After languishing in development with different studios for the past decade or so, it seems that the film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s pulp character John Carter of Mars is starting to gather momentum.
According to the Burroughs news site ERBZine, last Tuesday Pixar’s Jim Morrison, Andrew Stanton and Mark Andrews visited the offices of ERB, Inc. – the company created by the late writer that controls the copyright to his works – and poured over material in the company’s archives. The Pixar crew met with Burroughs representatives Danton Burroughs, Sandra Galfas and Jim Sullos to discuss Pixar’s plans to not produce one film based on the character but three.
Burrough’s second most famous creation after Tarzan, John Carter is a Civil War vet who, while hiding in a cave from Indians in Arizona finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars. There he finds himself battling barbarian aliens and wooing beautiful princesses. He first appeared in the 1917 novel A Princess Of Mars, the first of seven books that Burroughs would write about the races and civilizations he imagined on the red planet.
Stanton is set to direct Pixar’s trilogy with Andrews writing the screenplay. Morris will produce. Attempts at adapting the series for cinema date all the way back to the late 1930s, when it was being developed for a series of potential animated shorts by the Fleischer Studios. More recently, directors Robert Rodriguez and then Jon Favreau tried their hand at developing a live-action silm before the rights were transferred to Pixar.
The report states that the first film of the trilogy should be in theaters before 2012. Looking ahead at Pixar’s schedule, Wall-E is set for next summer, Up will be out in 2009 and Toy Story 3 is on track for 2010. That leaves 2011 for the first John Carter film to premier, unless the studio plans on releasing more than one animated film a year. And that’s not factoring in Pixar hocho John Lassetter’s 1906, the studio’s first completely live action film.