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Philip Jose Farmer dead at 91

PEORIA ~ February 25, 2009: Science fiction author Philip Jose Farmer died this morning at his home. He was 91. 

The Peoria-based writer had written more than 75 books and was awarded the top honors in his field. That includes the Grand Master Award for Science Fiction in 2001, an award also given to noted authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein. Farmer had a world-wide following, with fans travelling to Peoria once or twice a year. 

He was once quoted as saying that, particular in his early career, he had more fans in France, Italy, Germany and Japan than in the United States. Even after he retired from writing, his fans continued to produce “Farmerphile,” a magazine devoted to his life and works. 

Critics have said that Farmer's influence over the science-fiction community is becoming more apparent over. He was the first author to address adult sexual themes in science-fiction novels. Jonathan Strahan, an editor and critic for Locus magazine, said Farmer treated sex seriously, not in a juvenile manner or for cheap thrills. "It wasn't pornography and it wasn't just about the sex of it. It was about the sexuality of people in an interesting and intelligent way." 

Joe Lansdale, a critic, writer and friend of Farmer's, credited Farmer with changing the face of science fiction. "I just can't begin to tell you how important he is to the field as well as other fields." Lansdale said Farmer was fearless when it came to the subject matter for his stories.

Mr. Farmer did much to carry on the memory and legacy of Edgar Rice Burroughs. In addition to being a dedicated fan and scholar he wrote many stories in the spirit of ERB. 

The ERBzine PJF / ERB Connection is featured at:

For full tributes see
The Official Philip José Farmer Home Page
Philip Jose Farmer, science-fiction writer, dies at 91 ~ CNN
Humble at home, Farmer enjoyed international fame ~ Peoria Journal Star
Academy Awards "Wall-E" an Oscar for Animation, But Not Song, Sound or Screenplay ~ February 23, 2009 
Wall-E, the animated film dear to the hearts of Americans and green bloggers alike, took home only one trophy out of its record-tying six nominations last night. Director Andrew Stanton accepted the Oscar for the film in the "Best Animated Film" category, a win that came as a surprise to no one. The film was also nominated for Original Score, Original Song, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Original Screenplay. Its six nominations put it in company with Beauty and the Beast, which is widely considered to be the best animated film of all time.

Though the film was up against steep competition in the other categories, there was talk that Wall-E had a shot at Original Screenplay, since the film paid homage to classic Charlie Chaplin films. Because much of the film was silent, score played an important role, and composer Thomas Newman, like Kate Winslet, has been a constant nominee, but never an Oscar winner. Though Newman previously took home two Grammys for Wall-E (Best Song for a Motion Picture, and Best Arrangement), the Academy decided this was not his year.

Wall-E's song, "Down to Earth," was written by Peter Gabriel but performed during the ceremony by John Legend. It was part of a medley of the two other nominated songs from Slumdog Millionaire, and was given a Bollywood tinge by being sandwiched in between. The song, naturally, continued the sustainable message of the film - that we should conserve, appreciate our natural resources, and clean up our messes. 

Tarzan in Top 3 most visited musicals in The Netherlands
After nearly 900 shows and 1.6 million visitors the successfull musical Tarzan will definitely close on may 24rd. It was announced earlier that the curtain would drop on March 31st but because of the huge demand for tickets, Joop van den Ende Theaterproducties decided to extend Tarzan's run. The musical Tarzan still brings in full houses, but on May 24th 2009 Tarzan and Jane will swing for the last time in the Fortis Circustheatre. 

Tarzan will enter the Top 3 of most visited open end musicals in The Netherlands after The Lion King and The Phantom of the Opera.

Chantal Janzen returns to Tarzan the Musical as Jane
Amsterdam, - It is definite. Chantal Janzen will return as Jane in the musical Tarzan. Because of its huge success, the musical, which had been schedules to close March 31st 2009, has been extended until may 24th 2009. Due to this, Chantal, who gave birth to son James on January 23rd 2009, will have enough time to rehearse from mid March. A definitive date when Chantal returns as Jane is not known yet. Currently, Bente van den Brand is playing the role of Jane.
Netherlands news submitted by Ron de Laat.
Jonas Brothers new estate has a Tarzan connection
Thaiindian News ~ February 20, 2009
Washington, Feb 20 (ANI): American pop-rock band Jonas Brothers have bought a new dazzling family compound in Hollywood Hills which is right next door to Jennifer Lopezs estate , and includes the former home of movie Tarzan Johnny Weismuller, which has laid empty for over 20 years.  The Jonas Brothers are reportedly planning to spend the spring renovating their newly bought estate, once they are through with their promotional duties for new flick Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience. A source says, "It's a boy's own dream - Tarzan's broken down mansion. It'll be like a magical playground for the brothers."
Mystery surrounds Cheeta, purportedly the world's oldest chimpanzee
LA Times ~  February 14, 2009
Could Cheeta the chimp, the famous performing primate who's said to have starred alongside Johnny Weissmuller in the Tarzan films and Rex Harrison in Dr. Doolittle, be an impostor? It's a story whose plot resembles a 1930s screwball comedy, but author R.D. Rosen says it's true: Cheeta the chimp, said to be the oldest nonhuman primate in the world at 76, is not who he claims to be.  (Or rather, he's not who his deceased trainer, Tony Gentry, claimed he was.) More>>>
See ERBzine 1697 for much more on Cheeta
Chantal Janzen a mother
Amsterdam - Musical star Chantal Janzen and her friend Marco are proud parents of their son: James. Because of a breech presentation, The little James was born via a Cesarian opration. Mother and child are still in the hospital, but they are doing fine. "We were looking forward to this day", Chantal informed us. "But it is even more beautiful as we ever dare to dream! It is in perfect health, goodlooking little guy". Reported by Ron de Laat

HUSTON CALLS FOR AN APE-FREE TARZAN Pop Watch ~ January 26   |   PR-Inside ~ January 27, 2009
Ape lover ANJELICA HUSTON has penned a letter to THE MUMMY director STEPHEN SOMMERS in a bid to keep real monkeys out of his new TARZAN movie. The Oscar winner has asked Sommers to computer-generated animals instead of the real thing. She insists ape actors are emotionally and physically abused during their film and TV careers, and spend the rest of their lives in zoos. Huston writes, "Critics lauded King Kong in particular for the emotional depth that the giant ape displayed - without any real apes suffering in the process. "Can I please hear that you similarly plan to use only creative alternatives to great apes in Tarzan?"

Travis Fimmel milks his role on "The Beast" for all it's worth ~ January 26, 2009
When he first arrived in Los Angles he stayed with his agent for three weeks and borrowed $1,000 to start acting class. Fimmel, 29, is still studying. "Half of acting is you're very intimidated," he says, "overcoming your fears, letting yourself be vulnerable in front of people and that sort of stuff. I'm still in the same acting class, I should be a lot better than I am." He was so humble about his talent that he didn't audition for anything the first two years. "I knew I wasn't up to par, so I wouldn't audition then. I've been very lucky. My biggest problem is I love Australia so much and I spend most of my time there."
When he finally summoned the courage to audition he tried out for pilot season and was cast in "Tarzan." "Don't write that," he says, pressing the air with his hand. "It wasn't very good. Every year I'd come back for pilot season. I had a couple that didn't get picked up. And then I did a movie at home and a couple movies here, and went home. Came back for pilot season again and this ("The Beast") was my favorite script and I had a chance to act opposite an acting icon, so I was so lucky they wanted me." More>>>

For the latest news on the John Carter film project vist:
Stanton's WALL-E receives many Oscar nominations

January 23, 2009
"WALL-E" (Walt Disney); Screenplay by Andrew Stanton, Jim Reardon; Original story by Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter
"Frozen River" (Sony Pictures Classics); Written by Courtney Hunt
"Happy-Go-Lucky" (Miramax); Written by Mike Leigh
"In Bruges" (Focus Features); Written by Martin McDonagh
"Milk" (Focus Features); Written by Dustin Lance Black
"WALL-E" (Walt Disney) Andrew Stanton
"Bolt" (Walt Disney) Chris Williams and Byron Howard
"Kung Fu Panda" (DreamWorks Animation, Distributed by Paramount) John Stevenson and Mark Osborne

Andrew Stanton (WALL-E) is only the fourth person to score a second bid in the animated feature category, which began in 1981. 
He also earned a citation in original screenplay as one of the scribes on the film.
Stanton is currently working on his next project: John Carter of Mars based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels.
WALL-E also received nominations for:

"WALL-E" (Walt Disney) Thomas Newman
"Down to Earth" from "WALL-E" (Walt Disney) Music by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman; Lyrics by Peter Gabriel 
"WALL-E" (Walt Disney) Ben Burtt and Matthew Wood
"WALL-E" (Walt Disney) Tom Myers, Michael Semanick and Ben Burtt
Read More John Carter of Mars Film News at
WALL-E helmer Andrew Stanton talks John Carter of Mars   ~ January 12, 2009

Frazetta Doubleday Book Club ed.WALL-E director Andrew Stanton is working on a new draft of his proposed John Carter of Mars movie and is aiming for a realistic feel to the live-action movie, his first. "I'm deep into it," Stanton told SciFi Wire at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award ceremony, where he accepted the award for best picture of 2008 for WALL-E. "I'm on my next draft of it. We're in preproduction art-wise, and we're starting to talk to actors. So it's full bore."

Stanton confirmed that Carter, based on the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs, will be live-action. "Yeah, I think that's the only way," he said. "I mean, there are so many creatures and characters that half of it's going to be CG whether you want it to be [or not], just to realize some of these images that are in the book. But it will feel real. The whole thing will feel very, very believable."

We're going very authentic . . . it's such a foundational story to so many films and stories and sci-fi ideas that have come since 1912. So the trick is how to not make it seem cliché and derivative because it's such an archetype story now. I spent most of my life just being a fan of those books and being a cheerleader from the sidelines of anybody that was trying to make it. I never thought I would be lucky enough to be one of those guys associated with it, let alone helming it. I would love to break the curse.  I've surrounded myself with a couple key people that are just really smart, really talented. . . 

 It'll be a two-hour film. It's not being done by the Pixar crew. It's being done by Disney, and I'm sort of being loaned out. We're sort of using any element that we need to to make the film right.  This story of John Carter is not going to be an all-ages film. If you do the story right, there's no way you couldn't [do PG-13].

John Carter Of Mars’ To Be Live-Action, CGI Hybrid
MTV ~  January 13, 2009 
“It’s real. We’re full bore on it right now. We’re over the hump of the writing phase, and we’re certainly far from rewrites.”

“I don’t want to be dissing it, but it almost had an absence of a story for a feature film because it was very episodic. In its day it was a comic book. I mean, this book was written in 1912. It was the comic book you got in the time before there was such thing as comic books. So, it was really just about the next fight, the next adventure, the next romance.”

“The key was putting a story into it and creating characters that had to grow and real basic stuff that we all know a movie needs.” 

.“Fortunately it’s an old enough story. “There isn’t such huge allegiance to it that people won’t mind that we muck with it a bit to hopefully amplify the essence of what made me interested in it as a young kid and hopefully will keep me interested in it as an adult.”

“There’s so much in it that can’t be real. It’s the perfect definition of a hybrid movie utilizing both live actors and computer-based animation."

 “I know everybody wanted Hugh Jackman forever, but he’s only getting older and more exposed now, so it’s a tough call. I’m your typical filmmaker, I want to find the next best unknown.”

JOHN CARTER OF MARS info from Andrew Stanton!
From the AINT IT COOL SITE ~ January 25, 2009

"I was able to attend a luncheon before the panel and sat with Tom McCarthy and Andrew Stanton. Of course John Carter of Mars had to come up. He also elaborated on the panel, but here’s what’s going on with JOHN CARTER OF MARS:

- It is live action.

- “It is huge, it is exciting, it scares the crap out of me. It’s either going to make me or break me.”

- It is NOT a Pixar movie, rather a Disney film. However Stanton’s creative team from Pixar are all still involved.

- The style is going to be very real, not highly stylized. He said that 20 some years ago that version could have been made, but since Star Wars and a whole glut of science fiction and fantasy films have ripped off giant portions of JCOM over the years the only option he sees is doing a straight up, realistic version of the story. He described it as if it was a National Geographic crew that stumbled across a preserved civilization while exploring a cave. Very real, but awe-inspiring. 

- He is not planning nor wanting to shoot it 3-D (thank God… I love James Cameron, and I think AVATAR is going to be amazing, but I’m getting tired of every big event movie being 3-D), but thinks Disney might want to push him towards it.

- Stanton has been a fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs since he was a kid, so while he won’t have the same kind of development time on this one as he had on his animated movie he looks at it as him living with the story in his brain for 40 plus years instead of the 6-8 of his animated films. 

- He has his second draft done and will be casting soon.

- John Carter WILL be a Civil War soldier."

Writer's Panel at 2009 Santa Barbara Film Festival. 

Ann Thompson ~ Robert Knott ~ Tom McCarthy ~Andrew Stanton ~ Dustin Lance Black

Tarzan on Broadway: 1921

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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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