During the 1960s, Federico Fellini (a close friend of Mandrake creator Lee Falk) intended to make a film based on the master of magic, spells and illusion.
OH. SO WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED?
The film would have been made by Embassy Pictures and would have been the first ever movie based on Falk’s character (Mandrake had previously appeared in a serial/on TV).
BUT WHAT DID HAPPEN?
Embassy Pictures hired Michael Almereyda to rewrite the script for Mandrake, which he did for three tireless weeks! Unfortunately whilst Almereyda was busy scribbling away, the studio had a bit of a restructure and with a new head in charge of the company the project was dropped. In 1967 an authorized Turkish movie was made by director Oksal Pekmezoglu called Mandrake Killing’e karsi. It starred Guven Erte as the magic man.
WAS THIS SUCH A BAD THING?
It depends if you like unauthorized Turkish movies or not?! Mandrake was a popular creation, but has always remained in the shadow of creator Falk’s other character, the Phantom. Given the limitations of special effects in the 1960s having Mandrake attempt to prove he was more than just smoke and mirrors probably wouldn’t have worked anyway, so it was a good thing that it never happened.
BUT WHAT IF?
If Mandrake the Magician had made it to the big-screen, then the clever conjurer would have had to give 60s icon James Bond a run for his money at the box-office.With Bond busy bonking lots of birds (English slang for ‘doing it’ with ladies) Mandrake would have had to become a wand wielding womaniser to even stand a chance at beating Britain’s best spy.Therefore Mandrake would have had to lure woman backstage with promises of showing them the ace up his sleeve, which would have quickly caused his career to take an extreme nosedive through continued suggestions that he was a sex addict.The general perception of magic would have been tarnished thanks to Mandrake’s insistence on showing off his magic circle and years later author J K Rowling would have decided against writing stories about wizards and spells and...stuff.Instead of becoming a multi-millionaire, Rowling would have remained poor and all the money handed over when buying her books would have been spent on other things, like investing in reusable sources of fuel or saving endangered species.This would have improved the environment and saved a few panda’s, but ultimately the magic industry would have died a death and illusionist David Blaine would have had to go out and get a real job.