Three years after the box-office fiasco of “John Carter,” the licensing company that owns the namesake character is looking for a studio to revive the fortunes of the 103-year-old interstellar adventurer.
Edgar Rice Burroughs, the same writer who invented Tarzan, created Carter in 1912 as a Civil War veteran who travels to Mars. Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., or ERB, the private company in Tarzana still owned by descendants of the author, says Hollywood studios are still interested in Carter, despite the poor showing of the Walt Disney Co. movie in 2012 that lost $200 million.
Jim Sullos, a retired accountant who serves as president of ERB, said 2016 should be a good year for the Burroughs stable of characters. Next summer, Warner Bros. Entertainment will release a new “Tarzan” movie with Alexander Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson. An animated series “Tarzan and Jane” will begin streaming on Netflix in fall of 2016, and there are plans for reprinting comic strips of Tarzan and launching a John Carter role-playing game.
“It speaks to Edgar Rice Burroughs genius – he created heroic figures that can survive throughout the century,” Sullos said.
Sullos would not disclose names, but said there is interest in the John Carter property from Hollywood majors and smaller production companies. However, given the recent memory of the Disney film, producers are shying away from another feature film.
“There may be more interest in a television series than a sequel to the film,” Sullos said, adding that both live-action and animated rights are on the market.
In the story, Carter is seemingly killed in a cave on Earth but through astral projection is transported to Mars, where he encounters mythical monsters and hostile humanoids, but manages to rise to become a warlord.
Read the full story in the July 27 issue of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal.