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Robert Zemeckis doing "John Carter of Mars"?

By Karl Schneider     February 08, 2007
Source: film ick


JOHN CARTER OF MARS
© Dell
According to film ick, Robert Zemeckis and Disney may be teaming up to make a motion capture John Carter of Mars film.

The site's speculation is based on various emails citing gossip in motion capture circles.

The series tells of a Civil War officer named John Carter who is transported to Mars and finds himself a captive of the savage green men from Thark. Carter eventually rises to become a great warrior, marries a princess, raises a family and embarks on numerous adventures.

The series is the epitome of Development Hell, having been at Disney in development for most of the 1990's before heading to Paramount Pictures in 2002.  Multiple directors have been attached to either an animated or live action version of the series, including: Robert Rodriguez, Kerry Conrad, Jon Favreau, Jeffrey Katzenberg and John McTiernan.

Paramount relinquished the rights about a year ago, and the series had been untouched until a couple months ago, when it was rumored that Pixar came calling.

A representative of the Burroughs estate said Disney was acquiring the live-action rights for a possible tent pole franchise. However, sources at Disney believed Mars to be headed for animated adaptation.

Zemeckis and Disney recently (days ago) signed a deal to open a state of the art Motion Capture facility.


KJ's Take:  This seems like pure speculation at this point, but it certainly seems possible based on what we do know.  All rumors point to this being animated, not live action, which leaves only 3 options at Disney: Pixar, Zemeckis's Motion Capture studio or Disney's own animation studio.

Disney's animation studio seems the most unlikely out of the three and Pixar has never done anything but their own material.  That said, this material was reportedly acquired for Pixar and Disney bought the rights months before the Zemeckis deal went down. 

I would rather see Pixar develop the film, but that's likely because of my obsession with Pixar and my mixed feelings regarding motion capture films.

COMMENTS AND RESPONSES

Showing items 1 - 8 of 8
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Kevn 2/8/2007 7:10:57 AM
I have been a fan of these book since I was a kid, and get my hopes up every time I hear of a possible film version. I've always thought it should be animated, because there's just no way the variety of characters in the book could be made realistic with CGI, even now. And it had better be good, if they do it. If this, and Clarke's "Childhood's End" were ever made into films, that would be the holy grail.
laforcer69@yahoo.com_home 2/8/2007 8:10:54 AM
They can do anything CG now..If love, sweat, blood and tears are put into it from a Special effects house then anything can be done CG, even this...The reason we get some crappy CG these days is due to time constraints and when you don't have the time you don't have the quality although sometimes that sort of pressure works for some artists but not most...I mean has'nt Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Narnia and Harry Potter already proven that anything can be done CG?
wrrlykam 2/8/2007 8:32:04 AM
Usually, we know it to be CG then it is obvious to the expectant eye. How many time though we see something we believe to real and iwe find out it is CG. How much of PotCB2's scenary was CG? Quite a lot was done in eon's Vue Infinate 5/6. #1 Wasn't V going to be Childhood End at one point? I read years ago it was dropped and picked up and rewritten. What about Clarkes' Rama book, that got to preproduction and dropped. Poor Arthur, only Standley and Peter followed through to finished films. Me, I'm waiting for 2 Alfred Bester books Tiger, Tiger! and The Demolished Man. And I loved the books too. Barsoom here we come . . . hopefully.
monkeyfoot 2/8/2007 9:59:52 AM
I hope this rumor really flies. These books are the mother of all sci-fi fantasy and when the Paramount live-action version was gone, I was sad. Then the news of Pixar aquiring it came out I was sad again. Despite the fact that they are the premier CG animation house, I thought this would mean the stories would be "kid-ified" for a younger audience. If Zemeckis's new Motion Capture studio were working on it this would be perfect. A top-notch director giving it the status and maturity it deserves.
trazalca 2/8/2007 11:53:06 AM
Whoever it is that does the John Carter series, I really hope they use the artwork of Michael Whelan as a template for the look and feel of the aliens and worlds. For me, he set the standard to how it should look. But then again, I'm a fan of Whelan's, so I'm biased.
jon41380 2/8/2007 11:59:49 AM
I'm not familiar with the series but it does have a great director behind it.
scoundrel 2/8/2007 2:25:55 PM
If Zemekis is doing it and it's animated you can bet it will be his Motion Capture Studio, a la the upcoming Beowulf. Which, if the animation works well (kind of reserving judgment until I see Beowulf), will be cool because it won't be watered down and pack more of an edge.
barsoom 2/10/2007 10:33:47 AM
I was sad when I heard that Favreau was out and was a bit nervous when Pixar's involvement was announced. Many years ago, as a young child, I discovered the world of Barsoom in a used book shop between the covers of a musty old copy of "A Princess of Mars" and it's been a favorite of mine ever since. While sitting in the theatre watching "The Fellowship of the Ring" all I could think of was "this proves that a live-action version of 'A Princess of Mars' is possible." My thoughs on this have not changed. As a live-action/motion capture CG movie this story would be an epic, but as an animated movie (due to the American tendancy to treat an animated movie as "kids only") it would be just another ho-hum "cartoon." Anybody who would argue my point about animation could convince me by showing me a widescreen version of "The Secret of NIMH". (oh BTW, it doesn't exist - because the studio has determined that as a "cartoon" it works better "full-screen" for the kids). There are many pulp stories I would like to see on the silver screen and this tops the list. Written in 1910 when the story of a Civil-War vet wouldn't seem so far in the past and published in 1912 as "Under the Moons of Mars". When I first read the story (in the 60's) I found it quite titilating that the people (women!) of the world of Barsoom wore no clothes. Wait a minute - - - maybe that's why I would prefer live-action over animated...
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