Saturday, July 18, 2009

Riding John Carter's Coattails (or harness)?

Well it appears John Carter of Mars isn't the only Edgar Rice Burroughs character soon to be hitting the screen. http://scifiwire.com/2009/07/rebooting-tarzan-make-him.php In an interview promoting the upcoming GI Joe film, writer Stuart Beattie revealed he has been hired by Warner Bros. to pen a new Tarzan film with his Joe director Stephen Summers attached to direct. Beattie is even saying it will be a Pirates of the Carribean like take on the character (maybe not surprising since Beattie co-wrote the first Pirates.) While I don't know how long Warners has been toying with a new Tarzan film, it does seem interesting that it is now popping up right as production is gearing up for Andrew Stanton's take on Barsoom. (The production recently announced the addition of Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas, a definite step in the right direction).

This isn't the first or probable last time that Hollywood has decided to cash in on an author. Anybody growing up in the 1980s couldn't escape the seemingly endless Stephen King movies that plagued theaters while the 90s brought us Jane Austin films by the truckloads (and we're still getting them.) And Warners is not alone in suddenly jumping into the ERB bandwagon. Also in production (and possibly done as I write this) is a new take on The Land That Time Forgot. Unlike JCOM or Tarzan however this is a straight to dvd effort from the fine folks at The Asylum, an outfit that has turned out such "winners" as Transmorphers and I Am Omega. Yep their main goal seems to be cash in on what's hot, even though the description of their LTTF sounds more like Indiana Jones meets Jurassic Park. We'll have to wait and see what actor-director C. Thomas Howell can cough up.

Also in the wings, but possibly dead in the water is Carson Napier, an "adaptation" of Burroughs' Venus series. The outifit producing it, Angelic Pictures reportedly secured the rights from ERB Inc and did release a press release that a script has been written and copyrighted with the Writers Guild. That was 2007 when the movie was still being called Pirates of Venus. At it currently stands, no actors are credited, even though the film's IMDB page lists a November 2011 release date. The company (whose other ouput seems mostly to be sports related comedies) could still make the film and have it out by then, but why do I feel it will be retitled again to Carson Napier of Venus before it's over.

What ERB novels could next will be announced. Stay tuned...

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