I like John Carter. It’s not a perfect film by any means, but Disney spent years trying to get an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series of sci-fi novels off the ground, and I think director Andrew Stanton and his screenwriting partners Michael Chabon and Mark Andrews did a swell job of bringing the story to life. Most strikingly, Stanton’s world building in the film is magnificent; you really feel like you’re on Barsoom for the film’s two-hour runtime. I was really hoping to spend more time in Stanton’s John Carter world in future sequels, but unfortunately the film failed to catch on with audiences at the box office and its bloated budget made turning a profit near impossible. Disney’s marketing was all over the place, and many thought the film looked derivative despite the fact that it was Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars that inspired subsequent sci-fi classics ranging from Superman to Star Wars.
However, it now looks as though there’s a glimmer of hope for those keen on seeing more John Carter of Mars movies, as word comes today that Disney’s option of the property has run out and the rights have reverted back to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., which intends on moving forward with further films. More after the jump.
It was announced today (via The Playlist) that the movie, television, and merchandise rights to John Carter of Mars have reverted back to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. Moreover, they hope to produce new feature films:
“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.”
It’s more than likely that this means a total reboot seeing as how Stanton’s John Carter still belongs to Disney, I believe, but man I would love to see Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. bring Stanton back into the fold. The filmmaker is hard at work on Finding Dory at Pixar at the moment, but he remains passionate about the world of John Carter. He even gave fans a glimpse at what might have been recently by unveiling the logos for his proposed sequels, confirming he had already begun working on the script for Gods of Mars.
There’s no guarantee that another studio will be willing to pony up the money needed to produce a new John Carter of Mars film, especially after how audiences reacted to John Carter, but if a studio does decided to option the rights I certainly hope the material finds a good home. What do you think, readers? If John Carter of Mars is to be rebooted, what studio and director should take on the material? Sound off in the comments below.