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Feb 15th
10:10 pm
Zac Efron as... Jonny Quest????  
Okay I can't tell if this is real or not yet, but I wanted to see what you think.

All of what follows is from IESB:

IESB has got some exclusive information regarding the direction of the upcoming Warner Bros. live action film The Adventures of Jonny Quest, plus some casting info as well!

Traditionally Jonny Quest has been a 12 year old boy in need of a caretaker (Race Bannon), that goes on fantastic adventures hence the name The Adventures of Jonny Quest.

But, with the new adaptation of the story, it looks like WB may be taking the story in somewhat of a different direction upping the age of the lead character by a year or five.

Instead of the traditional 12 year old Quest, it looks like we may be seeing a 17-18 year old Quest in the form of High School Musical star Zac Efron. That's right, Zac Efron, with Dwayne Johnson as his Race Bannon.

Dwayne Johnson I completely, wholeheartedly agree with. Johnson has proven to be a hit at the box office and is an apt action star. He's got a lot going for him and is liked by males and females alike.

Regarding an age change for Quest, I can see the argument from both sides. To honor the original the character of Jonny should be 12.

However, if they were to go older (which it looks like they are) I also wholeheartedly agree with the casting of Zac Efron. If WB had wised up and gone with Efron for Speed Racer instead of Emile Hirsch, it would have been a completely different movie and would have done much better at the box office. That film needed the acceptance of the teen audience and it didn't get it. Efron already has a built in audience, he's money in the bank essentially that tweens and teens will go see regardless.

Got one more for you, who is IESB hearing WB wants at the helm of this Jonny Quest ship? Andy Fickman.

Fickman and Johnson recently collaborated on Race to Witch Mountain for Disney coming this March to theaters and The Game Plan as well back in 2007.

IESB spoke with both Dwayne Johnson and Andy Fickman at an early press day for Race to Witch Mountain a few weeks ago.

Fickman was more tight lipped (but obviously excited) about his possible involvement with Quest, saying we can expect to hear announcements on his future projects in 4-6 weeks.

Johnson was more willing to talk about the possible age change of the Jonny Quest character and had thoughts about both sides of the argument.

Here's what he had to say,

IESB: I told Andy, through the Warner Bros. halls I keep on hearing his name and your name for The Adventures of Jonny Quest.

Dwayne Johnson: You are in man!

IESB: You'd be a pretty badass Race Bannon.

DJ: I love the script, I love working with Andy...

IESB: One of the top scripts of 2008 Blacklist that Jonny Quest script.

DJ: Really?

IESB: Yeah, everybody is talking about it.

DJ: Wow, I don't know if you've read the latest one but it's awesome and it's badass and I haven't read, this is what I told everyone over at Warner Bros., and I love the studio too by the way, you know, I had my experience with them with Get Smart and they were great, I hadn't read an action script like that in a LONG time. And that action was unbelievable. That will happen.

IESB: You think you'll be Race Bannon?

DJ: There's no one else who can be Race Bannon than me. There's no one else. But right now, there are just a couple of tweaks and changes that...

IESB: There are certain things we won't talk about so we don't upset certain Jonny Quest fans about the age.

DJ: Right, which is the argument.

IESB: And I can see the argument from both sides.

DJ: Both sides, right. Cause you want to be true to it and you want to honor that and I loved Jonny Quest when I was a kid. If you go a little older, it gives you more, it allows you to be...it just gives you a bit more, you know. But then you want to honor it too, so...

IESB: It's tough, you are in a pickle, especially after Speed Racer.

DJ: What do you think?

IESB: He has to be 12 years old. I hear the name they are throwing around for the older one.

DJ: How do you feel about that?

IESB: I can see it, I can see that too but a part of me is like I don't know, maybe for the second or the third movie he could be the older kid.

DJ: But right out of the blocks he has to be what he is right?

IESB: He has to be a kid who needs to be taken care of, and if he's 17, 18 years old who's taking care of him? He's a dude.

DJ: [laughing] Right, right, a dude taking care of another dude. Then it becomes creepy.

IESB: Two dudes flying a plane with a pug.

It's still in the “wait and see” mode, Johnson, Fickman and Efron have yet to sign on the dotted line so as Fickman said, we'll have to wait and see for an announcement in about 4-6 weeks!

Well, IESB has given you the info, now it's your turn. What do you guys think? Should Jonny Quest remain the 12 year old of the original incarnation or could they go older with Zac Efron and still reel in the fans of the original? Yay or nay?

TBH, the only adaptation I care about is Death Note. As long as he's in that, I'm happy.

Mood: confusedconfused
39 39 comments Comment
Shruticalcified on February 16th, 2009 05:19 am (UTC)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 05:25 am (UTC)
yeah, i'm not sure how i feel about this.

i know how badly he wants to star in some sort of action/comic book film, but i'm not sure this is a winner.
Shruticalcified on February 16th, 2009 05:27 am (UTC)
I think it's just Johnny Quest in general; I mean, I used to watch the New Adventures of Johnny Quest ALL THE TIME. And who would be his little ndn friend?
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 06:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - calcified on February 16th, 2009 06:00 am (UTC) (Expand)
Irisa_grumble_cake on February 16th, 2009 12:05 pm (UTC)
I don't believe. Well... I CHOOSE not to believe it. I don't think he would sign up for something like that :/
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 01:59 pm (UTC)
yeah, i'm really not sure what to believe cause i know how badly he wants something other than a musical. and this would be pretty mainstream, but i have a feeling it will tank like speed racer. but, as always, if they do it well... then okay.

he really does just need to wait for death note.
ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 01:58 pm (UTC)
This sounds like part wishful thinking, part Zac's publicist trying to make everyone think he's being cast in everything again.
ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 02:00 pm (UTC)
*wishful thinking on the part of IESB and/or the filmmakers, I meant.

I happen to be a HUGE Dwayne Johnson fan but Johnny Quest is some tired racist shit and I wouldn't be interested in seeing yet another movie wherein Dwayne Johnson is the stoic hero caretaker for some helpless (usually white) kids but maybe that's just me. :)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 02:30 pm (UTC)
i have to say, i don't think the project as a whole is a great idea, but in particular i think zac needs to not play 18 or under at this point. not only is it not a good idea if he wants to get out of teen genre (or w/e) but it is becoming questionable if he even still looks that baby-faced.

the only place i'd find such a youthful role acceptable is death note because of the subject matter. plus his role could be aged up to college easily enough if they wanted to.
ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 02:32 pm (UTC)
I think Death Note would be an awesome project for Zac, for all sorts of reasons, and I mean. Just look at him. He's perfect for the part.

I'd heard that it was being cast just because I'm a huge Jesse Spencer fan and he's rumored to be in it in a minor role. :) Is there a rumor associating Zac with the role?
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 02:16 pm (UTC)
i would say that was more likely if it were a different source, like national ledger or something, but this source is way more legitimate.

further there is a second independent source for this and from that source which was at the same interview, if anything it sounded like the rock is the one who mentioned it. so i don't think his publicist had anything to do with it.

and i know you are pretty cynical about zac and his publicist, and believe me, there is a part of me that is just as cynical... but i don't think every story is just rumor. i mean, we know he was actually being considered for prince of persia based on that studio report. yes, his pr probably pushes it around the internet a bit, but that is their job.

and some rumors don't necessarily come from his publicist. don't forget the websites/mags also can make stuff up just to get the zac efron search hits too.
ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 02:25 pm (UTC)
The Rock was probably repeating a rumor, yeah.

I admire Zac's publicists very much, actually. :D As far as publicists go, his PR team is the best in the business and they do VERY well by him. Not just getting word out about his work, but also spit-polishing his public image. I am not at all being facetious - I have done PR work myself, for other artists - I think they're incredible. I just also know how PR works!

The thing people need to keep in mind about "being considered for..." rumors is that they usually ARE from someone's publicist, because all it means is that they are auditioning, or trying to get an audition, and those kinds of rumors only have 2 purposes:

1. To raise an actor's public profile by making him/her seem hire-able or in-demand. This can either be done by the actor's people when they're very close to landing a role, or at least in serious talks such as the Dakota Fanning press for New Moon, or it can totally kill the actor's chances of getting a role by making them seem annoyingly presumptuous when all they've done is send in a headshot and reel, such as Ali Lohan's misstep for HSM3.

Or less frequently,

2. Some severely low-level intern at a studio's PR firm was given a project - "see what people on the Internet would feel about such and such casting choice." The response gauged isn't really used for any casting decisions unless the response is overwhelming, vocal tsunamis of hate from the target demos (see: Hudgens, Vanessa and the Twilight rumor, heh).

No actual production PR team wastes their resources announcing to the public that they're "considering" anyone. It doesn't benefit them, it just creates more questions and production teams generally like to cast in private and without outside influences such as People Magazine blowing up their phone asking if they've cast blah blah blah.
ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 02:27 pm (UTC)
PS I do not think playing another 17yo in another potential franchise is what Zac needs to be doing, agree 100000000% about Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch is arguably a better actor than Zac, but has almost none of his star quality) and I am holding out hope that he gets that Justin Timberlake indie instead :)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 02:46 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 02:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 02:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 03:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 03:11 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 02:53 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 02:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - ohinternets on February 16th, 2009 02:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Bee: Zac - ELLEjeezbee on February 16th, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
Part 1

I guess I’m going against the current here because I like the project for him. Admittedly, I don’t know the cartoon series but just on all the other factors I think it would be a good move for Zac.

Yes, I’d prefer to see him playing a character out of his teens as well but it’s hard to make progress on all fronts at the same time – playing an older character and moving into a new genre where he doesn't have any fanbase or acceptance so far. I wouldn't want him to do teen roles forever but if he gets something else out of it, it's fine by me.

Here are the upsides imo:

  • It’s an action movie
    I think I'm even more desperate for Zac to do something which is not a musical than him. I absolutely hate horror movies (and think that they are mostly not good career moves) but I would still prefer Zac doing a horror movie than another musical (and that includes the two he's already attached with). I know I'm very biased here but I feel very strongly that he shouldn't do any musicals for the next few years if he wants a long-lived career.
  • It's a studio project and as it look like even a big-budget summer movie
    As much as I like MAOW and would love Kent State (personally, I love dramas actually the most), they are too small scale to change much of Zac's mainstream image and perception as an actor. Even if they are successful on the box office for what they are, only very few people will see them in comparison. I'm not saying he shouldn't do those type of projects - on the contrary, I love them - but he needs to do a few bigger studio movies which are not musicals to get a wide acceptance. That's another reason I like this project.
  • He doesn't have to carry all the box office responsibility
    Especially since this would be his first foray into fanboy movie territory (aka comic book adaptions, action flicks, fantasy, adventure, etc movies), it's great that he would have a co-star which is accepted by that audience and can carry that movie as well. I'm neutral towards Dwayne Johnson; I don't know him enough to really have an opinion but it looks like a decent choice.
  • It's a more male-oriented audience
    That's something I was hoping for a movie for him for a while. He needs to get some footing in that demo or he'll be stuck where he is.
  • The script made the 2008 black list
    It's quite an achievement for a comic series adaption to get on there. It doesn't guarantee that the movie will be good but it's certainly a great start (if you're curious, here is the whole list)
Bee: Zac - ELLEjeezbee on February 16th, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
Part 2

I'm actually surprised about the reactions on all the movie sites and blogs I've seen so far. While several voiced their concern about aging the character, basically none of them had an issue with Zac playing an older Jonny. I totally expected them to trash Zac because of his HSM background and most of those sites are run by guys who are mainly into fanboy/geek movies. All the criticism is based on not casting a 12-year-old, just like the article you mentioned above. Having said that, several people mentioned that there was actually a 90s Jonny Quest movie where the character was older, so it would actually not be totally out of the blue.

And as right or wrong it might be, there are way more older looking actors in teen roles - people are used to it. Just to use an annoying example: Robert Pattinson will probably even older than 25-year-old when the last Twilight movie comes out and he would be still playing an 17-year-old; and he's less baby-faced than Zac (and way uglier but that's beside the topic). And at this point, I don't care about any sequels. I would hope that this one, if it happens, is successful and after that it's 'crossing the bridge when it comes to it.'

As for the comparisons with Speed Racer... I think the reason why Speed Racer failed was mainly a bad combination of mediocre script, wrong casting, questionable directing and wrong marketing - not necessarily because it was based on a cartoon series. If done right, the movie could have easily been a success, just like this one could be. Of course this could also fail, just like every other movie. I'm a big believer that execution is the most important factor in a good movie - of course a good base material etc helps but if it's executed purely, the movie will be crap; just the same way that you can make a good movie with a mediocre script if executed well. And nobody can know if and how this works out.

That was a long way of saying that I think it could actually be good for him.

PS: I would have bet a lot of money on the ONTD reaction. It was 100% predictable. LOL

hunny miss (aka lets fead him to the gators)ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 07:15 pm (UTC)
Re: Part 2
I like it for all the reasons you give too. I especially like that he doesn't have the responsibility of the box office all on his shoulders alone. If it didn't do well, he'd be blamed and the damage would be great.

I had forgotten this script was on the Black List until that other article I posted. I kind of didn't pay it any heed since it didn't have an older role suitable for Zac (or so we thought).

I am curious to see how the director fairs on The Race to Witch Mountain too.

And yes the ONTD response was pretty much what I expected too, lol.

Overall, idk what to think. I worry it'll bomb like Speed Racer. But I kind of worry this no matter what role he takes since I just want him to do well. So yeah, it could be awesome... it could be shit.

Re: Part 2 - jeezbee on February 16th, 2009 07:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 2 - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 08:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Part 1 - jeezbee on February 16th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Part 2 - jeezbee on February 16th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Part 3 - jeezbee on February 16th, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 3 - jeezbee on February 16th, 2009 09:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 3 - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 11:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 3 - jeezbee on February 17th, 2009 03:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 3 - jeezbee on February 24th, 2009 11:45 am (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 2 - jeezbee on February 16th, 2009 08:31 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 2 - jeezbee on February 16th, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: Part 2 - ehs_wildcats on February 16th, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)