The news was broken by The Tracking Board, which notes that Etan Cohen (no relation to Sacha) is set to direct a more contemporary take on the character for Warner Bros. that will place Mandrake and his partner/companion Lothar in the modern era as they find themselves recruited by the U.S. government for a secret mission.
Mandrake and Lothar have been around since 1934 as two of the signature characters in the King Features comic strip library alongside Flash Gordon and the Phantom. Given Hollywood’s current obsession with cinematic universes, does this mean that we could possibly see a Defenders of the Earth movie reuniting the four heroes from their joint 1986 animated series?
It would be hard for any theme song to be more ’80s than that! But the answer to the earlier question appears to be “no,” at least for now. The last we heard, the Flash Gordon movie rights are currently in development hell at 20th Century Fox, and it’s been a long time since there was any news about a potential film for The Phantom. It seems that if King Features ever wants to bring together their characters on the big screen, it would have to get all of the rights back under one company.
But in the world of comics, Dynamite Entertainment has already made that reunion happen in Kings Watch and Kings Quest, which puts Mandrake, Flash, and a new female Phantom with other King Features characters like Prince Valiant and Jungle Jim. As for Lothar, he’s also the Phantom in this storyline! As hard as something like this might be to pull off legally, our forgotten-superhero-team-loving hearts can’t help but hope.
Are you excited to see Sacha Baron Cohen as Mandrake the Magician? And would you want to see a big screen team up of the classic King Features characters? Let us know in the comment section below!
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Featured Image: King Features Entertainment
Image: Dynamite Entertainment