Thursday, March 25, 2010

John Carter: The Jesse Marsh Years


I happened to find this on Amazon-http://www.amazon.com/Edgar-Rice-Burroughs-John-Carter/dp/1595824715. Dark Horse Comics is publishing Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars: The Jesse Marsh Years, a hardcover collection of the Dell Four Color Comics that Marsh and writer Paul S. Newman wrote from the 1960s. You can find out more at http://www.darkhorse.com/Books/16-381/Edgar-Rice-Burroughs-John-Carter-of-Mars-The-Jesse-Marsh-Years-HC and pre-order the book, which comes out in June. I wonder if the Marvel series or Dark Horse's own Tarzan/John Carter series will be following.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Buck Rogers Goes 3D...


With a lousy director. According to Deadline Hollywood, Paul Anderson (the guy responsible for Alien Vs. Predator and the pointless Death Race remake, not the There Will Be Blood Paul Anderson) has been hired by Paradox Entertainment (who is also making Conan) for a new 3D take on Buck and Wilma. I don't know if this will affect the web series but I'm sure now it will look great compared to what Anderson will offer up. You can read about it here http://www.deadline.com/2010/03/buck-rogers-blasts-off-into-3d/ and then read Harry Knowles' less than thrilled reaction here http://www.aintitcool.com/node/44390 (A quick warning-much foul language used. I don't blame him though.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Unmade John Carter Film Artwork!


Yep more oldies but goodies. While artwork for Andrew Stanton's version has not shown up yet artwork from previous attempts have shown up online. Previously I linked to art for the 1970s Amicus version, so here is art for the unmade Paramount version by artist Phil Saunders http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/officially-cool-phil-saunders-john-carter-of-mars-superman-concept-art.php This has been around a while but still shows what could have been had Jon Favreau made the film. Saunders' ideas could still show up though-he is also an artist on the new film so we might get a glimpse of the possible Barsoom.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Find of the Day: Black Angel


I thought this was an interesting story...As some may know this year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back. What some might remember who caught the film in its original run was a short film called Black Angel that ran in front of it. The short-a medieval piece directed by Roger Christian (who was the art director on Star Wars and Alien)-has become a mystical piece, unseen since its original release. Well Shadowlocked.com has an interview with Christian where he talks about the short, its history and the possibility of it seeing the light of day again. You can read more at http://shadowlocked.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=137:the-lost-film-that-accompanied-the-empire-strikes-back&catid=46:movie-features

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Green Lantern-First Pics and New Casting!


While pics from John Carter of Mars has been outlawed by the paranoid androids at Disney, it looks like some pics from Green Lantern's first day filming in New Orleans has popped up at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/green_lantern/news/?a=15901. While most of it is Ryan Reynolds in regular clothes a close look at his hand shows one cool thing. Also Heatvision is reporting two new cast members, both from New Zealand-Taika Waititi who will play Hal Jordan's friend and Temuera Morrison (probably best known to most viewers as Jango Fett) as Abin Sur, the alien Lantern who gives Jordan the ring. You can read more at http://www.heatvisionblog.com/2010/03/green-lantern-taps-two-kiwi-actors-exclusive.html UPDATE Mar. 23: It looks like more on set photos have shown up at http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/Poniverse/news/?a=16174 This time we get to see the possible logo for GL and more pics of Reynolds and the fans.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Book Review: Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar


I know-its the most haphazard blog ever. But a book review for once.

As our story opens it finds John Clayton (aka Lord Greystoke; aka Tarzan) in a situation that many can relate to now-he's broke as his company has went belly up. Needing some quick funds Tarzan decides to brave a return trip to Opar, the underground kingdom that he barely escaped from before. But just as he's about to leave he gets bonked on the head and loses his memory, having him revert back to his ape like ways. Oh there is also a Belgian named Albert Welper on the run for murdering his superior who has eyes for both the loot and Mrs Clayton; Achmet Zek, the Arab bandit who needs to get Tarzan out of his hair to resume his business (mostly selling slaves and the like) and La, the hot High Priestess of The Flaming God of Opar who mostly just wants Tarzan...in the Biblical sense.

I have to admit that I've always been lukewarm when it comes to the Lord of the Apes. Part of it might have been the first exposure I had to the character was TV reruns of the Johnny Weissmuller films. Later when I did begin reading the novels I found them while well written for the pulp audience they still didn't grab me as much as John Carter, Carson Napier or even Burroughs novels like The Moon Maid or The Land That Time Forgot. Part of the problem is just the plot I described above-Tarzan somehow gets separated from his wife (usually by the machinations of some evildoer who has designs on Jane) and spends his time running around the jungle; Jane spends most of the novel getting captured, escaping, get captured again and being leered at; and the villains are interchangeable-a strong reliance on foreign crooks and evil Arabs.

What at least makes Jewels of Opar a quick read (besides the short page count-the paperback I have is barely a 160 pages) is at this point that familiarity. You expect all of these things to happen and Burroughs lays them out in spades. There is also some unintentional humor that comes up-especially with La who seems to veer back and forth in her love and hate for Tarzan more than Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. One section she even has him tied up and does nothing with him-again morals of the time probably didn't allow even a man with amnesia to dally with another woman but who didn't want him just to give up boring Jane and run off with La-at least she isn't being packed off by the nearest Arab for sale.

In the end Tarzan and the Jewels of Opar is an okay read. It may not be the best Tarzan book (that still seems to be the first novel) but compared to the last two I read (The Beasts and Son of Tarzan) it is better paced and more fun in a predictable way. (Also on a side note I'm just waiting for the announcement that Sam Worthington or one of the Twilight stars will play Tarzan in the upcoming new film, since at this point you can't make a movie without one of them being attached or rumored to star.)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Sam Worthington is Dan Dare:Pilot of the Future!


Or at least according to Collider and a few other sites. http://www.collider.com/2010/03/11/sam-worthington-hot-actor-of-today-to-play-dan-dare-pilot-of-the-future/ For those who never heard of Dan Dare your probably not alone. The character was created in 1950 as a British answer to Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon (in fact the character was even mentioned by James Purefoy in an interview about John Carter of Mars). Currently the rights are reportedly owned by Richard Branson and the film is going to be produced by Warner Bros. For those playing at home this is the second sci-fi comic hero Worthington has been linked to. A few months back he was rumored and then confirmed he wasn't in the running for Flash Gordon. No release date as of yet but at this rate we are going to have a lot of space heroes on the big screen before too long.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Conan and John Carter News


It's the first nice day in a long time weather wise. Now for some news on a Cimmerian and a Virginian...
First up Coming Soon has confirmed that Avatar star Stephen Lang has been signed to play the villain in the upcoming Conan reboot http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=64029 Lang will play Khalar Singh in the film opposite Jason Momoa's Conan. The film is supposed to start shooting this month.

Still shooting is John Carter of Mars and now a new interview with actor Bryan Cranston is up http://www.scificool.com/bryan-cranston-sheds-some-light-on-john-carter-of-mars/ Among his revelations he is playing a "northern colonel" who is chasing John Carter around because the government needs him and that its apparently his character that causes John to enter the cave that transports him to Barsoom. It makes you wonder when did Andrew Stanton stop reading the books and just decided to make it up himself.

Friday, March 5, 2010

First Glimpse of Buck Rogers!

Well how about a late Friday update? http://www.buckrogersbegins.com/ has posted a three minute clip from the first episode of the Buck Rogers web series. It features young Buck (Bobby Rice) talking to his parents about joining the army at the start of World War I. The clip looks good (even though I'm sure the sepia tone might bring back Sky Captain flashbacks) but what makes it cool is the fact that it's Gil Gerard and Erin Grey as Buck's parents. You can check out the clip at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8YY0-lSg3-k Also up is the first official image from the series posted at http://gilgerard.tripod.com/index.htm and up above. Let's hope the series delivers.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Carson Napier-The Unmade Film?


With February now behind us, let's hope the snow and hackers have taken a vacation.

One thing I recently noticed on The Internet Movie Database was yet again a new release date for the film version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Carson Napier series. Previously IMDB stated a 2011 release date. Now the film is apparently set to come out in 2013. The question is will it ever show up?

For those who don't know about it, here's a brief recap-in 2005 an independent company named Angelic Pictures acquired the rights to the series from ERB Inc (along with Burroughs' non sci-fi novel The Girl from Hollywood). At the time one of the producers claimed the film would be shot in the same green screen process used on such films like Sin City and Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. In 2006, Angelic went to the San Diego Comic Con to drum up attention for the film and a year later announced that a script was written and registered with the Writers Guild of America. A website http://www.piratesofvenusmovie.com/ was also put up with concept art and a description of the plot and plans for the film, still called Pirates of Venus, with a 2010 release date planned. Since then Angelic has renamed the film Carson Napier, has dropped any mention of Burroughs on their official web page for the film http://www.angelicpictures.com/carson.htm and listed the 2011 date. And now its 2013 apparently.

I'm beginning to wonder if the film is ever going to be made. There could be two possibilities-first that Angelic is hoping to sway potential backers, especially after John Carter of Mars comes out to help raise funds for the film or second that they are hoping somebody comes along and maybe buys their script and the rights from them. Indeed it does seem interesting that they announced they were making Pirates of Venus at the same time Paramount had obtained the rights to make A Princess of Mars. I could be wrong and something else is holding it up-possibly ERB Inc could have been unhappy with the script and has refused to bless the project (which might explain why Burroughs is no longer credited) even though (cynical alert!) they seem to have no problem with Andrew Stanton's changes to John Carter (I guess Disney money does pay for some things.)

Maybe at some point somebody, either Angelic or another company will announce they will make the film and it will be legit. Or worse case scenario-The Asylum Presents Carson Napier of Venus. Let's hope Carson and Duare gets better than that.