Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute and Weekly Webzine Site
Since 1996 ~ Over 10,000 Webpages & Webzines in Archive

The latest news plus our Archive Directory at:
Search the entire site ~ Enter your keywords here:


Season's Greetings

Beagle 2 probe 'spotted' on Mars 
BBC News ~ December 20, 2005
The scientist behind the British Beagle 2 mission to the Red Planet says the craft may have been found in pictures of the Martian surface. Colin Pillinger says the images suggest the mission very nearly worked, but Beagle somehow failed to contact Earth. He thinks the craft may have hit the ground too hard - as the atmosphere was thinner than usual because of dust storms in that region of Mars. This may have damaged onboard instruments, preventing the call home. The Beagle 2 lead scientist has been painstakingly studying images of the landing site in search of his spacecraft ever since it was lost on Christmas Day two years ago. Now, he says, specially processed pictures from the camera on the US space agency's (Nasa) Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft show that it came down in a crater close to the planned landing site. More . . .

New Doctor prepares for invasion 
BBC News ~ December 21, 2005
The BBC News website interviews David Tennant, preparing to defend the Earth from alien invasion in a special Christmas edition of sci-fi series Doctor Who. . . .  "Unlike other enduring characters such as Sherlock Holmes or Tarzan, being the Doctor allows you a certain freedom that is both very demanding and very thrilling," he said. "It allows you to make the character using elements of yourself."  More . . .
Judge rules against 'intelligent design' in science class
CNN ~ December 20, 2005
HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- A Pennsylvania school district cannot teach in science classes a concept that says some aspects of science were created by a supernatural being, a federal judge has ruled. In an opinion issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge John Jones ruled that teaching "intelligent design" would violate the Constitutional separation of church and state. "We have concluded that it is not [science], and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents," . . .  That move provoked US TV evangelist Pat Robertson to warn the town was invoking the wrath of God. More . . .
Tarzan tries to molest actress
Mumbai On The Web - India ~ December 21, 2005 
The scene was straight out of a Bollywood potboiler. Actor Hemant Birje (41), who is best known for the film Tarzan, tried to molest an actress and her friends at Lokhandwala in Andheri yesterday. However, unlike in most movies, the brave women chased the villain away. Said Ayesha Hussain, a South Indian actress, “I was in the driver’s seat with my three friends, having a bite outside a eatery, when suddenly a hand stroked my cheek. I was shocked to see that it was actor Hemant Birje.” More . . .

Extinct Mammoth DNA Decoded
BBC News ~ December 18, 2005
Scientists have pieced together part of the genetic recipe of the extinct woolly mammoth. 
The 5,000 DNA letters spell out the genetic code of its mitochondria, the structures in the cell that generate energy. The research, published in the online edition of Nature, gives an insight into the elephant family tree. It shows that the mammoth was most closely related to the Asian rather than the African elephant. More . . .
Old movies inspire fervent collector 
DANBURY CT NEWS-TIMES By Nanci G. Hutson ~ December 18, 2005
Simon Melzer, of New Milford, stands amid his extensive collection of film memorabilia. . . .  One of his most prized collectibles is a "Tarzan'' photo of a buff Johnny Weissmuller, arguably the most famous "Tarzan'' star, with an autograph Melzer obtained separately. . . .  "They're my pride and joy,'' Melzer said of the autograph and another film photo of Weissmuller's Tarzan embracing Jane, played by Maureen O'Sullivan. Melzer's most unusual item is called "Tarzan's New York Adventure,'' a full series of 8-inch lobby cards. A collection of that ilk could fetch a pretty penny. Melzer's entire collection of posters, autographs and other memorabilia is probably worth more than $20,000. "But I wouldn't sell them,'' he said. . . .  Asked to name his favorite movies of all time, beyond "Tarzan," Melzer said, "Lawrence of Arabia,'' and "The Bridge Over the River Kwai.'' The most perfect movie ever made: "The Wizard of Oz.'' More. . . 
We may see a challenge to the idea that 
the oldest dinosaur was bi-pedal and warm-blooded 
BBC News ~ Martin Sander ~ December 16, 2005
The family tree of dinosaurs may have to be revised, with the discovery that some could adjust their growth rates. Until now, most dinosaurs were thought to be warm-blooded, with a steady growth rate independent of environmental factors such as food. But a study in Science magazine shows that at least one dinosaur came in "little and large" forms. It raises questions about the descent of dinosaurs from a warm-blooded ancestor, researchers say. More . . .
Tarzan and Jane add spice to Taste
The Mercury News, Tasmania ~ by Linda Smith ~ December 16, 2005
THIS year's Taste of Tasmania promises to be bigger and better than ever, with more food, wine, entertainment, record crowds -- and a visit from Tarzan and Jane. More . . .
Theatre: Aping isn't monkey business
Hampstead and Highgate Express ~ Bridget Galton ~ December 16, 2005
PETER Elliott was mauled three times by chimps at the Oklahoma Primate Centre while studying for his debut movie role. The 49-year-old now accepts that trying to integrate into a group of animals with "10 times the upper body strength of a man and the emotional stability of a one-year-old child" was more dangerous than he had foreseen. But his two-year chimp research led to ground-breaking work playing Tarzan's ape father Silverbeard and choreographing the actors in monkey suits in the 1984 movie Greystoke. More . . .
A surprising sense of order surrounds the godfather of pop art, Peter Blake. 
Telegraph UK ~ by Serena Davies ~ December 13, 2005
Somehow, I had assumed Peter Blake's studio would be chaos: his famous collection of curiosities - everything from children's toys to Victoriana - crammed higgledy-piggledy into every conceivable corner. It's not the case at all. . . . Rather an active beatific state, though. How would he characterise the art of his late period? "The way that I've characterised it so far is that you can go barmy," he deadpans. This isn't exactly a new direction in itself. The National Gallery show was fairly barmy, including pictures such as Tarzan and his family at the Roxy Cinema, where Tarzan is played by Michelangelo's David and Jane is the Mona Lisa. It didn't go down unanimously well with the critics, but its fans loved the naughtiness. . . . more . . .

ERB's first grandchild, 
Joanne (Joan II) Burroughs Pierce Anselmo 
died on December 9, 2005.

Joanne (Joan II) Burroughs Pierce Anselmo was born in California on Dec. 24, 1929 to Joan Burroughs and James Pierce. See the Joan Burroughs Tribute at:

"Joanne Anselmo (75) of Lake Forest passed away Friday, December 9, 2005. A loving mother of daughters, Kelly MacLeod, Kathy Spain, Kasey Hume, Charlene Krivec and stepmother of Sherry Fries and Linda Brugetti. Loving grandmother of ten, Aaron, Chas, Cassidy, Blair, Kirstie, Christopher, Jeff, Jim, Tim and Cindy."

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 1997. Love Mom & Dad
Charlie (died 2004) and Joanne Anselmo

"Joanne was a dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and friend who will be sorely missed. She demonstrated her love of life and kindheartedness to all that knew her. She left so many loving memories to all her family and many friends." 

View and Sign the Guest Book at: 

Chimps off the old block
We celebrate the release of Peter Jackson's King Kong on Wednesday with a week-long series on culture's most valuable primates
CanWest News Service by Heath McCoy ~ December 13, 2005
"Monkeys are fun. Monkeys are cute. Monkeys are dangerous!" So reads the home page of the bizarre, downright goofy Web site, which asserts that such media giants as AOL Time-Warner, Walt Disney and Viacom are part of a devious plot to milk the public of its hard-earned dollars by exploiting our strange love of primates. . . .
Edgar Rice Burroughs' 1914 pulp fiction novel, Tarzan of the Apes, telling the story of an orphaned baby raised by gorillas in the jungles of Africa, who then grows up to be a hero, has survived and thrived over the years. Tarzan, his civilized girlfriend, Jane, and his chimpanzee companion Cheetah have been the subject of countless movies, cartoons and comic books over the years. . . . More . . .
Taking a Pohl on the 'Chicago school' of sci-fi 

Chicago Sun-Times ~ by Dan Miller ~ December 11, 2005
The Chicago school of economics, with its dean's list of Nobel laureates, is known throughout the world. Most people in civilized lands can describe a Chicago-style pizza. The Chicago school of architecture and the Chicago window are renowned throughout the world. Every American knows Chicago's kind of front-page journalism, thanks to a single play ("The Front Page") and a musical ("Chicago"). Standards for Chicago-style fiction and Chicago jazz were set indelibly in a very short period by relatively few authors and musicians. 
But despite a roster of several hundred science fiction authors who were born here, raised here or spent formative years here -- beginning with L. Frank Baum and Edgar Rice Burroughs -- there's no Chicago school of science fiction. Not even a Chicago style. 
You can look at scores of names, and no pattern emerges: hard science, fantasy, speculative fiction, horror, space opera. Chicago SF authors have written all of it. Plenty of footprints, but no trail. More . . .
Me Josh, you Jenn
Philadelphia Inquirer ~ December 11, 2005
American Idol also-ran Josh Strickland, from the Ruben Studdard-Clay Aiken second season, has landed the role of Tarzan in a coming Broadway version of the Edgar Rice Burroughs jungle classic, People magazine reports. The show opens May 10 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre with Jenn Gambatese as Jane. Since getting the Idol boot in 2003, Strickland (who was pegged, perhaps unfortunately, as a Ryan Seacrest lookalike) performed with a national tour of Rent. Gambatese's Broadway credits include Hairspray and All Shook Up. . . .
A Giant Ape, A Sultry Blonde
Obsession With The `Beauty And The Beast' Theme 
Has Gripped Creative Minds For Ages ~ by Malcom Johnson ~ December 11, 2005
. . . But it is understandable that the movies keep trying to examine the divide between men and apes. Edgar Rice Burroughs spawned an industry with the 1914 "Tarzan of the Apes," which spellbindingly tells of an orphaned son of English aristocrats raised by a female ape. In addition to the still-popular Johnny Weismuller movies begun in 1932, the year before "King Kong," the mythical child of nature created by Burroughs inspired Hugh Hudson's serious and sometimes artful 1984 "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes." The Disney people took over the franchise with the fast-moving animated 1999 feature "Tarzan," with songs by Phil Collins, who is now expanding on his score for a stage version coming to Broadway this spring. More . . .

The Latest from Disney Theatrical Productions, NY:
Broadway 2006
Music and lyrics by Oscar® and seven-time GRAMMY®  Award winner PHIL COLLINS
Book by Tony Award® winner DAVID HENRY HWANG 
Direction and design by two-time Tony Award® winner  BOB CROWLEY
Opening Night on Broadway: May 10, 2006 
Previews  begin March 24, 2006 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre 

Disney  Theatrical Productions is  proud to announce full casting for 
TARZAN®, The Broadway  Musical.

The  production will star Josh Strickland as Tarzan, Jenn Gambatese  as Jane, Merle Dandridge as Kala, Shuler Hensley as Kerchak,  Chester Gregory II as Terk, Timothy Jerome as Professor Porter  and Donnie Keshawarz as  Clayton.  Daniel Manche and Alex Rutherford will alternate  in the role of Young Tarzan.

TARZAN® will open May 10, 2006 at the Richard Rodgers  Theatre (226 West 46th Street).  Previews will begin on March 24,  2006.

Two-time Tony Award® winner Bob  Crowley (Aida, Carousel), will direct and design scenery and  costumes for TARZAN®.   Oscar® and seven-time GRAMMY® Award  winner Phil Collins has written the music and lyrics, expanding his  songs for Disney’s film into a complete theatre score.   Tony  Award®-winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) has written the  book, based on the novel, Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice  Burroughs, and the film, Tarzan®.   Choreography  is by Meryl Tankard, with aerial design by Pichón Baldinu (De  La Guarda).  Lighting design is by Tony Award®-winner Natasha  Katz (Aida) and sound design is by John Shivers.    Other members of the creative team include Paul Bogaev (Music  Producer/Vocal Arrangements) and Doug Besterman  (Orchestrations).

“The creative team for TARZAN® has  re-imagined, and in some cases, reinvented characters from the original Edgar  Rice Burroughs novel, and Disney’s animated film,” commented Thomas  Schumacher, President of Disney Theatrical Productions.  “We hope to  bring a fresh perspective to the Tarzan legend, and we think that we have  found a wonderful cast to make these roles their own.” 

Josh  Strickland (Tarzan) has  been seen on television on “Star Search 2004” and “American Idol,” and has  also appeared in the national tour of Rent.  Strickland will make  his Broadway debut in TARZAN®. 

Jenn  Gambatese (Jane) starred on Broadway last season in  All Shook Up, and has also appeared in Broadway’s  Hairspray, A Year with Frog and Toad and  Footloose.

Merle Dandridge (Kala) has been seen on Broadway in Rent,  Jesus Christ Superstar and Aida and the national tours  for Aida, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and Smokey Joe’s Café. 

Shuler  Hensley (Kerchak) won the Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer  Critics Circle and Olivier Awards for his critically acclaimed performance as  Jud Fry in Oklahoma! and has also starred in Les Miserables  and Phantom of the Opera. 

Chester Gregory II (Terk) made his Broadway debut in  Hairspray and earned critical acclaim on the national tour of The  Jackie Wilson Story. 

Timothy  Jerome (Professor Porter) has appeared on Broadway in  Me and My Girl (Tony® and Drama Desk nominations), Grand Hotel,  Phantom of the Opera, La Boheme and Disney’s Beauty and the  Beast. 

Donnie  Keshawarz (Clayton) has been featured on Broadway in  Taboo, and has been seen on television in “Lost,” “24” and “The  Sopranos”. 

Daniel Manche (Young Tarzan at certain performances)  made his Broadway debut in Roundabout’s revival of Nine.  His  television credits include “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” and “SVU,” “All  My Children” and “Guiding Light”. 

Alex  Rutherford (Young Tarzan at certain performances) made  his Broadway debut as Chip in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, after  appearing in the role in the show’s national tour. 

The production will also feature  Darrin Baker, Marcus Bellamy, Celina Carvajal, Dwayne Clark,  Veronica deSoyza, Kearran Giovanni, Michael Hollick, Joshua Koback, Kara  Madrid, Kevin Massey, Anastasia McCleskey, Rika Okamoto, Marlyn Ortiz, Whitney  Ostenoski, John Oyzon, Andy Pellick, Angela Phillips, Stefan Raulston, Horace  Rogers, Sean Samuels, Nick Sanchez, Niki Scalera, Natalie Silverlieb, J.D.  Aubrey Smith and Rachel Stern. 

More than 90 years ago, Edgar Rice Burroughs introduced  TARZAN® to the world in the October 1912 issue of “All Story  Magazine.”  The character was an instant sensation.  Since then, he  has been featured in 26 authorized novels and 44 motion pictures.  Now  Disney Theatrical Productions brings TARZAN® to the Broadway  stage.

Phil Collins  composed five songs for the 1999 film, “Disney’s Tarzan®,” including  “Two Worlds, One Family,” “Strangers Like Me,” and “You’ll Be In My Heart,”  which won the 2000 Academy Award® for Song of the Year, spent 10 weeks as #1  on the Billboard adult contemporary chart, and was #1 in 14 countries.   The soundtrack went double platinum, while the film went on to instant  international success, grossing $447 million worldwide, with subsequent DVD  sales in excess of 13 million units.  Collins, who makes his Broadway  songwriting debut with TARZAN®, has written music and lyrics for eight  new songs for the Broadway production, in addition to his film  score.

Although he has directed in his native Ireland, Bob Crowley makes his Broadway directorial debut with  TARZAN®.    Crowley, whose recent work includes his Tony  Award®-winning scenery for Aida and his acclaimed design for Mary  Poppins in London, has been praised for creating expressionistic, poetic  environments for his productions, and brings that depth of artistry to the  world of TARZAN®. 


JOSH  STRICKLAND (Tarzan) is a native of Charleston, South  Carolina. Josh recently completed the national tour of Rent where he  performed the roles of Mark and Roger. Other credits include Guest Vocalist  with Shania Twain.  He has also been named Carolina Idol 2002, was a  national finalist in Fox television’s “American Idol” and appeared on ABC’s  season premiere of “Star Search 2004.” Josh has also performed with national  jazz musician Kevin Mahogany at the International Spoleto Arts Festival USA  and appeared as “Spirit of the Child” in the festival’s Opera Curly  River.

JENN GAMBATESE (Jane) most recently  starred on Broadway in All Shook Up as both ‘Natalie’ and ‘Ed’.   Other Broadway: ‘Penny Pingleton’ in Hairspray, ‘Mouse’ et al in  A Year with Frog and Toad, and ‘Urleen’ in Footloose.  Off-Broadway: ‘The Statue of Liberty’ in Reefer Madness. Tours (Europe  and North America): ‘Serena Katz’ in Fame. TV:  “All My Children”.   Film: upcoming in The Good Shepherd, directed by Robert DeNiro. 

MERLE DANDRIDGE (Kala). Broadway credits include:   Jesus Christ Superstar, Aida, Rent. Tours:  Aida  (First National:  Aida/Nehebka), Ain't Misbehavin' (Europe),  Smokey Joe's Cafe (U.S.).  Chicago:  The Kentucky  Cycle (Midwest Premiere, Joseph Jefferson Award), Passion, As You Like  It (Rosalind), Balm in Gilead (Ann).  Television:  “Third  Watch,” “NCIS,” “Angel,” “The Edge” (UPN Pilot), “Pros and Cons” (ABC Pilot),  “All My Children,” “Guiding Light”.  Voice over:  The PC/XBox game  Half Life 2 (Alyx Vance/G-Phoria award for Best Female Voice  Performance), Half Life2: Aftermath (Alyx Vance).

SHULER  HENSLEY (Kerchak). Broadway: Jud Fry in Oklahoma! (Tony®,  Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Olivier Awards), Phantom in The  Phantom of the Opera, and Javert in Les Miserables. Off-Broadway:  The Great American Trailer Park Musical.  Regional: A Funny  Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, The Most Happy Fella.  Opera:  Regina, Don Giovanni, La Boheme, and Carmen.  TV:  “Ed,” “Deadline,” “Gary Powers,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Criminal Intent,”  “The Jury”.  Film: Van Helsing, Monday Night Mayhem,  Someone Like You, The Bread, My Sweet, The Legend of Zorro and  the upcoming Opa.

CHESTER GREGORY II  (Terk) made his Broadway debut as Seaweed in Hairspray. This  Gary, IN, native received numerous awards for his portrayal of Jackie Wilson  in The Jackie Wilson Story. Other credits include Soul of Black  Music (Black Ensemble, London), Scapin' (Court Theatre),  Drowning Crow (Goodman) and Disney's Lion King Master Classes.  Chester has performed for Michael Jackson and is working on a recording deal.  His music is featured on and

TIMOTHY JEROME (Professor Porter) most recently  appeared in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera. Nominated for Tony® and  Drama Desk Awards for Me and My Girl, he was also featured in Disney’s  Beauty and the Beast, Grand Hotel, The Magic Show, Cats, Lost in Yonkers,  The Rothschilds, Man of La Mancha, La Boheme and dozens of original plays  and musicals in regional theatre companies.  His films include  Thirteen Days, Cradle will Rock, Billy Bathgate, Spiderman II, Woody  Allen’s Husbands and Wives, Celebrity, and Everyone Says I Love  You. Tim is the Founding President of National Music Theater Network and  The NY Musical Theatre Festival.

DONNIE KESHAWARZ  (Clayton). Broadway: Taboo. Off-Broadway: Drifting  Elegant (The Director's Company), Big Ole Washing Machine (Atlantic  Theatre Studio). Regional: Homebody Kabul (Trinity Rep)  The  Memorandum (Guthrie), Fall (Berkeley Rep, Baltimore CenterStage)   TV:  “Lost,” “24” (recurring role), “The Sopranos” (recurring  role), “Sex & the City,” “Law & Order: SVU,” “Hack,” “As the World  Turns” (recurring role).  Film: Drifting Elegant, Growing Down in  Brooklyn, Tony 'n Tina's Wedding (the  movie).

DANIEL MANCHE (Young  Tarzan at certain performances). Broadway: Nine (Young Guido); TV:  “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” & “SVU,” “All My Children,” “Guiding  Light,” “What's the Scoop?” Film: Headspace. 

ALEX  RUTHERFORD (Young Tarzan at certain performances) made his Broadway  debut as Chip in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast after traveling with the  national tour. His favorite pastimes are reading, wrestling with his Dad and  brother, playing Playstation 2 and riding his bike

BOB  CROWLEY (Director/Scenic and Costume Design) is an Associate of the  National Theatre, for which he has designed The History Boys, Mourning  Becomes Electra, His Girl Friday, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ghetto, Hedda  Gabler, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Racing Demon, Murmuring Judges, The Absence  of War, The Prince’s Play, Richard III, White Chameleon, The Sea, Night of the  Iguana, Carousel, The Designated Mourner, The Cripple of Inishmaan, King Lear  and Amy’s View.  Royal Shakespeare Company: Designed over 25  productions, including: Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Tony® nomination),  The Plantagenetes, Henry IV, Parts 1 & II, King Lear,  Hamlet.  Field Day Theatre Company: Saint Oscar, The Cure  at Troy (co-directed with Stephen Rea).  Other set and costume  designs: Donmar Warehouse: Into the Woods, Orpheus Descending. Almeida  Theatre: Pinter’s Moonlight, No Man’s Land, The Iceman Cometh (Tony®  nomination), Cressida, The Judas Kiss.  Royal Ballet Covent  Garden: Pavane, Anastasia.  Royal Opera House Covent Garden:  The King Goes Forth to France, The Knot Garden, La Traviata.  English  National Opera: The Magic Flute.  Chatelet Paris: The Cunning  Little Vixen.  Bavarian State Opera Munich: Don  Giovanni.  Lincoln Center Theater: Carousel (Tony Award®),  Hapgood, The Invention of Love (Tony® nomination), Twelfth Night  (Tony® nomination).  Public Theatre: The Seagull.  Other  Broadway: Paul Simon’s The Capeman (Tony® nomination), Sweet Smell  of Success, Disney’s Aida (Tony Award®).  Most recently:  Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre).  Royal Designer for Industry  Award.

PHIL COLLINS  (Music/Lyrics) is one of today's most popular vocalists, songwriters  and performers, and has been hailed as one of the best drummers in the world.  Collins has won seven GRAMMY® Awards and released solo albums with sales  totaling more than 70 million copies. Among his accomplishments in film, he  contributed songs to the GRAMMY®-winning soundtrack of Disney's  Tarzan®, including “You'll Be In My Heart,” which was nominated for a  GRAMMY® and won the Academy Award® and Golden Globe® for Best Song.  Most  recently, Collins wrote six songs and made his film score composing debut (in  collaboration with Mark Mancina) on Disney's Brother Bear and also  composed the score for Tarzan® II.  Factoring in his work with  Genesis, Brand X, and a gallery of star groups and performers (including Led  Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, John Cale, Quincy Jones, and  Tony Bennett), Collins has left his mark on some 200 million records  worldwide.  His hit songs include “In the Air Tonight,” “One More Night,”  “Sussudio,” “Take Me Home,” “Two Hearts” and “Another Day in Paradise.” Among  his other accomplishments, Collins fulfilled a lifetime ambition by touring  with his own 20-piece big band, which made its debut in London's Royal Albert  Hall in the company of conductor Quincy Jones and vocalist Tony Bennett.   Collins embarked on a solo career after taking a break from being front man  and drummer for the band Genesis, with whom he played for 25 years.  His  solo albums include Face Value, Hello, I Must Be Going, No Jacket Required,  …But Seriously, Serious Hits…Live!, Both Sides, Dance Into the Light, Hits,  Hot Night in Paris and Testify.  Collins most recently  completed his successful Final Farewell Tour. 

DAVID HENRY HWANG (Book) was awarded  the 1988 Tony®, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and John Gassner Awards for his  Broadway debut, M. Butterfly, which was also a finalist for the  Pulitzer Prize.  For his play Golden Child, he received a 1998  Tony® nomination and a 1997 Obie Award.  His new book for the Rodgers  & Hammerstein musical Flower Drum Song earned him his third Tony®  nomination in 2003.  He was also a book writer on Elton John and Tim  Rice’s Aida.  Hwang’s other plays include FOB (1981 Obie  Award), The Dance and the Railroad, Family Devotions, The Sound of a Voice  and Bondage.  His opera libretti include three works for  composer Philip Glass, 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, The Voyage and  The Sound of a Voice, as well as The Silver River with music by  Bright Sheng and Ainadamar with Osvaldo Golijov.  Hwang penned the  feature films M. Butterfly, Golden Gate and Possession  (co-writer) and co-wrote the song “Solo” with composer/performer Prince.   His new play, Yellow Face, will premiere next season.  Hwang  serves on the Dramatists Guild Council.

Meryl Tankard  (Choreography) began her career as a classical dancer with the  Australian Ballet.  She later joined Pina Bausch's Wuppertaler  Tanztheater as a soloist and became renowned for her performances in  Kontakhof, Cafe Muller, 1980, Keuscheitslegende, Arien, Walzer and  Bandoneon.  Between 1989 - 1999 she directed her own dance companies in  Australia creating over 15 full-length works including: Furioso, Possessed,  Aurora, Songs with Mara and Inuk, which she toured internationally  to New York (BAM), London, Tokyo, Amsterdam and Sydney.  Since 2000,  Tankard has worked freelance, creating works for Lyon Ballet (Bolero),  Netherlands Dance Theatre (Merryland and Petrushka), Berlin  Ballet (@ North), choreographing for Tiffany and Co. New York (Pearl)  and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Beautiful Game); and creating/directing  Deep Sea Dreaming for the 2000 Sydney Olympics Opening Ceremony.   In 2003 she conceived and choreographed a full-length ballet Wild Swans  for the Australian Ballet. In 2004 she was awarded an Australia Council  Creative Development Fellowship, and is currently developing a film script and  a musical.

PICHÓN BALDINU (Aerial Design) was born  in Buenos Aires, Argentina. His professional career began in 1984, when, while  studying at the Conservatorio de Arte Dramático, he co-founded La  Organización Negra, the first underground theatre company in Buenos Aires.  The quest for striking language coupled with the impact of post-dictatorship  Argentina led to the creation of the theater group, UORC - Teatro de  Operaciones (1986).  Baldinu’s constant curiosity for new ways of  expression encouraged him to experiment in non-conventional areas, including  buildings and monuments throughout the city of Buenos Aires. La  Tirolesa (1989) was created in this fashion. After dissolving La  Organización Negra in 1993, Baldinu co-founded the De La Guarda  Company, focusing on the search of a theatrical language that allowed him  to move and excite audiences. Later on, De La Guarda presented five  shows in an experiment called Doma (1998). This mega-show, performed in  the open-air, was the greatest aerial show and production of the  company.

NATASHA KATZ (Lighting Design). Recent Broadway:  Aida (Tony Award® 2000), Beauty and the Beast, 25th Annual Putnam  County Spelling Bee, Sweet Smell of Success, Twelfth Night, Flower Drum Song,  Dance of Death, The Capeman and Barrymore. National Theatre,  London: Buried Child.  Extensive designs Off-Broadway and for  American regional theatres.  Opera/dance: Cyrano (Metropolitan  Opera), Die Soldatan (NYC Opera), Carnival of the Animals (NYC  Ballet), Tryst (Royal Ballet), and Don Quixote (American Ballet  Theatre). Concert acts: Shirley MacLaine, Ann-Margret and Tommy Tune.   Permanent lighting installations: Niketown NYC and London and the Big  Bang at the Museum of Natural History in NYC.

JOHN SHIVERS  (Sound Design). Sound design credits include: In My Life, Billy  Crystal’s 700 Sundays, Julia Sweeney’s God Said ‘Ha’ and various  productions of Savion Glover, Dionne Warwick and Gregory Hines.  He is  also credited as the associate sound designer/production sound engineer for  Broadway and worldwide productions of Hairspray, The Producers,  The Lion King, Aida, Titanic, Big, How to  Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, The Who’s Tommy, Guys  and Dolls and The Buddy Holly Story.

PAUL BOGAEV  (Music Producer/Vocal Arrangements). Executive producer of the 2004  GRAMMY®-winning soundtrack and music director of the 2003 film,  Chicago. Broadway: Music supervisor and orchestrator, Bombay  Dreams (2004 Tony® nominee); music producer and arranger, Aida  (2000 GRAMMY® Award); music director, Sunset Boulevard, Joseph, Aspects of  Love, Chess, Les Miserables, Starlight Express and Cats.   Film: Connie and Carla with Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette.   Currently: Julie Taymor's new movie with songs by The Beatles, and  Dreamgirls with Jamie Foxx, Beyonce and Eddie Murphy.  ABC  television musicals:  “Cinderella,” “South Pacific,” and “Annie” (2000  Emmy Award®). Conductor:  Barbra Streisand, Elton John, Michael Crawford  and the silent film masterpiece Napoleon, presented by Francis Coppola.   Disney films: Mulan (Music Director), song arrangements for  Disney’sTarzan® and The Lion King.

DOUG BESTERMAN  (Orchestrations) A three-time Tony Award® winner, Doug's Broadway  orchestration credits include: Dracula, Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002  Tony Award® and Drama Desk Awards) The Producers (2001 Tony® and Drama  Desk Awards), Fosse (1999 Tony Award®), The Music Man (Drama  Desk and Tony Award® nominations), Seussical, Big (Drama Desk Award  nomination), Damn Yankees (Drama Desk Award nomination), Gentlemen  Prefer Blondes. Off-Broadway: Weird Romance, Jack's Holiday, Johnny Pye  and the Foolkiller, The Gifts of the Magi, Godspell; also in New York:  King David, A Christmas Carol, and the Radio City Music Hall Christmas  Spectacular. Film/television: The Producers, Chicago, Mulan, Anastasia,  Pocahontas, Lincoln, Cinderella, Annie, Geppetto, South Pacific, and  Superstar.  Doug has also arranged for: Christine Andreas, Toni  Braxton, Beyonce Knowles, Barry Manilow, Mandy Patinkin, Barbra Streisand, the  LA Philharmonic, and the Boston Pops Orchestra.

DISNEY  THEATRICAL PRODUCTIONS, a unit of BUENA VISTA THEATRICAL GROUP, was formed  in 1994 and operates under the direction of Thomas Schumacher. The company’s  inaugural production, Beauty & The Beast, is currently the  sixth-longest running show in Broadway history. In May 1997, The Walt Disney  Company completed restoration of the historic New Amsterdam Theatre on 42nd  Street, reopening with the world premiere concert of Alan Menken & Tim  Rice’s King David. Later that same year, Disney opened The Lion  King, which received six 1998 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, as well  as the 1998 GRAMMY® Award for Best Musical Show Album. Now in its ninth  sold-out year on Broadway, The Lion King can also currently be seen  onstage in London, Amsterdam, Melbourne, Hamburg, Tokyo, Nagoya and two  touring companies throughout the U.S. In June 1999, Disney premiered its first  new musical outside the United States when Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame,  an adaptation of the Disney film, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, opened  in Berlin. Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida, which opened on Broadway  at the Palace Theatre in March 2000, ended its triumphant four and a half year  run on Broadway in September 2004. Aida received four 2000 Tony Awards®  including Best Music/Lyrics and the 2000 GRAMMY® Award for Best Musical Show  Album. Aida can also be seen in Kyoto, Seoul, and Munich, Germany.  Mary Poppins in partnership with Cameron Mackintosh is now playing at  London’s Prince Edward Theatre.  Projects currently in development  include The Little Mermaid with direction by Francesca Zambello and  music by Alan Menken. 

© Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.,  and Disney Enterprises Inc.  All rights reserved. 
TARZAN® owned  by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and used by permission. 
The first (and original) King Kong 
The Independent Online Edition ~ London, UK by John Walsh by December 10, 2005 
A reckless adventurer, a war-time photographer and a Hollywood actress who didn't realise what she was getting into - John Walsh reports on the making of a film that was an adventure all by itself . . .
. . . Tarzan, the muscular jungle hunk created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, was the star of several movies in the 1920s, most especially Tarzan the Ape Man, scripted (amazingly) by Ivor Novello. Also popular was Bring 'Em Back Alive, a book by Frank Buck about capturing animals for incarceration in zoos. Published in 1930, it was filmed in 1932. The period was heaving, in other words, with jungles, primal imaginings and freakish creatures in shaky confinement. . . . more. . . 
Breaking News from Variety:
Paramount Pictures has struck a deal to acquire DreamWorks SKG in a pact worth $1.5-$1.6 billion beating out rival suitor NBC Universal. 
Gorillas in our midst
These movies are more fun than a barrel of you-know-what
Asbury Park Press ~ Eleanor O'Sullivan ~ December 9, 2005
. . . TARZAN — Beginning with its 1918 debut, starring Elmo Lincoln as the ape man from the Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel, this series has always had an ape (Kala) or a chimp (Cheetah) close at hand as the hero's best friend, mentor or helper. Johnny Weissmuller, Buster Crabbe and Gordon Scott are other memorable Tarzans. . . . more. . . 
'American Idol' loser to play Tarzan on Broadway
Reuters ~ December 9, 2005 
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former "American Idol" contestant who didn't make the finals of the television talent show will play Tarzan in a new musical of the classic jungle story on Broadway next year. The producers of "Tarzan" said on Thursday Josh Strickland, who was a contestant on the second season of the hit show on the Fox television network, would play the lead in the musical which is due to open in May with music by Phil Collins. . . .

We love . . . Tarzan 
ICWales ~ by Brian Lee ~ December 7, 2005
American author Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) will always be associated with his novel Tarzan of the Apes, which was a best seller when it was published in 1914. The muscular and wild man of the jungle soon found himself depicted in the movies and in 1918 Elmo Lincoln had the honour of playing the first Tarzan in Tarzan of the Apes which was made on location in Louisiana. However, moviegoers had to wait until 1932 before the definitive Tarzan came along in the shape of Johnny Weismuller (1904-1984).

Romanian-born Weismuller, a former Olympic Games swimmer who had won five gold medals at the 1924 and 1928 games had, contrary to popular opinion, been in several films before Tarzan the Ape-man in which he starred with Maureen O'Sullivan - later to become Tarzan's mate Jane. The role of Tarzan was tailor- made for the powerfully-built and athletic Weismuller and he went on to make a further 11 Tarzan films. As a young lad growing up in the late 1940s, I almost certainly saw them all and three of my particular favourites were Tarzan's Desert Mystery, Tarzan's New York Adventure and Tarzan and the Leopard Woman. After the 1948 movie Tarzan and the Mermaids, the ageing Weismuller was replaced by Lex Barker, who was in five or six Tarzan films. Five times married Barker - Weismuller was married six times - made five Tarzan films and would have made more had they given him more lines to say. Other actors who have played Tarzan include Gordon Scott, Jock Mahoney, Mike Henry, Glen Morris and Buster Crabbe. The last named like Weismuller was also an Olympic swimming champion, winning a gold medal in the 1932 games. Crabbe though became more famous for his Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers roles. Of all the Tarzan films to be made, and there have been many of them, perhaps it is the 1984 British movie Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, with Christopher Lambert in the title role, that has come as close as any of them to being faithful to Edgar Rice Burroughs's legendary story

Did you know

  • That Johnny Weismuller died a month after Jim Pierce who was the last surviving silent actor to play Tarzan.
  • Johnny Weismuller once said, "How can a guy climb trees, say 'Me Tarzan, you Jane' and make a million?"
  • Mia Farrow is the daughter of Maureen O'Sullivan who was Tarzan's Jane in five movies.
  • Tarzan's chimpanzee Cheeta, born in 1931, disliked Maureen O'Sullivan, but got on well with Johnny Weismuller. The ape retired from making films after appearing in the 1967 musical Dr Doolittle.
  • Cheeta enjoyed drinking beer and smoking cigars.
  • Ron Ely was chosen from 300 applicants after Mike Henry pulled out of the Tarzan television series.
  • John Derek directed his wife Bo Derek, who played Jane to Miles O'Keefe's Tarzan, in the 1981 Tarzan the Ape-Man.
  • When Johnny Weismuller's Tarzan's days were over, he went on to play Jungle Jim in a number of movies.
  • Cheeta the Chimp is still alive today well into his 70s

Monkey Accents
TOKYO (AFP) - To the untrained ear monkeys of a certain species may all sound the same, but Japanese researchers have found that, like human beings, they actually have an accent depending on where they live. The finding, the first of its kind, appeared in the December edition of a German scientific journal Ethology. "Differences between chattering by monkeys are like dialects of human beings," said Nobuo Masataka, professor of ethology at Kyoto University's Primate Research Institute. The research team analyzed voice tones of two groups of the same species of primates, the Japanese Yakushima macaque also known as Macaca fuscata yakui, between 1990 and 2000. 
Barstow: Filmmaker focuses on Wethersfield
Wethersfield Post CT ~ G. C. Gould  December 8, 2005
Wethersfield resident Robbins Barstow is looking forward to watching some home movies with his kids this holiday season. They're all fully grown now, but the local filmmaker plans to look back on some that feature his family when they went from Wethersfield to Anaheim, Calif., to visit Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom in 1956 . . .  Also on Cox cable television on Sundays is an even earlier film entitled "Tarzan and the Rocky Gorge," which Barstow produced and directed in 1936, when he was just 16 years old. . . .
Literary classics come of digital age
Durango Herald Online ~ By Zane Lyon ~ November 25, 2005
It's been close to 100 years since Edgar Rice Burroughs published a series of stories that would become A Princess of Mars, yet his work remains as elusive, mysterious and full of the promise of adventure as it was in 1911. 
What has changed is that I didn't first read this Martian romance in a ratty, well-worn copy of All-Story Magazine like the 13-year-olds of 100 years ago. Instead, I read through it on my computer, a concept that even Burroughs' technologically superior aliens might find alien. It may take a few more years and better monitors before people are comfortable reading entire books from a computer, but with the Google print project under way and companies like Microsoft eager to create competing databases, it could be less than a decade before most literature in print is available online. In part, this effort is being made to meet the demands of a generation of readers accustomed to having a truly global wealth of information available at the click of a button. But books and the Internet share so many of the same values, chiefly the exchange of language and ideas, that the union was inevitable. This marriage seemed so obvious to the founders of the Gutenberg project - the site where I found A Princess of Mars - that they conceived it in 1971, well before computers or the Internet were widely known. . . . More . . . 
Illinois definitely roared in the '20s 
Edwardsville, IL Intelligencer ~ Norma Mendoza ~ November 17, 2005
Bill Nunes pens new book: It was the era of speakeasies, bootleg booze, flappers and jazz.. . .The literary scene of the era included writers such as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ring Lardner, Edna Ferber, Carl Sandburg, Ernest Hemingway, and Upton Sinclair, just to name a few of the now famous Illinois authors. 
Radio was coming into its own with top-rated shows like the "Jack Benny Show" featuring the Waukegan native. "Fibber McGee and Molly" played by Jim and Marion Jordan of Peoria, and "Amos and Andy" played by two white guys from Chicago, were also top hits. . . . More . . .
GIFT GUIDE 1: TECH & TOYS ~ Reality Really Bytes 
Seattle Weekly ~ November 23-29
. . . All three of the games mentioned so far evolved from the same psychic mulch: the swords-and-sorcery multiverse created by Edgar Rice Burroughs a century ago in his John Carter of Mars tales. Other popular "skins" stretched over the same basic good-vs.-evil worldview are Star Wars Galaxies, the umpteenth recycling of George Lucas' space-based pulp epic, and City of Heroes, in which comic-book superheroes and supervillains go interminably at it. P.S. You can be a villain yourself if your tastes lie that way. . . . More . . .
 Spotlight on Jon Favreau:
Over the past week Jon Favreau has appeared on the Jay Leno's Tonight Show, The Craig Ferguson Show and in a flurry of interviews -- and his SF film "Zathura' has opened to excellent reviews and box office. Below, to build upon what we already know of his vision for the John Carter project, we feature excerpts from, and links to a series of  recent interviews. 

Zathura has slow opening week box office: 
$15,310,938 plus Weekend Nov. 18-20: $5.1m
Variety: November 20, 2005

Favreau's Mars
Film Force ~ November 18, 2005
Until we hear otherwise, we'll assume Favreau's Mars is still on at Paramount. His latest filmmaking effort, Zathura, opened meagerly at the box office last week, and there's always the possibility of studios getting cold feet on future projects when something like that happens.
More . . .
Zathura director starts his engines ~ November 19, 2005
. . . . Favreau is currently working on a movie adaptation of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs' sci-fi/fantasy novels 'John Carter of Mars'. The Martian adventure flick is in pre-production and scheduled for release some time late in 2006. Presumably 'Johnny Zero' will be his follow up to 'Carter'. More . . .

Digital Dimension Makes Space with VFX for "Zathura" 
Completes 200 shots, using digitally composited miniatures 
and CG star fields 
Jon FavreauPress Release ~ November 17, 2005
Award-winning visual effects studio Digital Dimension announced it has completed work on "Zathura: A Space Adventure," delivering 200 shots for the new sci-fi adventure film. Director Jon Favreau and Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Bauer, with whom Digital Dimension collaborated most recently on "Elf," brought the company on board to create signature effects for the movie's digital star fields and to help them achieve action sequences in Space using seamlessly composited practical miniatures along with CG elements.

Based on a book by "Jumanji" author Chris Van Allsburg, "Zathura" is set in the stratosphere, as a pair of young brothers discovers a board game with an intergalactic twist. Having catapulted their home into the Milky Way, they must finish out the game from a living room at zero G.

The filmmakers sat directly with artists at Digital Dimension to develop hero "looks" for the star field backgrounds that completely surround the house for most of the film. The company also worked closely with the filmmakers to deliver 20 to 25 heavy composites combining small-scale models of the house and various spacecraft to support the filmmakers' choice of miniature photography as the preferred visual effects approach. Digital Dimension's contribution additionally included look development for comet and disintegration effects , CG debris, torpedoes and smoke.

The star field digital composites were created with moving cameras and a parallax change to create backgrounds that were photo-real yet mystical and had the feel of a round environment. For the miniature shots, Digital Dimension worked from elements shot on stage and then utilized motion control data for the interactive lighting, key lighting, ship engine flame and interior ship passes of up to 20 layers or more.

"Digital Dimension has a balance that works well in being able to deliver high quality with a small amount of people," said Chris Del Conte, Producer, Digital Dimension. "Joe could come and dial in looks frame by frame with us, which was important for the finalizing of visual effects shots and proving that Jon's choice to do a throw-back nod to traditional space movies using miniatures instead of CG models would pay off. It's been great working with these amazing filmmakers on a series of projects, and with Jon entering a deal to direct the 'John Carter of Mars' trilogy, we look forward to upcoming collaborations as well."

In addition to being the lead house for star field and miniatures effects development, Digital Dimension completed numerous other effects for "Zathura," ranging from creating a comet that marries miniature photography with several dozen motion control passes, adding reflections on astronaut visors to animating a CG bicycle seen floating through the movie at various points.

The company's software toolkit included Eyeon's Digital Fusion for compositing and Autodesk 3ds Max for CG elements, including debris, rockets and chains.

For more information about the company please visit

Favreau Interview ~ Mike Szymanski ~ November 14, 2005
. . . Your next project is John Carter's Mars. How are you preparing for that?
Favreau: That has been around a long time, I heard it was competing with Snow White as far as an animated movie idea. It only has one human in it and Tharks, these 15-foot-tall green aliens with four arms. It has expansive scenes and cities and big war scenes. I wonder if we have finally reached the tipping point where we can do it. I don't know if all the problems have been solved. The problem with the story is that it only has one human, and I don't want to have just CG characters, I want a mix of them. We don't have a John Carter yet. We don't even have a script yet. . . . 
More. . . 
It Came From Outer Space
Roger Ebert ~ November 11- 18, 2005
. . . “Zathura” is the second film directed by Jon Favreau, an actor who, like Ron Howard, was possibly born to be a director. His first film was “Made” (2001), his second was “Elf” (2003), and his next will be inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “John Carter of Mars,” a series I have always assumed was unfilmable, but on the basis of these three films, maybe not. Favreau brings a muscular solidity to his special effects; they look not like abstract digital perfection but as if hammered together from plywood, aluminum and concept cars. By that I don’t mean they look cheap; I mean they have the kind of earnest sincerity you can find on the covers of Thrilling Wonder Stories. Since you may not know of this publication, I urge you to Google “Thrilling Wonder Stories magazine” and click on “images.” You’ll find the same kind of breathless pulp absurdity that “Zathura” brings to a boil. . . .
Family fare 'Zathura' lets Jon Favreau swing into outer-space
Pasadena Star News ~ Glenn Whipp ~ November 10, 2005
. . . Favreau will be leaving family films behind with his next movie, an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel "John Carter of Mars," in which a Civil War veteran is transplanted to the Red Planet. . . . 
Jon Favreau Zathura filmmaker talks to IGN
Film Force IGN ~ by Shawn Adler ~ November 10, 2005
. . . Q: You're doing John Carter of Mars next?
FAVREAU: Yeah, that's next. 
Q: That's been around for so long, what finally solved it? 
FAVREAU: I don't know that it has been solved yet, but John Carter of Mars, they've been attempting to make that movie since it was a competing project with Snow White as an animated movie. Part of the problem is that there is only one human, and it was just something that the technology couldn't do. I wonder if we've reached the tipping point where we can do that type of movie with the technology we have. But remember, I'm not just going to want to have all CG characters going through it, I'm going to want to somehow incorporate real actors into these roles. 
Q: Do you have a John Carter?
FAVREAU: We don't have a John Carter. We don't have a script yet. 
More . . .
Favreau's Perspective On Kid Flicks
Sun Media ~ Edmonton ~ Jim Slotek ~ November 6, 2005
Jon Favreau's kid-flick kick will continue apace with his next project, John Carter of Mars - based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp series. Whatever he does, however, he says he'll be looking for no worse than a PG rating. 

"My four-year-old is bored with most of the stuff that's for kids. He wants to see PG-13 movies and I as a parent am not always comfortable. He wants to see Spider-Man on cable. And I've got to think, is Spider-Man appropriate for him? Probably not all of it. Definitely Van Helsing wasn't, I had to turn it off halfway through. Lord of the Rings was definitely too much." 

Favreau's compromise: Make movies "with frightening moments. There are monsters in this movie, aliens and spaceships and robots. It's a very intense environment. 

"But at the end of the day, I feel as a parent that this is a film parents will like - because it'll be the only film that week that'll be appropriate to bring kids to." 

Favreau captain of his own ship on ‘Zathura‘ 
Hollywood Reporter ~ By Anne Thompson ~ November 2, 2005
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Sometimes it takes a while to figure out what you‘re good at. 
Take Jon Favreau . He has made his living as a funny character actor and occasional screenwriter and director -- which turns out to be his forte. Favreau is enjoying early raves for his third feature, the family flick "Zathura," . . .  The director took his cues from the master, Steven Spielberg . "The goal is to take this situation and make it as universal as possible," Favreau says. "Spielberg‘s movies may have children in the central roles, but their appeal is to everybody; they are not skewed toward children. 

It looks like Favreau chose well. Paramount Pictures already has hired him to direct its next potential franchise, Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ "A Princess of Mars." Favreau had discovered Frank Frazetta‘s paintings for the John Carter series during production on "Zathura." When production president Brad Weston asked Favreau to direct yet another comedy, Favreau said, "What‘s happening with that John Carter movie?" Luckily, director Kerry Conran had recently left the project, and Paramount promptly hired Favreau. "At this point, the studios realize that quality commercial movies like ‘The Lord of the Rings‘ and ‘Batman‘ are the Holy Grail," Favreau says. "They keep the whole studio floating. For my generation, Peter Jackson is the paradigm." 
Now Favreau is going to familiarize himself with Burroughs‘ planet Mars. "I‘m going back to the book," he says, "and I‘ll figure out what made it last for 100 years. There‘s some reason why John Carter, an American living in another world, still resonates."  . . . more. . .

Jon Favreau Talks "Mars" Visit
Now Playing Magazine ~ By Garth Franklin ~ October 18, 2005
Director Jon Favreau ("Elf") is out doing promotions for "Zathura" this past weekend and spoke with Now Playing Magazine about what he's up to next - specifically the film adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs science fiction novel series "John Carter of Mars".

On Kerry Conran's departure from the project he says - "He developed it for a long time and then he went off of it. And as I was sitting down with the people from Paramount just having a general meeting... at the end of the meeting I asked, 'So what's happening with John Carter?' And they said, 'I think it's available.' They sent me the books, I started reading them, I came in with a pitch, and they were very excited. It's a new regime over there at Paramount. They're looking for a franchise; they're looking for something in the PG-13 world".

The project will be a challenge though - "You've got characters that are 15-feet tall and have four arms and tusks. How do you find a way to show that where I'm not dealing with the CG problem? Whether you're working on Swingers, or Elf, or Zathura or John Carter of Mars, you have to keep the characters and the emotional story at the base of everything and then surround that with effects and science and technology. But if you're not telling a good story, it doesn't matter if you're doing a cave painting or a sitcom or a science fiction movie. You will lose the audience".

'Elf' director signs for 'Neanderthals'
Digital Spy UK ~ By Daniel Saney ~ October 18, 2005
Jon Favreau is to write and produce Neanderthals, a CG-animated film for Sony Pictures Animation, says The Hollywood Reporter. The trade adds that the project is based on the Elf director's own idea, though the specific plotline is "being kept in a cave under a large boulder protected by a mastadon" for the time being, according to the studio. It was recently announced that Favreau would be directing the first in a probable series of fims based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' 'John Carter of Mars' stories for Paramount. . . . Penned by Ehren Kruger and Mark Protosevich, the movie will tell the story of a Civil War veteran who hides from Apache Indians in a cave, only to find that he has been transported to the planet of Barsoom where he is taken prisoner by a race of tall green men. 

Protosevich and Harry Knowles are co-producing. 

Interview with new John Carter of Mars director - 
Jon Favreau - at producer Harry Knowles' Ain't It Cool Web site:
John Carter Discussion:

Paramount Raising 'Mars' Bar
Helmer Favreau boards Burroughs SciFier
By Dave McNary, Michael Fleming ~ Variety ~ Oct. 6, 2005

Los Angeles: Paramount has tapped Jon Favreau to direct "John Carter of Mars," the epic adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs sci-fi series. Alphaville Productions partners Sean Daniel and Jim Jacks are producing.

Pic begins with a Civil War veteran whose retreat into a cave to avoid capture by Apache Indians takes an otherworldly turn as he's transported via time portal to the planet of Barsoom and taken prisoner by 12-foot-tall green men.

Burroughs wrote 11 volumes of Carter's adventures and the studio is hoping the film will launch a franchise. Ehren Kruger rewrote a script by Mark Protosevich, and Ain't It Cool News' Harry Knowles is co-producing.

"Mars" has long been viewed by the studio and Par-based Alphaville as a plum project. The trouble has been getting the right director. Robert Rodriguez was set, until he had to remove himself after resigning his DGADGA membership over the guild's unwillingness to allow him to co-direct "Sin City" with Frank Miller. Kerry Conran was most recently attached.

Favreau has a taste for special-effects fare, exhibited with large-scale fantasy pic "Zathura," that Sony releases Nov. 11 and New Line's hit "Elf."

Favreau, who just wrapped the fourth season as producer and host of the IFC series "Dinner for Five," has also hatched an Image Entertainment-produced sitcom for Fox. Favreau is writing and will possibly direct the pilot. As an actor, Favreau just wrapped "The Break Up."

Check out co-producer, Harry Knowles' Ain't It Cool Website for more information and fan feedback.

Quotes from Harry Knowles:
"I love Kerry, we all did. Ultimately though, Kerry found a couple of pulp properties that he was even more passionate about. Whenever he's ready to announce, I think everyone everywhere will be happy. You see... We're still going to deliver a Great JOHN CARTER movie, but Kerry will deliver another great science fiction pulp character film too. We film lovers will have twice as much to be excited about!"
"Jon's first order of business is to bring on a screenwriter to bring the script back closer to Burroughs. He loves that novel. At this stage Jon is securing the effects and design team that we've had through Kerry's tenure on the project and just continue to chip away at the awesome mountain of pre-production that will make this film amongst the finest science fiction-fantasy films of all time."

More . . . 

See the trailer for Favreau's Zathura:
Zathura at Austin's Fantastic Fest Film Festival ~ October 8, 2005
Tarzan Tickets Go On Sale Sunday, November 20 ~ by BWW News Desk ~ November 17, 2005
Tickets go on sale to the general public this Sunday, November 20, for TARZAN®, The Broadway Musical, presented by Disney Theatrical Productions. TARZAN® will open May 10, 2006 at the Richard Rodgers Theatre (226 West 46th Street). Previews begin March 24, 2006. 

Tickets for TARZAN® will be available online at, through Ticketmaster at 212-307-4747 or, or in person at the Richard Rodgers Theatre box office, starting Sunday, November 20 at 9:00 AM. 

Two-time Tony Award® winner Bob Crowley (Aida, Carousel), will direct and design scenery and costumes for TARZAN®. Oscar® and seven-time GRAMMY® Award winner Phil Collins has written the music and lyrics, expanding his songs for Disney’s film into a complete theatre score. Tony Award®-winner David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly) has written the book, based on the novel, Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the film, Tarzan®. Choreography is by Meryl Tankard, with aerial design by Pichón Baldinu (De La Guarda). Lighting design is by Tony Award®-winner Natasha Katz (Aida) and sound design is by John Shivers. Other members of the creative team include Paul Bogaev (Music Producer/Vocal Arrangements) and Doug Besterman (Orchestrations). 

More than 90 years ago, Edgar Rice Burroughs introduced TARZAN® to the world in the October 1912 issue of “All Story Magazine.” The character was an instant sensation. Since then, he has been featured in 26 authorized novels and 44 motion pictures. Now Disney Theatrical Productions brings TARZAN® to the Broadway stage. 

Phil Collins composed five songs for the 1999 film, “Disney’s TARZAN®,” including “Two Worlds, One Family,” “Strangers Like Me,” and “You’ll Be In My Heart,” which won the 2000 Academy Award® for Song of the Year, spent 10 weeks as #1 on the Billboard adult contemporary chart, and was #1 in 14 countries. The soundtrack went double platinum, while the film went on to instant international success, grossing $447 million worldwide, with subsequent DVD sales in excess of 13 million units. 

Collins, who makes his Broadway songwriting debut with TARZAN®, has written music and lyrics for eight new songs for the Broadway production, in addition to his film score. Although he has directed in his native Ireland, Bob Crowley makes his Broadway directorial debut with TARZAN®. Crowley, whose recent work includes his Tony Award®-winning scenery for Aida and his acclaimed design for Mary Poppins in London, has been praised for creating expressionistic, poetic environments for his productions, and brings that depth of artistry to the world of TARZAN®. 
TARZAN® owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. and used by permission. 


Delivering Entertainment from out of this World! 
We're not just thinking out of the box, we're thinking out of the Universe

Angelic gets Burroughs “Venus” & “Hollywood”
October 28, 2005
Angelic Entertainment in San Diego has acquired theatrical options on six Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, Mark Maine, Angelic’s CEO, announced today.  “Pirates of Venus” [and four subsequent sequel novels], and “The Girl From Hollywood”.  The Venus series of novels are in the Fantasy/Sci-Fi genre, while “The Girl From Hollywood” is a gritty drama set in prohibition era Los Angeles. 

Angelic’s Senior V.P. of Production, Bruce Pobjoy says, “Mark and I both share a passion for Burroughs novels. It is our intention to be loyal to the integrity of his writing, while at the same time updating, and modernizing the stories for today’s sensibilities, and sophisticated movie audiences.” 

Maine states, “We hope this is just the beginning of a long and fruitful association with the ERB Corporation, and Danton Burroughs in particular.”  The San Diego based entertainment company is currently shopping for a headquarters in the Los Angeles area.  Angelic has already established a presence in East, Texas in order to further develop their feature-film entitled “London, Texas”, about the natural gas explosion that destroyed the town’s school, youth, and innocents in March of 1937.

John Carter On Stage
Dark tales at Bryant Lake Bowl
Star-Tribune ~ Minneapolis-St. Paul ~ November 10, 2005
Hardcover Theater conjures vampires, grave robbers and murky Victorian nights in an ambitious serial project with five episodes over the next 15 months. . . . Schroer is working on an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' sci-fi work, "A Princess of Mars," for production next spring at the Playwrights' Center. It would be the most avant-garde of any Hardcover production, using puppets and actors, even a ventriloquist in telling the pulpy adventure.
More . . . 
Jackson's King Kong Trailers
Barbarians in France
Opinion Editorials ~ James Atticus Bowden ~ November 14, 2005
Barbarians are rioting in France. The barbarians are back. . . .  Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote that the task of every generation was to ‘civilize’ a new generation of barbarians. That’s the first task in France. . . .
Bomber Boys: The Fighting Lancaster bridges the generation gap and tells the story of the Lancaster crews and their critical role in the Second World War. Join History Television as we follow a group of young men who volunteer to re-live the wartime experiences of their grandfathers, who were members of the “Lucky H” aircrew. All are descendants of Canadian, British, Australian and American airmen.
Using a unique blend of living history elements, first-person interviews and never-before-seen World War Two colour footage, this dramatic four-part documentary series chronicles a new generation of "Bomber Boys" as they train to become a Lancaster Bomber crew.
Bomber Boys: The Fighting Lancaster

will premiere on History Television during Remembrance Week 
in the coveted 8 pm Eastern time slot:
Episode One - Monday, November 7
Episode Two - Tuesday, November 8
Episode Three - Wednesday, November 9
Episode Four - Thursday, November 10.

Robin Hillman (seated in cockpit and on the left)
with the cast of the 4-hour BCATP re-enactment documentary 
filmed at bases and locales in
Canada ~ England ~ Belgium ~ Holland
Visit our News Archives to see older news events

Hours: 24/7
Admission: Free
Curator: Bill Hillman
Telephone: 1.204.728.4673
Home Office:
41 Kensington Crescent
Brandon, MB 
R7A 6M4

Broadway 2006
Tarzan: The Broadway Musical
Broadway ~ Holland ~ Hamburg
ERB Books and Collectibles
ERB Books and Collectibles
Tarzine: Official Monthly Webzine of ERB, Inc.
John Coleman Burroughs Tribute Site
ERBzine Weekly Webzine
The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs

BILL HILLMAN: Editor and Webmaster
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved.
All Original Work ©1996-2006/2010/2013 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners
No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.