Jonny Quest Movie Isn't Dead Yet

The machine sputtered and whirred. It was out of juice, and had almost nothing left to give. "But wait!" they cried. "There must be more, please help!"

"No," it replied, wheezing and struggling to put together the words. "We’ve made all the m-m-movies."

"There must be something!" they cried, desperate for one last fix. The machine ignored them, turning completely around and ambling away. But a moment before it disappeared, there was a pause, and out of its back-carriage came twenty six episodes of Jonny Quest.

And now Peter Segal is available to pick up that piece. Segal, a blockbuster director of sorts who anonymously helmed hits like The Longest Yard and Get Smart, is currently promoting Grudge Match. During press rounds, Segal made a curious revelation: he remains attached to an adaptation of the Hanna-Barbara cartoon, and he reveals to Coming Soon that the project is not as dead as it once seemed.

Quest, a boy adventurer, engaged in several wild adventures in the original series as well as several more contemporary spinoffs. It’s a pretty basic property, with Quest joined by a colorful supporting cast. His father Dr. Benton Quest was an inventor and scientist, his young friend Hadji was a Magic Minority, and Race Bannon was Quest’s beefy bodyguard. A movie was planned in 2009, and Zac Efron and Dwayne Johnson were the names linked to the project, but Efron’s likely a little too old to play the teenaged Quest.

"I would love to make that my next movie," says Segal, who was also once attached to The Jetsons. "We just hired a writer to do another pass. We already have a good script. Then we go through budgeting hell and trying to get it into good shape."

Jonny Quest has always meant high-flying adventure, so you can see how they’d want to justify making this film with a massive budget. Of course, this is also something of a brand that hasn’t had any real cachet in decades. Since that first series, there were two more TV launches and a couple of animated TV movies, none of which set the world on fire. And in recent years, the show served as a mocking template for the hit Cartoon Network series, The Venture Brothers.

Of course, maybe the movie won’t even be called Johnny Quest at all. Which seems like commercial suicide either way, because the only reason you adapt old, not-that-popular licenses is because of the minor brand name recognition. But does it matter? Some movies are passion projects and some movies exist because people want to get paid. If you want to know how the sausage gets made, there needs to be a smattering of good movies, but a whole load of disposable films just like Questlove or whatever they decide to call this movie, anyway.