner Brothers to helm their long in development adaptation of the classic 1960s animated series Johnny Quest. Rodriguez will be working with screenwriter Terry Rossio on the project which has no scheduled release date yet.
According to the Tracking Board –
The story follows young Jonny Shelton, who teams up with a government agent to stop an evil terrorist from unleashing the powers of an ancient Hindu god.
From that description it does sound as if there may be some deviation from the original cartoon series which featured teenage Johnny Quest (voiced by future Animal House frat president Tim Matheson) his father Dr. Benton Quest, his friend Hadji and government agent/body guard Race Bannon and their globetrotting adventures. The series ran for one season in prime time from 1964 to 1965, and was only cancelled due to its prohibitively expensive animation costs.
A big screen adaption of Johnny Quest has been in the works for some time now with directors Pete Segal and Richard Donner previously attached. The Segal iteration almost got a greenlight in 2010 with Zac Efron as Johnny and Dwayne Johnson as Race.
What stands out about this news is Rodriguez signing with Warners itself, whatever project it would be. For his career, the Austin-based director has been fiercely independent, financing his own films through his Troublemaker Studios. It is very out of character to see him signing with a major like Warners for a project and I wonder how he and the project will fare through the process.