Mandrake The Magician Getting The Feature Film Treatment

Coe Norton in Mandrake the Magician
(Image credit: Atlantic Productions)

The last time one of Lee Falk's creations made it to the big screen the result was a disaster. I'm referring to director Simon Wincer's The Phantom, starring Billy Zane and Catherine Zeta-Jones. While heavily marketed, the film ended up being a total dud, both with critics and at the box office, bringing in only $17 million domestically after debuting at #6 with a $5 million take in the opening weekend. Let's hope that Falk's next character to arrive at the movies fares better.

According to THR, Warner Bros. is now planning to create a film based on Falk's Mandrake The Magician. The story follows the titular illusionist, who has the ability to hypnotize people at great speed and have them do his bidding. Along with his African strongman parter, Lothar, Mandrake would work to rid the world of evil, "ranging from gangsters to masters of disguise to aliens." Should the project work out, this wouldn't be the first time that Mandrake has gotten the live-action treatment. Back in 1939 there was a 12-part serial based on the character and there was a TV movie made back in 1979. There was also a pilot for a Mandrake The Magician television series back in 1954, however, that series was never picked up. The studio is currently looking for writers and the plan is to give Mandrake a 21st century shakeup a la Sherlock Holmes (which is weird considering Sherlock Holmes is still set in the past. What this means for Mandrake The Magician is beyond me).

Mandrake sounds like a pretty silly character, but perhaps with a proper script they could make it a lot of fun. Do you see potential in the project?

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.