Bad news for anyone still holding out hope that Disney would consider making a sequel to the disappointingly received John Carter. The rights to Edgar Rice Burroughs’s pulp hero have reverted from Disney back to the corporation the late writer established to control his creations, which states that they plan to seek out “a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote… [W]e hope to have JOHN CARTER OF MARS become another major franchise to entertain world-wide audiences of all ages.”
Directed by Pixar’s John Stanton and released in 2012, John Carter was a critical disappointment, though I dare say that at least a portion of the ire the film received was fueled by a growing wave of animosity towards the project from online outlets over the film’s budget and rumors of an out-of-control production.
Unless it is a Marvel Comics property, it is unusual for a film rights reversion of a literary property to be announced. I have to wonder of the press release, the complete text of which is below, is a way for ERB, Inc to get in one final thumbing of their nose to Disney.
While I admire their tenacity in wanting to get another John Carter project going at another studio,the financial failure of the project at Disney has tainted the brand for the time being. Are there any studios willing to make an attempt at a new John Carter film anytime soon? I tend to doubt it. It took over eight decades from the animated version the legendary Bob Clampett was developing to Stanton’s live action version for John Carter to actually visit Barsoom on the big screen and I am sure that the folks at EBR, Inc are hoping that it won’t take so long this time around.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. announces that the movie, television and merchandise rights have reverted back to the company. Walt Disney Pictures held the rights and produced the movie JOHN CARTER in 2012. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. will be seeking a new studio to continue this seminal Sci-Fi adventure.
“John Carter of Mars was the creative stimulus behind such movie classics as Superman, Star Wars and Avatar,” said James Sullos, President. “Edgar Rice Burroughs was the Master of Adventure and his literary works continue to enjoy a world-wide following. We will be seeking a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote. This adventure never stops. Along with a new TARZAN film in development by Warner Bros., we hope to have JOHN CARTER OF MARS become another major franchise to entertain world-wide audiences of all ages.”
About Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Founded in 1923 by Edgar Rice Burroughs himself, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. holds numerous trademarks and the rights to all literary works of the author still protected by copyright. The company has overseen every adaptation of his literary works in publishing, film, television, theatrical stage productions, licensing and merchandising. The company is still a very active enterprise and manages and licenses the vast archive of Mr. Burroughs’ literary works, fictional characters and corresponding artworks that have grown for over a century. The company continues to be owned by the Burroughs family and remains headquartered in Tarzana, California, the town named after the Tarzana Ranch Mr. Burroughs purchased there in 1918 which led to the town’s future development. For more information, please visit EdgarRiceBurroughs.com.