The Hollywood Reporter exclusively announced that Warner Bros. has picked up the rights to the classic comic strip Mandrake the Magician with Atlas Entertainment producing the film.
Despite Warner’s huge roster of DC Comics superheroes, they have acquired the 1934 Lee Falk creation in attempt to finally get a bead on what makes him tick. An illusionist who used his powers for good, unlike his evil twin brother, he and his African strongman companion Lothar fought foes in all their forms.
As the source points out, perhaps Warner are going for the same modern makeover they achieved with the highly successful Sherlock Holmes films with Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.
Mandrake has never made it to the big screen. Columbia Pictures made a 12-part serial in 1939, and there was a TV movie in 1979 starring Anthony Herrera in the title role. The 2011 sci-fi film In Time was reportedly loosely based on one of the strips.
Children of the 1980s will also remember the character fondly from the short-lived Defenders of the Earth (1986–87) animated series, in which Mandrake starred alongside Flash Gordon and The Phantom.