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
Volume 0883


ERB Newsmagazine 2004.04.02

Letters & Photo from ERB Wartime Acquaintance
Heroes of the Dark Continent: ERB '90s Influence?
Tarzana Info?
Tarzana Community & Cultural Center
ERB U.S. Stamp?
ERB in Alternate History Site
Real-life Bolgani Rampage
Cheetah Video
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
Bizarro Tarzan


Edgar Rice Burroughs: The War Years
Memories From the Danton Burroughs Family Archive
Wartime Letters: 1945
Excerpts from the 1945 Wartime Letters

Edgar Rice Burroughs 
Tarzana, California 
September 23, 1945
Dear Joan: 
I have your nice letter and one from Mike, which I very much enjoy. 
As I wrote Ralph today. I had a heart attack recently which will probably keep me in bed for some time. I am improving rapidly and in no danger. 
Marian phoned today that she is leaving on the Matsonia tomorrow. I am sure that you will like her as she is a sweet girl. 
Through Phil's courtesy, Pfc Donard Hawks is taking dictation, as the doctor will not let me exert myself in any way. 
Lots of love, 

March 2004 Correspondence with Donard Hawks
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.

I'm afraid I can't add much to the time that Mr. Burrows spent in Hawaii.  I was in Hawaii by a fluke.  I was trained as an infantryman and was on my way to the South Pacific.  I developed Scarlet Fever on the boat between Seattle and Hawaii.  I spent 30 days in the hospital (Tripler General).  When I was released My outfit had shipped out, so I opted to go to a school for Clerks and Steno's.  It was given at Fort Hase on the other side of the Island.  When I finished I was assigned to Fort Shafter and worked for Major Phil Bird, who was the friend of Edgar's .  One day he asked me if I would go to the hotel where Edgar was recouping and take some dictation for him.  I was very happy and privileged to do so. I can remember in one letter to the Office back home he complained about the comic strip Tarzan.  He said it was getting so bad that even the local paper in Hawaii had discontinued printing it.  Sorry I can't add anymore, but I want you to know it was a great privilege to help out Mr. Burrows.      Donard Hawks

Yes by all means print my letter.  Last night I went through my photo album and found a picture that I think you might be interested in.  It is a picture of our Office personnel in Fort Shafter.  Major Bird, who Mr. Burrows refers to in my letter, Captain Johnson that he refers to in letter a few days later, where he says that he was visited by these two men, and also a picture if me.  If you want this picture I will be glad to mail it to you. Please send you mailing address.   Have a nice day, Donard

Bill and Sue:   I am sending you a copy of the picture I told you about.  I used it as a test to make sure the picture was presentable.  I am not too sure it is.  If it is not up to par for your use, let me know and I will send you the original and you can keep it.  I have a scanned copy I can keep.  Now for the details Phil Bird is the second from the left in the front row (The Big fellow), Captain Johnson is the one on the far right in the front row. and me as a pfc stand  in the far left in the back row, in the middle of the doorway.  Hope this is of some help to you,  Have a nice day and let me know if you would like the Original.  I wondered why this picture was turning sort of Yellow, and then I realized. they are 58 years old. 

Donard Hawks

Dear Sir:
For years I have been in possession of a book titled "Heroes of the Dark Continent," by J.W. Buel, published in 1890. It is a beautifully illustrated guide to the mysteries and legends of Africa, but it is only a Prospectus with the promise of a completed volume yet to come.  In the back of the book is an attached list of the signatures and addresses of people who apparently wished to order this volume. Two of the signatures are of interest: Mrs. F. (or possibly Y.) A. Burroughs, and E.R. Burroughs!  The address given seems to be somewhere in Vermont.  I know that ERB spent some of his young life in the Northeast while attending school.  Any possibility that this is the book that kindled his interest in Africa?
Please write and let me know.

Your Tarzan site is perhaps the most amazing website maintained by a single person (if it is) that I have ever seen. Congratulations!
I have two questions about the "town" (I know it's part of L.A.) of Tarzana. First, was it always part of L.A.?  I thought it was a separate town at first. Second, when did it integrate? (When did the first black household --  not live-in maid or butler -- move in?) If you know! Thank you!
James W. Loewen, best email address:
Bill and Sue:
I have been reading about the history of Tarzana on your website. Do you know where I can get some information on the history of El Caballero Country Club? How it got it's name? Who designed the course? The cost of designing it? How they managed to get the Los Angeles Open for one year? Any help would be appreciated
 Fred Robledo ~ Senior Account Executive ~ Brener Zwikel & Associates, Inc. ~ Phone: 626-962-1251

I directed James to some of our Tarzana features in ERBzine and forwarded his letter to ERB, Inc. and to Helen Baker of the Tarzana Community and Cultural Center. The centre is located in the heart of Tarzana  is manned by very knowledgeable and dedicated Tarzana residents. They maintain an up-to-date Website full of information about Tarzana at:

I found out that Tarzana was previously known as Marian; however I don't know when exactly when it was changed. I also don't know anything about integration, so I'll pass along the email to Danton.
Sorry! (And we love the site too!!)
(Cathy Wilbanks is Personal Secretary to Danton Burroughs of ERB, Inc.)

Hi Bill!
Totally agree with Jim L. about your website.  Im hooked!  But you keep coming up with more stuff faster than I can read it!  How do you do it?  Just picked up family members from the airport, and were heading for Qxnard; will do research when I return.  But I think hes right about Tarzana becoming a town before LA extended this far; I have a history on it and will re-read it; may have been 1923 or a little later.  Before that, it was called Runnymede.  The other question will make good research for our History & Museum Committee.  Did you know that we have applied for an E.R.B. Commemorative stamp?
(Helen Baker of the Tarzan Community and Cultural Center)


Tarzana Community and Cultural Center Website
Welcome to the Tarzana Community & Cultural Center
Imagine a graceful hacienda-style building with peaceful pathways winding through majestic pines, bubbling fountains and rambling wisteria vines. Our dream was to build a Community and Cultural Center on our property at the southeast corner of Vanalden Avenue and Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana, California. Our commitment is to preserve the trees and mature wisteria for future generations. 

TCCC ~ A Place for:

  • Nature Classes culminating in walks in the Santa Monica Mountains. 
  • Art and Crafting Classes and Exhibits 
  • Lectures and Workshops 
  • Citizen Group Meetings 
  • Intergenerational Activities and Mentoring 
  • A History Museum 
The TCCC has many projects slated for 2004, and we encourage the community to drop by, check out our calendar of upcoming programs, and join us! Volunteers are needed for a variety of TCCC Committees (Programs, Site, Museum and History, Fundraising/Special Events, Membership) as well as to help around the office answering phones, mailings etc. We are also looking for volunteers with marketing/advertising experience to assist in getting the word out as to who we are, what we do, and to help promote our many future events, classes and programs. Call the office, 705-1286, for information on committee meetings, or to volunteer. Your ideas, input and suggestions are always welcome!

Newsletter Editor Steve Ramada
News Item from the Tarzana Community and Cultural Center
Editor Steve Ramada issues a regular newsletter announcing the Center's latest projects ~ such as this one:
In honor of the man who put Tarzana on the map, Tarzana resident and Museum and History Committee member Mel Sofian has drafted a proposal to commemorate Edgar Rice Burroughs with a US Postage Stamp. Mel has sent letters introducing the project to various local officials, including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to enlist their support. He has already received a reply from the Postmaster General in Washington DC , and while all new stamps for 2004 have already been determined, the Burroughs commemorative is being considered for 2005! There is no specific design for the stamp as yet: if it is approved, post office officials choose the artwork. More news as it becomes available. Good job, Mel!

Photos of the Tarzana Community and Cultural Center during its landscaping and construction phase, plus Helen, Peter, Danton and Steve -- four of the driving forces behind the creation of the Center -- are featured as part of the Hillman Tarzana Trek in ERBzine 1075
Helen ~ Peter ~ Danton ~ Bill ~ Steve
Photo by John Westervelt
Edgar Rice Burroughs in an Alternate History Site
'A shot heard around the world' - What if the future Edward VII had been assassinated in 1900?
EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS is just adding the finishing touches to his latest book, 'The Diamond of the Congo', his usual blend of heroic action and suspense. After nobody wanted to publish his first attempt at writing in 1912 (which was about Mars and was, as the author himself admitted 'rotten stuff'), Burroughs decided to follow the brief fad for writing heroic war fiction and scored a success with 'The Message Boy', all about a German courier on the Eastern Front. Burroughs has continued mining this rich vein ever since, although in recent years his style has become more fantastical and futuristic. His most popular series, 'Islands in the Sea of Time' concerns the time-travelling explorer Lord Bloomstoke and his battle with the evil ape-man Kerchak.

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.

"Clearly, this is a zoo's worst nightmare," said Dan Wharton, director of the Central Park Zoo and chairman of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association's Gorilla Species Survival Plan. The 13-year-old Jabari broke out of the enclosure as several families and children took in the jungle exhibit Thursday afternoon. After escaping, the gorilla darted in and out of the exhibit's thick bamboo and trees and attacked four people, including two women and two children.

Police were forced to evacuate an estimated 300 people from the zoo compound, while some guests hid inside a restaurant and the monorail surrounding the Wilds of Africa exhibit. How the 13-year-old gorilla exactly broke out was unclear. Some youths had reportedly teased Jabari shortly before he escaped, but it was not known if that was a factor in the breakout. Zoo director Rich Buickerood said the gorilla "had to have scaled" the enclosure's 15-foot concave wall. But some experts doubt that could have happened. "Virtually anybody who's worked with great apes has not been able to compute anyway that a gorilla could get up a 15-foot wall," Wharton said. "When you boil it all down, at some level, one has to assume human error. There really is no explanation."

Only two gorillas, including one in Boston last year, have escaped in the last five years in North America, said Wharton, who coordinates the records for the 380 gorillas on the continent. The injured included a mother and her toddler son. Rivers Noah, 3, was in fair condition at Children's Medical Center with multiple bites to his head and chest. His mother, Keisha Heard, 26, was bitten on the legs. "I was like, 'This is not happening, this is so unreal,' because he just came out of nowhere," Heard said Friday on NBC's Today show. "He has my son in his mouth, he's attacking him, and I tried to help him and there wasn't really anything that I could do. ... He slings me back across the concrete area where we are."

Heard was treated and released along with a woman who suffered arm injuries. A child was treated at the scene. Federal regulators said their investigation will look at whether the zoo was in full compliance with the Animal Welfare Act, but they would not provide specifics on possible violations. Darby Holladay, a spokesman for the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said the zoo could face fines or have its license suspended or revoked if it is found out of compliance. Police also are investigating, but they said officers were forced to shoot the charging gorilla after it came within 15 feet of them. "We did not go out there looking to kill an animal," said Senior Cpl. Chris Gilliam, a Dallas police spokesman. "We went out there in response to a situation where three people had already been injured."

Dieter Steklis, chief scientist and vice president for the Atlanta-based Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, said police could have tried to contain the gorilla with nonfatal techniques, including using rubber bullets or cornering it with a wall of 15-20 people, preferably keepers the animal recognized. "It sounds like, somehow, there was a bit too much panic on hand and too little judgment of the gorilla's behavior," said Steklis, who has confronted charging gorillas in the wild. Workers armed with tranquilizer guns had pursued the gorilla, but could not gain a clear shot, officials said. Gilliam said he did not know why zoo employees who were armed with pepper spray did not use it on the gorilla. He said the officers used the best method available considering the size of the animal. "Plastic bullets wouldn't help," Gilliam said.

The 114-year-old zoo has been in financial straits in recent years. Buickerood said last month that the zoo staff had been cut and maintenance postponed because of the fund shortage. In 1998, a 25-year-old zookeeper was mauled by a 340-pound silverback gorilla at the zoo after the door to the animal's cage was left open. The attack lasted more than 30 minutes, leaving the zookeeper with more than 30 puncture wounds. That animal was captured with a tranquilizer dart.

Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Edgar Governo
Historian of things that never were
History 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.

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.

Tarzan star's Berlin-born wife dies
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
March 18, 2004 ~

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.
Days before beginning production on the Dimension drama "Sin City," Rodriguez resigned his DGA membership so that he could co-direct with Frank Miller, a film neophyte who created, wrote and illustrated the three-book graphic novel series on which the movie is based.

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.

Harry Knowles
Harry Knowles
Knowles on Par's 'Mars' adventure
April 02, 2004
By Borys Kit
Harry Knowles, creator of the Internet movie gossip Web site Ain't It Cool News, is coming on board to co-produce "Princess of Mars," Paramount Pictures' adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs pulp classic that Robert Rodriguez is directing.

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."

© 2004 VNU eMedia, Inc. All rights reserved.
Read the Interview Here

Supreme Court Rejects Tarzan Art Case
WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- The U.S. Supreme Court Monday let stand a ruling that left the copyright of art in the "Tarzan" books with the estate of the author, not the artist. The artist, Burne Hogarth entered into an agreement with the estate of the author, Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., in 1970 to create pictorial versions of "Tarzan and the Apes" and stories from the "Jungle Tales of Tarzan." Because the work was completed before the 1978 Copyright Act, the case was governed by the 1909 Copyright Act In 2000, Hogarth's estate and family filed suit against ERB Inc., asking a federal judge to assign them the copyright to the artwork. Hogarth was an independent contractor, not an ERB Inc. employee, they argued. Hogarth assigned his copyright renewal right to ERB Inc., they conceded, but died before that renewal came about -- leaving the renewal right to his family, his estate contended. A federal judge and a federal appeals court ruled for ERB Inc., and the Supreme Court denied review Monday without comment.,1280,-3890534,00.html
Monday March 22, 2004 3:31 PM
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Supreme Court has ducked a copyright fight over Tarzan storybooks. Justices on Monday rejected an appeal from heirs of illustrator Burne Hogarth, who wanted a share of the rights to ``Tarzan of the Apes'' and ``Jungle Tales of Tarzan,'' both published in the 1970s. Tarzan was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Long before his death in 1950, Burroughs gave a family corporation control of the Tarzan likeness and rights to his 26 stories. An appeals court had said that the family business was the rightful owner of the two contested books because it commissioned Hogarth to do the illustrations. The case is Estate of Burne Hogarth v. Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., 03-1009. 
Blogger comments after the first ERB Inc. court victory, August 28, 2003

June Release
Completely Remastered for DVD

The Tarzan Collection ~ LIST: $59.92
Tarzan Boxed Set of 6 Films Starring Johnny Weissmuller
Tarzan, The Ape Man (1932) ~ Tarzan And His Mate (1934) ~ Tarzan Finds A Son! (1939) ~ 
Tarzan's Secret Treasure ~ Tarzan's New York Adventure ~ Tarzan Escapes ~ Tarzan Documentary
Also Being Remastered for DVD Release in June
Greystoke and Tarzan, The Ape Man (Bo)

Check out the latest releases from ERBville Press
The Man-Eater is now available

ECOF GATHERING, SACRAMENTO, CA ~ August 12-14, 2004 ~ 
Guests: Lupoff ~ J.E. Holmes ~ Yeates

DUM-DUM 2004: 
The date of the 2004 Dum-Dum at Fort Collins has been moved to June 25-27

Par, Helmer Explore 'Mars'
 Rodriguez plans Burroughs adaptation
Posted: Mon., Mar. 1, 2004, 10:00pm PT

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.

Robert RodriguezPar-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."

© 2004 Reed Business Information  © 2004 Variety, Inc.
An Interview of Interest to Fans of the Barsoom Project
William Stout
Interviewed by John Arcudi
 from The Comics Journal Winter 2003 Special Edition
The latest from the Shaun Hoadley Studio:

La, High Priestess of Opar 
Jad-Bal-Ja, the Golden Lion

11" x 17" high quality prints in 
#2 of a series of 4
...hand numbered and signed...
limited to 300 pieces!

$20 plus shipping & handling ($5 in continental US)
Shaun Hoadley in ERBzine

Bizarro: If Tarzan had been raised by penguins

Volume 0883

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