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Tuesday, 19 May 2009

Mandrake the Magician is heading to the big screen

Hayden Christensen (Jumper, "Star Wars" prequels) and Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond, Amistad) will star in Mandrake, the adaptation of Lee Falk's comic strip "Mandrake the Magician" according to ComingSoon.net

Mimi Leder (Deep Impact, The Peacemaker) will direct the film, written by Josh Oppenheimer and Thomas Dean Donnelly, JV Hart, and Ian Jeffers. The film is based on an original story by Kevin Bernhardt.

Jackson Mandrake lives life on the edge. Working as an underground magician and escapologist, his act has grown increasingly dangerous. Following a daring escape from an SUV that has been dropped out of an plane at the Burning Man Festival, he is coerced by the CIA into breaking a deep-cover agent named Xi Shing Lung out of a maximum security jail. Hypnosis, contortion, distraction and technical wizardry all come into play as Mandrake breaks the agent out from the inside within a 24-hour deadline.

But back on the outside, Mandrake learns that it was all a set-up. Xi is a CIA agent gone bad. He offers Mandrake the chance to join his crime ring. When Mandrake refuses, he's a marked man. He must escape his would-be-killers and also the real CIA who accuse him of being in league with Xi. His quest to clear his name leads him into all sorts of dangers, which he must overcome with daredevil escapes that require all his conjuring skills. And along the way, Mandrake is forced to confront his past and the girl he left behind...

I only really know Mandrake from the old Defenders of the Earth cartoon where he was joined by Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Lothar and others The above synopsis sounds nothing like the top hat and tails character from that and the comic. To be honest the film sounds like a mix of xXx, Shooter and Jumper. Chock full of cliche and not much else.

At the moment I'm not that excited. Hayden Christensen is a bit of a non-event for me, but Djimon Haunsou is usually pretty cool. I wonder if he will be playing Lothar? Interestingly IMDB shows Jonathan Rhys Meyers is to play Mandrake, but again that casting doesn't do anything for me. IMDB also says Criss Angel and Randy Couture are in the film. Make of that what you will.

Are you a fan of the original Mandrake? Do you like the sound of this take on him? Do you want Christensen or Meyer to play the part? If not them who would be the perfect Mandrake now that David Niven is no longer with us?

Discuss in the forum