The First and Only Weekly Online Fanzine Devoted to the Life and Works of Edgar Rice Burroughs
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Webpages in Archive
ERB Newsmagazine 2004.04.02
Letters & Photo from ERB Wartime Acquaintance
Heroes of the Dark Continent: ERB '90s Influence?
Tarzana Community & Cultural Center
ERB U.S. Stamp?
ERB in Alternate History Site
Real-life Bolgani Rampage
Historian of things that never were
Weissmuller's Berlin-born wife dies
Rodriguez turns in card to co-direct 'Sin City'
ERB, Inc. Wins Supreme Court Fight
MGM Tarzan Boxed DVD Set
New ERBville Press Publications
Dum-Dum & ECOF Info
Rodriguez Plans Princess Production for Paramount
William Stout Interview
New Hoadley Print: La and Ja-bal-ja
Imagine my surprise when I entered my name in Google "Donard Hawks" and up came an entry where in Honolulu Hawaii in 1945 as a pfc in the Army I was sent to the Hotel to take dictation for Edgar. He was under a Dr's care and could not write the letters himself. I spent several hours taking the dictation and then went back to Fort Shafter and typed them up. Edgar was a friend of Major Phil Bird, who was my boss and had agreed to send me to do the letters. I am 78 years old today and the memories are still with me.
Newsletter Editor Steve Ramada
Photo by John Westervelt
Edgar Rice Burroughs in an Alternate History Site
Feds investigate zoo after gorilla rampage
DALLAS, Texas (AP) -- The scene at the Wilds of Africa exhibit was wilder than anything most zookeepers have witnessed in the jungle: A 300-pound gorilla breaks out of its enclosure and goes on a 40-minute rampage through a forest, snatching up a toddler with his teeth and attacking three other people before being shot by officers. Federal regulators are investigating the Dallas Zoo over Thursday's escape, zoo officials are trying to figure out how the gorilla managed to break out, and animal welfare advocates are questioning whether officers had to kill the beast.
Edgar GovernoHistory is a fascinating subject. There is an almost irresistible draw to look at the bigger picture, the overall course of events, in an attempt to glean some insight or approach some greater knowledge.
Historian of things that never were
Peering into the real past is fine, and in fact I enjoy doing so quite often, but it takes a certain amount of panache to hold an interest in fictional history. Gleaning knowledge from a past that never existed--or a future, for that matter--is simply so much more sublime. That is what this site is all about.
9 March 2004
HAMBURG - Maria Weissmuller, widow of athlete-turned-Tarzan star Johnny Weissmuller, died at a hospital in Acapulco, Mexico, following a long illness, their former agent said. She was 83. A native of Berlin, she was the last of six wives the five-time Olympic gold-medal swimming champ and Hollywood movie star had married. The others pre-deceased him. She was with him when he died at the age of 79 in Acapulco in 1984. Aside from his Tarzan fame, Weissmuller and his wife are well- known in Germany for an infamous television appearance in the 1970s when a chimpanzee pulled Maria's wig off her head in front of a live national TV audience of millions.
Born Maria Bauman, she had been married as a teenager in Germany prior to the outbreak of World War II, when her husband was drafted, sent to the Russian front, and killed. He left her the mother of a baby girl, Lisa. She then married a flyer who was shot down only eight months later. At one point she was interrogated by the Gestapo because a lawyer friend of the family was accused of working with the resistance and ultimately was hanged. Claiming she had been persecuted by the Nazis, she was able after the war to emigrate to the United States, where she took up residence in Santa Barbara, California, with an uncle. She married again, but this ended in divorce.
She met Weissmuller in 1963 just as his marriage to Allene Gates was breaking up. He was in financial difficulty at the time and Allene wanted out. Johnny's last matrimonial venture was his longest, although Maria was said to have been unpopular with Johnny's children. It was the only marriage that did not end in a divorce court. Weissmuller's first wife, Bobbe Arnst, was paid USD 10,000 by MGM to divorce Johnny in 1932. The studio preferred Johnny single for publicity purposes. His second wife was temptestuous Latin firebrand Lupe Velez (1933- 1938). Her reputation for bedding every co-star she ever worked with did not help the marriage. She committed suicide in 1944.
He reportedly was also wed to Camilla Louiee, according to the Internet Movie Data Base, though that claim has been challenged. His next wife was Beryel Scott (1939-1948) a San Francisco socialite. All of Johnny's children were by Beryel. Reno was the site of Johnny's January 29, 1948, divorce from Scott and his marriage to Gates on the very same day. A golfer half Johnny's age, Gates dumped him when the money ran out in the early 1960s.
From 1965 until November 1973, Weissmuller and Maria lived in Florida where he was chairman of The International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale. In spite of his swimming prowess and obvious strength, he had a history of heart problems and suffered a series of strokes in 1977, after which the couple lived in seclusion in Acapulco.
Rodriguez turns in card to co-direct 'Sin City' with Miller
By MICHAEL FLEMING
March 18, 2004 ~ Variety.com
Robert Rodriguez is one filmmaker who doesn't see himself as an auteur.
In fact, he likes company when directing a movie, even if it means having
to resign from the Directors Guild.
DGA rules dictate that there be only one director assigned to direct a motion picture at any given time, although the guild occasionally grants a waiver to that policy. On Thursday, a DGA spokesman said, "The guild regrets Mr. Rodriguez's resignation, however, we stand firmly behind the principle of one director-one film."
Rodriguez portrayed his ankling as hardly acrimonious; he asserted that since his movie is so unorthodox, he decided it would be easier both for him and the DGA if they're not shackled together when production begins Monday on his soundstages in Austin, Texas, beginning Monday.
For one thing, Rodriguez plans to have Quentin Tarantino direct part of the film, along with Miller and him. Tarantino may be billed as a "special guest director" or whatever title Rodriguez wants to bestow, now that he's no longer under strict DGA guidelines about who gets behind-the-camera credit.
It's not the first time that Rodriguez has quit the DGA. He did so a decade ago so he could take part in the Tarantino-orchestrated film "Four Rooms," released in 1995.
Rodriguez said it would be easier to turn his card in again than test the rigorous DGA rulebook.
"I didn't want Frank to be treated as just a writer, because he is the only one who has actually been to 'Sin City,' " Rodriguez said. "I am making such a literal interpretation of his book that I'd have felt weird taking directing credit without him. It was easier for me to quietly resign before shooting because otherwise I'd have been forced to make compromises I was unwilling to make. Or set a precedent that might hurt the guild later on."
Rodriguez often agrees with the spirit of DGA policies, but they "make it very hard to do something that is exciting and different, which is exactly how I sold this project from the beginning," he added.
Rodriguez, who partly financed "El Mariachi" by volunteering himself for medical experiments, has always been comfortable making films by the seat of his pants, even though he has built studios in Austin grand enough to accommodate both "Sin City" and the pic he'll direct right after, the $100 million Paramount sci-fi blockbuster "A Princess Of Mars."
He hardly seemed rattled, for instance, that aside from his DGA defection and welcoming a new baby, he was in the thick of assembling cast for a film that begins shooting in four days. Rodriguez has been talking with the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Steve Buscemi, Brittany Murphy, Christopher Walken and Michael Douglas.
All that's certain is that Mickey Rourke will anchor the story segment that will begin shooting Monday. The remaining cast will draw from those who are available for a reasonable price to work a short shift in a cool film.
None of this would have been possible if Rodriguez hadn't pledged to make Miller a major part of the creative process.
Though Miller has done acclaimed graphic novels on Batman and Daredevil and created the Elektra character that will be reprised by Jennifer Garner in the Rob Bowman-directed "Daredevil" spinoff film, the author refused to sell "Sin City" to any filmmaker. Rodriguez wanted it badly enough to write a feature script on spec and shoot the first scene on his own dime with Josh Hartnett and Marley Shelton. That and a promise to make Miller his co-director won Rodriguez the property.
Rodriguez also said that quitting for the second time was hardly traumatic. He was persuaded to rejoin the DGA before directing "The Faculty" because DGA brass told him he was about the only significant working director who wasn't a member.
The helmer also asserted that the DGA needs to do a better job of judging individual cases rather than working from a rulebook.
"I'm fine with leaving and they're fine with my leaving," he said. "Someone in my position doesn't need the protection of the guild as much as a newcomer who might get strong-armed by a film company. In my case, the obstacles I face come from the guild. Studios are only too happy when I suggest shooting something in digital, or when I try to do 20 jobs at the same time on my movies. I don't consider this a negative thing, and perhaps it's better that I resign and come back later than have someone use my precedent as an example to strong-arm a directing credit they don't deserve on some future film."
Other directors who are not members of the DGA include George Lucas and Tarantino.
Knowles on Par's 'Mars' adventure
April 02, 2004
By Borys Kit
Jim Jacks and Sean Daniel of Alphaville are producing the project along
with Rodriguez and his wife and producing partner, Elizabeth Avellan.
In Knowles' 2002 autobiography, he describes Burroughs' "Martian Tales" series, revolving around adventurer John Carter, as one of the literary world's properties that is most deserving of a big-screen treatment.
Jacks, who had read Burroughs' "Martian Tales" books as a child, said he was reminded of them when he read Knowles' autobiography. Soon after Paramount secured Alphaville the rights to the books, Jacks began talking with Knowles about them.
Knowles -- based in Austin, Texas, where he oversees his Web site -- began consulting on the project, and Jacks suggested that he become involved in a more official capacity with a title, though any director who joined the project could have overruled that offer.
In the fall, Knowles gave the script by Mark Protosevich to Rodriguez, a longtime friend who also lives in Austin, and Rodriguez decided to join the team as director.
"So many filmmakers go to (Harry) for advice and he does it under the table," Rodriguez said. "I've always said to him that he should get credit for this, and with all the work we've done on this project, he deserves it."
Jacks said of Knowles' contributions: "He was very instrumental in us landing Robert, and he is truly well versed in all the John Carter books. With the help he had given and the help that he will give, it seemed only right that we include him in the movie, so we asked him to be a producer."
Knowles already has set up one other project as a producer, "Ghost Town" at Revolution Studios. He said his involvement in the two films shouldn't affect how he operates his Web site.
"I've been working pretty steadily on ('Princess') for the last several months and still updating and working on the site and writing columns for it," Knowles said. "I'm sure as things pick up, I'll need to bring on an editor. ... I don't want it to suffer."
Asked how Ain't It Cool will cover Paramount movies now that he is working on a Paramount project, Knowles said: "This is not about me coming on board as a publicist for Paramount. While I have been in talks for this, I've had test screenings of their movies, not all of which have been good. The site does what the site does. What I do creatively is a separate thing."
Read the AintItCool.com Interview Here
Monday March 22, 2004 3:31 PM
Par, Helmer Explore 'Mars'
Rodriguez plans Burroughs adaptation
Posted: Mon., Mar. 1, 2004, 10:00pm PT
By DAVE MCNARY, MICHAEL FLEMING
Paramount Pictures has signed Robert Rodriguez to helm sci-fi adventure-actioner "A Princess of Mars," with an eye to developing a tentpole franchise for the studio.
Par-based Alphaville Prods., partnered with Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios, plans to begin shooting early next year. Pic is based on the first book in Edgar Rice Burroughs' 11-volume "John Carter of Mars" series. Producers will be Alphaville toppers Sean Daniel and Jim Jacks with Rodriguez and producing partner Elizabeth Avellan.
Scripted by Mark Protosevich ("The Cell"), the film may be called "A Princess of Mars" or "John Carter of Mars." Cast has not yet been set.
The "John Carter" series is replete with time travel, fantastical creatures both friendly and ferocious, epic battles, rescues, escapes and romantic derring-do. Budget will top $100 million due to extensive CGI with the goal of matching the scale and scope of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
"After 'Lord of the Rings,' this is probably the last well known fantasy classic yet to be made, and that's because it wasn't possible until technology caught up," Rodriguez said. The film's otherworldly visuals will greatly tax the technological abilities of his production facility in Austin, where the film will be made. That, too, was a major attraction for Rodriguez.
"I will get an opportunity to expand my Texas operation much the way Peter Jackson did in New Zealand," Rodriguez added. "I've got an infrastructure now with stages and a special effects company, but this is such a big movie everything will be taken to the next level."
Rodriguez, who's repped by ICM, will prep "Mars" while he shoots "Sin City" for Dimension on those stages.
Alphaville carries strong credentials in the fantasy f/x arena, having produced U's successful trio of "The Mummy," "The Mummy Returns" and "The Scorpion King." The three films generated a combined worldwide gross over $1 billion.
Deal for "A Princess of Mars" is a departure from Paramount's usual risk-averse strategy, particularly in light of last year's middling perf from high-priced adventure pic "Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life." In recent months, Par's also shaken up its exec team and signed high-profile deals with Adam Sandler for "The Longest Yard" and Charlize Theron for "Aeon Flux."
Par has been pursuing Rodriguez in recent weeks, with studio topper Sherry Lansing winging to Austin to meet with the helmer of the "Spy Kids" series and the trilogy of "El Mariachi," "Desperado" and "Once Upon a Time in Mexico."
"We are working off one of the great fantasy/adventure stories of all time," Jacks said. "It's very challenging because the 'Star Wars' and 'Lord of the Rings' films have set the bar so high."
"A Princess of Mars" is the first adventure of American Civil War veteran John Carter, triggered when he retreats to a cave to avoid capture by Apache Indians. He is transported via a time portal to the planet of Barsoom, which he believes is Mars, and is taken prisoner by 12-foot-tall Green Men.
The first three volumes in the Mars series by Burroughs originally appeared between 1912 and 1914. Jacks credited Protosevich with excising the "creaky" aspects of Burroughs' storytelling from the script.
Though Burroughs is best known for penning "Tarzan of the Apes," the English writer's first book was "A Princess of Mars." At Alphaville's urging, Par obtained the rights to the series two years ago from the Burroughs estate for $300,000 against $2 million following a bidding war with Columbia.
Jacks said shooting "A Princess of Mars" would require extensive prep over the next 10 months. Shooting and post-production will be based at Rodriguez's studios in Austin.
Alphaville's other priority projects at Par include a pair of thrillers
-- "The Book of Skulls," to be directed by William Friedkin, and a remake
of "Pet Sematary." Michelle Manning, who ankled recently as co-prexy of
the motion picture group to an exclusive producing deal with the studio,
is working with Alphaville on "The Book of Skulls."
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