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January - April 2008
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Guillermo del Toro to direct 'Hobbit'
Filmmaker signs on helm feature and sequel
April 24, 2008 ~ Variety
In a major step forward on “The Hobbit,” Guillermo del Toro has signed on to direct the New Line-MGM tentpole and its sequel. New Line is overseeing development and will manage production. Both pics are being co-produced and co-financed by New Line Cinema and MGM, with Warner Bros. distributing domestically and MGM handling international. The studios didn’t give a start date on production and don’t yet have a script. Though no screenplay deal’s been set, it’s expected that the “LOTR” scripting team of Jackson, Walsh and Philippa Boyens will collaborate with Del Toro. With Del Toro blocking out four years for the project, it’s likely that the studios are aiming at starting shooting next year and releasing the films in late 2011 and 2012. More>>>
From ERBzine News: December 15, 2006
Tarzan Returns to the Silver Screen
LOS ANGELES -- Warner Bros. studio is teaming up with U.S. producer Jerry Weintraub to bring Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan back to the big screen. Director Guillermo del Toro is currently in negotiations for the new Tarzan flick, the Daily Variety reported Friday. Del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) grew up reading Spanish-language translations of Burroughs' books and feels that the classic themes are still compelling, the trade paper reported. Del Toro believes that there is new ground to cover in the Tarzan mythology by turning back to the original Burroughs prose. 
Jane Goodall Visits Montecito Union School
Photo: Paul WellmanFamed Primatologist Addresses Youth Volunteers
Santa Barbara Independent News ~ April 16, 2008
Growing up in war-torn England during World War II, Jane Goodall dreamed of a life spent in nature. Falling in love with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan of the Apes, she imagined a day when she could live in Africa and work with animals. The only problem was that her family did not have enough money to send her to university. Being a girl made her aspirations difficult too, but her mother encouraged her to pursue her dreams despite the adversity she faced. “The best part about growing up was my wonderful mother,” she told students and parents in Montecito Union School’s auditorium yesterday afternoon. “She told me, ‘Jane, if you really want something and you put your mind to it and you work hard, you’ll get what you want.’” Eventually Goodall found herself in Tanzania, Africa, and by a chance encounter with Lewis Leake, a well-known primatologist, was able to realize her dreams. More>>>

Disney, Pixar's Future Flicks ~ John Carter?

April 9, 2008 - Walt Disney Studios and Pixar Animation Studios have announced their animated film schedule through the year 2012. The studios also dropped the bomb that all future Disney and Pixar films, beginning later this year with the release of Bolt, will be presented in Disney Digital 3-D!
Notably absent from the announced slate is any hint of Pixar's planned adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars. This is probably good news, since it confirms that the planned John Carter film will be mainly live action.

Wayne James Remembered
The many friends of Wayne and Edie James will be shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Wayne's passing on Friday, April 4th.
Wayne was a longtime fan, collector and archivist of the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Wayne James Tribute Site
Photo Gallery and Condolences


Charlton Heston (October 4, 1924 – April 5, 2008)
Born John Charles Carter, well after the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel that forever associated "John Carter" with derring-do, Charlton Heston might have been born to play heroic roles -- and at 6' 3", with rugged features and a marvelous physique, he certainly grew up to play them.

The Wikipedia biography covers his complex and fascinating life.

One year ago Stage Entertainment and Disney Theatrical Productions started with the first try-out of the musical Tarzan, hoping that it would be a great hit. In the US the number of visitors were decreasing at that time. For that reason and the fact that our Fortis Circustheatre had more possibilities, scenes were adjusted and songs were added to be sure of a smashing success. It became a big hit and the audience still love this musical. Within six months the cast album became gold.

There are musical lovers who already visited this show for more than ten times! Today with more than 825.000 tickets sold it is the most successful musical in the Dutch history.

Like in the old movies acting in the role of Tarzan is not without risks. In the past Tarzan actors used to have stuntmen (like Paul Stader) or get
hurt when they did their own stunts (like Ron Ely). Last week Ron Link broke his hand while he had to run between two tracks and is now at home recovering from this injury. So playing a Tarzan role is not without risk even it is a musical. We wish Ron a speedy recovery as lots of fans are saddened with the fact that they will not see Ron Link as Tarzan.

The Dutch Cast:
3 Tarzans: Ron Link, John Vooijs (first Alternate) and Dennis ten Vergert (second alternate).
3 Janes: Chantal Janzen, Bente van den Brand and Nathalie van Gent
6  Young Tarzans per group.
    and all of the other roles played by the great actors.

After one year we can say the we have a successful Tarzan musical!

Submitted by Ron de Laat

Our "News" Feature for April 1, 2008
Remake of Edgar Rice Burroughs Film

LDS Forums ~ Provo, Utah ~ April 1, 2008
Sunstorm Productions has announced that they will begin filming a new adaptation combining two of Edgar Rice Burroughs classics, The Land that Time Forgot and The People that Time Forgot. They will be combined into a loose adaptation under The Land that Time Forgot title. Executive Producer April Pazzo, has selected the campus of Brigham Young University as the setting for the film. “This is an ideal location for the film. It has all the ingredients necessary for a realistic period piece. We were at first skeptical of reports from our location scouts, but once we saw the campus, we knew it was perfect.”

Filming begins in August and the call for a cast of a thousand extras will come as early as May 1st, next month. “It will be a real savings for our production budget, in that we are going to ask the natives to just show up in their street clothes,” she added. “That attests to the marvelous job our location scouts have performed.” Early reports suggest the possibility that Utah favorites Dell Schanze or Jimmy Osmond may possibly be considered for the part that was once played by Doug McClure, although no definite decisions have been made.

Ruling Gives Heirs a Share of Superman Copyright
In 2006, Warner Brothers’s “Superman Returns,” with Brandon Routh, earned $200 million at the domestic box office.
AP ~ March 29, 2008
LOS ANGELES — Time Warner is no longer the sole proprietor of Superman. Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel sold the rights to Superman in 1938 for $130.
A federal judge here on Wednesday ruled that the heirs of Jerome Siegel — who 70 years ago sold the rights to the action hero he created with Joseph Shuster to Detective Comics for $130 — were entitled to claim a share of the United States copyright to the character. The ruling left intact Time Warner’s international rights to the character, which it has long owned through its DC Comics unit. If the ruling survives a Time Warner legal challenge, it may also open the door to a similar reversion of rights to the estate of Mr. Shuster in 2013. That would give heirs of the two creators control over use of their lucrative character until at least 2033 — and perhaps longer.

This week’s decision by Stephen G. Larson, a judge in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California, provided long-sought vindication to the wife and daughter of Mr. Siegel, who had bemoaned until his death in 1996 having parted so cheaply with rights to the lucrative hero. The ruling specifically upheld the Siegels’ copyright in the Superman material published in Detective Comics’ Action Comics Vol. 1. The extent to which later iterations of the character are derived from that original was not determined by the judge.

In an unusually detailed narrative, the judge’s 72-page order described how Mr. Siegel and Mr. Shuster, as teenagers at Glenville High School in Cleveland, became friends and collaborators on their school newspaper in 1932. They worked together on a short story, “The Reign of the Superman,” in which their famous character first appeared not as hero, but villain.

By 1937, the pair were offering publishers comic strips in which the classic Superman elements — cape, logo and Clark Kent alter-ego — were already set. When Detective Comics bought 13 pages of work for its new Action Comics series the next year, the company sent Mr. Siegel a check for $130, and received in return a release from both creators granting the company rights to Superman “to have and hold forever,” the order noted. Mrs. Siegel and Ms. Larson said it was too soon to make future plans for the Superman character. But they were inclined to relish this moment.

Pixar Plans for John Carter of Mars
Jim Hill Media ~ March 17, 2008
Pixar Animation Studios may be preparing its first live-action movie: Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton may direct, sources are claiming. Disney/Pixar grabbed up a raft of domain names last Friday, including johncarterandthegodsofmars.com, johncarterandthewarlordofmars.com, godsofmarsmovie.com and warlordofmars-movie.com. Last August, Disney registered johncarterofmars-movie.com and some variants, plus childrenofmars.com in November. "Insiders" claim Ratatouille screenwriter Mark Andrews has completed his first draft of a John Carter script. And both Disney and Pixar insiders are excited by the draft, and eager to put it into production. The movie could come out as soon as 2011 or 2012. Part of the urgency for a John Carter franchise comes from the fact that Disney is losing enthusiasm for the Narnia movies. More>>>
See the previous ERBzine News No. 22 report on Pixar's interest in developing a series of Barsoom adventures:
Also see ERBzine 1947

Not too cool for school
Disney theater executive helps grade-school kids with spring musical
chicagotribune.com ~ March 13, 2008
The two extremes of the theatrical food chain collided Monday at the Rufus M. Hitch Elementary School on Chicago's Northwest Side. Thomas Schumacher, the suave president of Disney Theatricals, the producer who developed "Tarzan" and a man who routinely spends $15 million or $20 million on a musical, showed up at the dress rehearsal of music teacher Amy Rubic's production of "High School Musical," which was put together on a somewhat more frugal budget. Schumacher worries about assembling the right creative team, marketing his shows, the amortization of the cost, the routing of European tours and critical reaction. Rubic worries about mitigating the nervousness of her cast, persuading the kid pulling the curtain to open it at something approximating the right moment, parental reaction and offering a chance for every student to shine. Nearly two-thirds of the student body at Hitch come from families at or around the poverty level, but it is a special kind of place. And even if Schumacher runs a wealthy organization that many in the old-guard theatrical establishment still love to see fail, he's also a born teacher and inveterate booster of the theater. All kinds of theater. He's probably Broadway's most articulate public face. If you stick yourself up in front of a bunch of kids, you take a risk. Kids ask tough questions:
"Is it hard to produce?" That one got Schumacher right where he lives.
"It is easy," he said, after a long pause, "to do anything badly. So you try to do it well. But that doesn't mean that when you do everything right, it works." What could he have been talking about? "Tarzan?" "The Little Mermaid"? More>>>

Comic book artist, creator of "The Rocketeer" dies at 52
The Associated Press/Variety ~ March 12, 2008
TURLOCK, Calif.—Dave Stevens (1955-2008), a respected comic book artist and illustrator and creator of "The Rocketeer," has died at age 52. Stevens died Monday at a hospital in Turlock due to complications from treatment for leukemia, said his colleague William Stout. Born July 29, 1955, in Lynwood, Stevens was known for his meticulous work and classic pinup style drawings. He is widely credited for reviving interest in recent years in Bettie Page, the 1950s pinup idol. His best-known work, "The Rocketeer," about a man who finds a rocketpack that allows him to fly, was made into a 1991 feature film, starring Bill Campbell, Alan Arkin and Jennifer Connelly. In 1975, when Manning began editing a line of Tarzan comic books to be published in Europe, Dave got his first professional assignment, working on those comics and also assisting Russ with the Tarzan newspaper strip. Fittingly, he won the inaugural Russ Manning Award in 1982 for most promising newcomer. This was the year Stevens created his most famous character, The Rocketeer, adapted for the cinema in 1991. The eponymous superhero's girlfriend was inspired by Stevens' ex-wife, the actress Brinke Stevens, who continued to model for him after their divorce (although he always substituted the face of glamour icon Bettie Page). More>>>
Me Tarzan, You Jane. . .
Mouse Kingdom Blog ~ March 10, 2008
Last Friday the second episode of the casting show “Me Tarzan, You Jane” was broadcast on Sat.1 in Germany. The search for the future Tarzan and Jane in the German premiere of Disney’s musical version of its animated hit movie "Tarzan" played to a  smaller audience. From a total of 1.54 million viewers (5.0% of the market) the show went down to 1.35 million viewers, equaling only 4.4% market-share.

The second episode was the last episode covering the actual auditioning phase. Starting this Friday the "recall"-phase will begin, in which the jury reduces the number of contestants during singing and dancing classes before viewers will be entering the game later-on in live shows. The segements of MTYJ closely resemble those of Pop or American Idol (auditioning, recall/training, live shows with viewer voting). The jury of MTYJ is very competent (a musical manager, an acclaimed musical actress and a casting director) but lacks a character such as Simon Cowell, who is able to entertain the audience with his comments. A "sorry, I don’t see you as Jane" if a clearly overweight participant has turned in one of the worst singing performances of the whole show is just not cutting it. The jury is just too friendly.

Next Friday the third episode is scheduled. It moves on to the recall process and based on the short preview at the end of the second episode there will be some tough dance classes and training. More>>>

The Latest Podcasts from Jeff Long's Panthan Press:
Episode 49. Tarzan and the Russian Mafia. Antiques Roadshow appraises artwork by Frank Schoonover. Auditions held for a new Tarzan movie.
Episode 48. Local sports talk hosts sing about "muckers and grinders." Meanwhile, the Chicago Muckers discuss their favorite minor characters in Burroughs books.
Tom Schumacher: From Broadway to bookseller
BayArea.com ~ February 2008
In his highly enjoyable book How Does the Show Go On? An Introduction to the Theater (Disney Editions, $19.95), Thomas Schumacher recounts, in no particular order, all the jobs he’s had in his life, from childhood in San Mateo to the top of the heap as president of Disney Theatrical Productions. The book is a trove of theatrical information. Schumacher illuminates every aspect of the theater, onstage (actors), backstage (designers, crew) and offstage (publicists, house managers) using examples from Disney shows including Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Tarzan, Mary Poppins and the latest Broadway hit, The Little Mermaid. Schumacher will soon be hopping the globe as he and director Julie Taymor figure out how to make The Lion King both larger and smaller to fit into various international venues. He’ll have to decide what’s next for Mermaid -- London or Japan? -- and, along with co-producer Cameron Mackintosh, launch the Mary Poppins UK tour and, eventually, the North American tour, and retool Tarzan for Hamburg. More>>>
World's longest silent play set for London
Earthtimes~ February 5, 2008
LONDON: The National Theater in London has announced the world's longest silent play, running at one hour and 40 minutes, will premier on its Lyttelton Theater stage. "The Hour We Knew Nothing of Each Other," by Austrian playwright Peter Handke, is scheduled for a 30-performance run at the venue, beginning Wednesday, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday. "The point is to explore what's left when you remove language -- and the answer is that there's a huge amount," said James Macdonald, the play's director. The play features 27 actors portraying 450 characters -- including Charlie Chaplin, Tarzan and the Biblical Abraham and Moses -- wandering through a city square. The work lacks an overarching plot and contains no dialogue, but the soundtrack includes brief snippets of music, recorded screams and the sounds of airplanes and construction. "It is a great piece of work, challenging and something that we should be doing," a spokeswoman for the National Theater said. "Tickets are selling well -- not like hotcakes, but they are doing well. It is appealing to younger people. We think our more traditional audiences will wait until the review."

Life on Mars?
Amazing photos from Nasa probe reveal mystery figure on Red Planet
Daily Mail | Fox News ~ January 24, 2008
This photo of what looks remarkably like a female figure with her arm outstretched, was taken on Mars. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it has set the Internet abuzz with claims that there really is life on the red planet. Others may well feel that it is simply an optical illusion caused by a landscape. The image was among many sent back to Earth by Spirit, Nasa's Mars explorer vehicle which landed there four years ago. As one enthusiast put it on a website: "These pictures are amazing. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw what appears to be a naked alien running around on Mars." Another, dismissing cynicism about the somewhat stony look of the "alien", wrote: "If you show me another rock in another photo from Mars, or Earth, that naturally looks like that, I will reconsider." More>>>


Skandinavisk Premiär 16 februari 2008 på Kristianstads Teater!

See the first ERBzine report in the November 2008 Archive:
and in
European Tarzan Musical News

Edgar Rice Burroughs to be featured in
SFX MAGAZINE: The Earth's greatest SF and fantasy magazine
On January 12 we did a 2-hour phone interview with London journalist Sean Egan for the UK's SFX magazine. 
The magazine is doing a feature spread on Edgar Rice Burroughs and early SciFi. 
More info on the mag and subscription contacts are featured at their Website:
We are currently scanning the many higher res images that they have requested for print publication. 

Watch this special issue on the newsstands 

 -- we hope to have reprint rights in ERBzine a few months after the mag's initial release.
Birthday greetings go out to 
Philip Jose Farmer 

who turned 90 on January 19.
See our PJF Tributes in ERBzine 0065

John Carter of Mars Animation - 1938
Another source for stop motion animation from 1938 and JCB's and Bob Clampett's test footage for their proposed John Carter Of Mars theatricals. VIEW HERE

Editor's Note: I have taken photos of the original storyboards that are still preserved in Danton's Tarzana Archives. These will be featured in future ERB Webzines.

Grandmaster of Fantasy, J. Allen St. John and his Furniture
Scoop ~ January 19, 2008
Grandmaster of fantasy, J. Allen St. John is best known for majestically illustrating Edgar Rice Burroughs creation of the wildly entertaining jungle sovereign, Tarzan. He began his artistic career as a young boy and at age eight, he traveled with his mother to Paris to study art. His mother’s father was Hilliard Hely, an artist of considerable talent who gained most of his artistic training in Paris. Much of St. John’s earliest and fondest memories consist of spending time with the “so-called bohemians” his mother gathered around her, and one of his greatest pleasures was strolling through the Louvre, the Luxembourg, and the other countless quaint and charming corners of the city where no one but the dreamers dared to venture. More>>>
'Tarzan' swings into regional theaters
Disney musical makes the rounds in 2009
VarietyBroadway World | Playbill  ~  January 4, 2008
A new production of the Disney musical “Tarzan” will make the rounds of four regional theaters in 2009: Atlanta’s Theater of the Stars in January 2009, followed by stints at American Musical Theater of San Jose, Calif.; North Carolina Theater in Raleigh, N.C.; and Dallas Summer Musicals in Dallas, Texas. The four theatre companies will co-produce with choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett.

The musical is based on the 1999 Disney pic, “Tarzan”  and opened on Broadway in 2006 with a retooled version opening last spring at Circustheatre in the Netherlands where it continues a hit, record-breaking run. A second international production is scheduled to premiere in Germany at the Neue Flora Theatre in Hamburg in October 2008.Music is by Phil Collins and book by David Henry Hwang.  For the new staging of “Tarzan,” the design team includes Kenneth Foy (sets), Ken Billington (lights) and Paul Rubin (aerial designs).

"Ich Tarzan, Du Jane!" 
Sat.1 is looking for Tarzan and Jane via a new German Casting Show.
The leading actors for the new Disney Musical Tarzan will be cast from January.

Neue Flora TheatreBerlin (ots) -  January 4, 2008 - Every year approximately seven million people visit here to attend Germany Musicals. Sat.1, Stage Entertainment and the production company Eyeworks are looking for the main stars for TARZAN THE MUSICAL which will have its German premiere in October 2008.  "Tarzan" will be the fourth Disney Musical from Stage Entertainment in Germany. The first show was "Der König der Löwen" (Lion King) in Hamburger Hafen 2001, which was attended by five million people.

The Casting Show "Ich Tarzan, Du Jane!" will cast the leading roles of the musical based on the original Disney production with music by Phil Collins. The Casting Show will run for many weeks during which time a steady line of  contendors will perform live on stage.

Who can participate?
Talented newcomers and professionals -- anyone who thinks they can excite the audience as Tarzan or Jane with his/her performance and his/her voice. Complete information on how to become a candidate has been available from December 1st, 2007 on www.sat1.de or Sat.1 Text page 585.

In January auditions take place in Hamburg (from 7.1.2008), Essen (from 14.1.2008) and Stuttgart (from 21.1.2008).

In February, workshops will be held in the Joop van den Ende Academy in Hamburg and at the end of February the Casting Show will be held in primetime on Sat1. The participants, the three jury members, and the moderator will communicate via Sat.1. 

After the finals at the beginning of May, five tough months for rehearsals will start before the audience can see Tarzan and Jane on stage.

Matthias Alberti, Sat.1 company director:
"The most popular Live-Entertainment for adults nowadays are musicals. Our audiences have been familiar with Tarzan and Jane since childhood. Now we are searching for the leading man and lady for the big stage. With Stage Entertainment we have the leading musical company as a partner and with Eyeworks we have an experienced Casting Show producer. I am very pleased with this cooperation."

Maik Klokow, director of Stage Entertainment, is also pleased with this joint project with Sat.1 and he encourages young people nationwide to take their chance to become a musical star: "If you believe you have the potential to become Germany's new Tarzan or Jane we invite you to apply at Sat.1!"


Met vriendelijke groeten / Best Regards,
Ron de Laat
Holland meets ERB!
Created by Ron de Laat.
A website where you can find all material concerning Edgar Rice Burroughs 
which was produced for the Dutch market


Tarzan on Broadway: 1921

See the archives for hundreds more items

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. vigorously enforces and defends its rights in the Tarzan character and stories.  In 2003, for example, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the trial court's decision in ERB's favor that two Tarzan books published in 1972 and 1976 illustrated by artist Burne Hogarth are works for hire owned by ERB, notwithstanding erroneous registrations stating that Hogarth was the author of the works. 

The district court initially sanctioned ERB's adversaries and their counsel, though the court later vacated the sanctions on the condition that ERB be reimbursed for certain of its attorneys' fees that had been the subject of the sanctions motion.

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