Wednesday, August 08, 2007
"Look out, Jonny!"
As a lifelong fan of comic books, cartoons and sci-fi pop culture, you would think I would be excited by the news from Hollywood that Warner Bros. is developing a live-action adaptation of the classic Hanna-Barbera cartoon "Jonny Quest." I would say I'm "anxious," but not in a good way.

Let me start by saying "Jonny Quest" was (and is) one of my all-time favorite cartoons. I purchased the complete first season on DVD almost as soon as it was released. I watched it as an adult in my early 30's with the same kind of enthusiasm that I had for it when it ran on Saturday morning re-runs in the late 70's.

But thinking about how Hollywood has taken so many of my favorite four-color characters and stories and "re imagined" them for the big-screen, the idea of producers trying to cash in on the current comic-book movie craze by turning out a "Jonny Quest" film leaves me feeling nauseous.

Case in point? 2005's "Fantastic Four." A movie so bad, I was STUNNED when the sequel was green-lit. And don't even get me started on "Superman Returns."

Studio executives and Hollywood media experts have said numerous times in just as many ways, that the fanboys (such as myself) will never be satisfied by anything they do... as if its an excuse for turning out mediocre films.

Of course, for every "Fantastic Four" or "Catwoman" there's a "Batman Begins" or "Spider-Man" just waiting to be made.

If Adrian Askarieh and Daniel Alter, the film-makers behind "Quest" approach things with the same kind of love and respect for the characters and their world as the Wachowski Brothers appear to be doing with their big-screen version of "Speed Racer," there's chance that "Jonny" might survive his big Hollywood adventure.
Sorry to "get you started," but what was wrong with "Superman Returns?"
I remember watching Jonny Quest in the 60's when it was on prime time. To me he was the American Tintin, but with a family. They traveled to exotic locales (in their own private jet!), had fantastic adventures and battled with their nemesis, the evil Dr. Zin. I'm 50 and still wear PF flyers because Jonny could run faster in them. Although I've long dreamed of a live action version (set in the 60s), unfortunately I don't see how the spirit of the original JQ will survive Hollywood. I think I'll probably stick with the DVDs.
Jack R
You have every reason to be anxious. Hollywood almost never gets it "right." Even when they manage to make something watch-able, you're still left with the question: "why?" Think about it: Is there ever a valid, artistic reason for taking something already fully-realized like Jonny Quest and basing a movie on it? No. It's a grab for money, nothing more, as calculated as anything Hollywood does these days. It's yet another indictment of an artistically bankrupt industry utterly devoid of inspiration, adventure or original thought. The only question ever raised in the corporate boardrooms of the film industry when these numbskull decisions are made is: "can we make a ton of money with it?" If the answer is an emphatic "Yes!" It gets the green light. Since they'll never run out of concepts to recycle, the only way things will ever change is if movie-goers stop paying money to sit through this swill. So stop already. There is a broad universe of film out there that has nothing to do with maximizing the returns of corporate shareholders. A universe that has everything to do with personal expression and originality and risk-taking. Seek it out. Arouse your film lust. Yeah! -headjuice
Matt-

I was reading your comments on Hollywood and "re-imaging" cartoons, comics, etc. I could not help but feel the same way as you toward CNN and what they have done to "Headline News". I was a big fan of the station until it was "re-imaged" by adding shows that are aren't real newsworthy they are just "Glamorized and Sensationalized" as well as annoying. The shows I am referring to are "show-biz tonight" and "Nancy (dis)Grace", and re-runs of Larry King Live! (The only saving grace is Glen Beck)If I wanted to watch ANY of those, I would prefer to watch it on CNN if at all. We can't really call it "Headline News" anymore can we?
Just like Hollywood, you guys are trying to bring in money by re-vaming a one time sacred entity,(and not getting it right) called "Headline News reporting".
can Hollyweird ever come up with new ideas? I doubt it! they have to rehash/bring back the old stuff as they have no fresh ideas anymore. (and those that they do have are usually so full of sex, drugs & violence that I wouldn't want to watch them anyway!)

I'll stick to the Jonny dvd!
Will Jonny's sidekick be called "Haji" or "H1B"?
I have even more reservations given Hollywood's tendency to drain any seriousness of a project in favor of a parody or satire. And since Cartoon Network had already satirized Jonny Quest with the Venture Brothers, anything else from the studios will probably pale to either the original or the farce.
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