Warner Bros. Conjures Up an Adaptation of 'Mandrake the Magician'

March 13, 2012
Source: THR

Mandrake the Magician

Magic has been on the collective minds of the studios over the past year or so, with a few mystical-themed movies set to hit theaters soon. There's Burt Wonderstone, which will see two magicians pitted against each other, and Louis Leterrier's Now You See Me, a heist movie in which the FBI faces off against a Robin Hood-esque band of illusionists. Now Warner Bros. is looking to the past to contribute to this present Hollywood trend, as THR reports the studio has picked up the rights to Mandrake the Magician, a pulp comics character from the 1930's created by Lee Falk, the author who also created The Phantom comic.

Mandrake is considered by some to be the first superhero ever depicted in comics. He's a magician skilled in quick hypnotizing, and along with his amazingly strong African sidekick Lothar, Mandrake uses this power to fight all sorts of evil - mad scientists, gangsters, even aliens. Warner Bros. is looking to update the character for modern audiences, similar to their Sherlock Holmes, and this looks like a cool opportunity to bring a unique mixture of magic, adventure, and pulp humor alive. If Shane Black can't get his Doc Savage adaptation off the ground, maybe he could direct this after finishing Iron Man 3. Thoughts?

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Please let this be paving the way for a Defenders of the Earth movie with Flash Gordon and the Phantom!!! Brad Pitt could be Flash Gordon, Tom Hardy as the Phantom, maybe Christian Bale as Mandrake (a la The Prestige). Zachary Quinto could be Ming! Avengers style!!! [Insert douchey comments demanding it be both "dark" and, indeed, "edgy"]

Normstar2k on Mar 13, 2012


I'll insert a douchey comment about how you are straight nuts if you think a defenders of the earth movie would fly with the studios or audiences. Kids these days have no fucking idea who The Phantom or Mandrake or Flash Gordon or Billy Zane are. The best you could hope for is that it would probably get a lot of press for Lee Faulk's tremendously stereotypical view of race - that african man is wearing a leopard skin, for crap's sake. 

Lebowski on Mar 13, 2012


I was kidding, although the kid i am at heart wasn't. It would be awesome, especially with the kickass theme tune =D

Normstar2k on Mar 17, 2012


I have believed for a long time Mandrake needed a Hollywood movie, simply because of the visuals for the tricks he does can be made look super-impressive thanks to CG. I loved reading the comics.

Mithun Divakaran on Mar 13, 2012


Doc..the first and best hero

maryjanesuncle on Mar 14, 2012


Mandrake is a comic strip character. Not a "pulp" character, and certainly not a "pulp comics" character.

A pulps fan on Mar 14, 2012

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