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April - December 2009
See full information on the completed

For this News issue I've compiled a huge collection of
JOHN CARTER OF MARS pre-production notes.
I've added reference links for most of the news releases
However, many of these off-site links
might be removed at their source as years go by.
Unlike all my ERBzine links which have been maintained from 1996
and well into the future, I have no control over the longevity of off-site links.
Bill Hillman ~ ERBzine
.Search the entire site ~ Enter your keywords here:
Taylor Kitsch: The New Action Hero ~ December 22, 2009
Any day now, Taylor Kitsch will cut his hair. To transform into the title character in John Carter of Mars—Wall-E director Andrew Stanton’s first live-action feature, based on Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burrough’s sci-fi novels about a Civil War veteran’s adventures on the Red Planet—the 28-year-old actor, who plays the dreamy, brooding, beer-drinking, football-playing Tim Riggins on NBC’s cult drama Friday Night Lights, will lop off his locks for the first time since he was 19. "Hopefully, it's a 10-year job," Kitsch says of the potential franchise, which co-stars Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton and Thomas Haden Church. 
. . . the intense preparation leading up to John Carter exceeds anything he's done before. It includes sword training, gun fighting, horseback riding and seven-hour cram sessions on the Civil War. And while learning to fence with four-armed giant green Martians might not be every actor's idea of the method, Kitsch uses physicality as entrée into psyche. "It makes it a bit easier," he says. "I have to look like this, walk like this. I have to lose this much weight. I'll know this inside out. Then I work on the mental state. . . . the stakes are incredibly high. It’s a big movie. I just have to keep my head down and go to work."
From our Barsoom and John Carter of Mars sites:
Willem Dafoe cast for Tars Tarkas
Variety ~ July 15, 2009
Willem Dafoe will star alongside Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins in "John Carter of Mars," the Walt Disney Pictures fantasy epic to be directed by "Wall-E" helmer Andrew Stanton.
Dafoe will play the role of Tars Tarkas, a fierce green Martian warrior, who's unusual among his savage race for his ability to love. Tars develops an alliance with John Carter in the first film, which is based on "A Princess of Mars."

He fights battles alongside Carter through the entire series of Edgar Rice Burroughs books, so he will be hanging around for sequels.

Jim Morris and Colin Wilson are producing. Stanton wrote the script with Mark Andrews. 

Visit the ERBzine Thark Galleries at:
See the ERB, Inc. Barsoom site at:

Disney's John Carter of Mars - Official Casting Call and Plot Details
The ODI ~ December 08, 2009
Star Now Casting Calls: Canada

With the major players in place, Disney is looking for actors to round out the cast of John Carter of Mars! 
Disney's live-action John Carter of Mars movie adaptation of the classic book series by Edgar Rice Burroughs was originally scheduled to begin shooting in November, but the date has been pushed back to an early 2010 start. It is still unclear why the film was delayed, but apparently the casting process is still incomplete. SpoilerTV recently listed this new casting call sheet for John Carter of Mars: 

Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas, Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris and Mark Strong as Matai Shang
Synopsis: A damaged civil war veteran finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars where his involvements with warring races of the dying planet force him to rediscover his humanity.
[STABLE BOY] 9 yrs old, Mestizo – a mixture of European and Native American or Mexican decent, no lines, 1 scene
[DIX] The storekeeper, 40’s – 50’s, built like a lumberjack/longshoreman, strong & husky, 5 lines, 1 scene
[1ST ROWDY] Late 20’s – early 30’s, rough and dirty, worn looking, 1 line, 1 scene
[2ND ROWDY] Late 20’s – early 30’s, rough and dirty, worn looking, 1 line, 1 scene
[CAVALRYMAN/SERGEANT] Early 30’s, clean cut, 2 lines, 1 scene
[US STOCKADE PRISON GUARD] Mid 20’s – early 30’s, clean cut, 4 lines, 2 scenes
[APACHE LEADER] 40’s - 60s, Native American, must speak Apache, wise and experienced with a weathered face. Multiple lines, 1 scene
[TWITCHY CORPORAL] 20’s - 30s, a shifty bad guy, not to be trusted. 1 line, 1 scene.
[YOUNG THARK WARRIOR] 20’S, tall (6’ PLUS), athletic, experience working on stilts, MOTION PICTURE CAPTURE ROLE

Willem Dafoe Discusses John Carter of Mars and His Tars Tarks Character
October 21, 2009
Willem Dafoe who is slated to play Tars Tarkas in Disney's John Carter of Mars recently spoke to the AICN, about his role in John Carter and revealed, that his character has four arms and is 9 feet tall.

"I've seen a lot of the designs and things, and I’ve just started to do prep work now.  We've starting doing scans and things like that, but it's going to be a real full-on.  Well, I'm nine feet tall with four arms, but, just from the scheduling, I'm going to do the stuff. They'll use my face, but they'll enhance it in a way – both after and before – in a way that I may not be recognizable. But, I'm good with that. It's particularly cool, because he's a creature, but he's got this huge range of character. And, he does cool things in the movies.

"There's a whole period where we're going to work with the language and the movement, and find out how I'm going to be nine feet tall, and all that stuff. . . like, a long period of time where we're going to go to Thark school. We're going to create our culture. So, it's going to be very cool. These guys know how to do this, and they've got great people. And, the designs and things are just mind-blowing."

Mark Strong Talks Shape-Shifting For JOHN CARTER OF MARS  ~ December 16, 2009
Mark Strong recently chatted with Cinemablend and revealed a bit about his character Matai Shang, the ruler of the Thems with godlike status, and his abilities:

Filming has begun in Utah, but most of Strong's part will be filmed on soundstages outside of London. And even though there's some motion-capture animation going on, he won't be part of most of it, despite the fact that his character is a shape-shifter. He wasn't spilling any plot details or anything, but his enthusiasm about working with Stanton and explanation of how his character will work seemed worth sharing. 

On Stanton:
He's a genius. He's such a good storyteller. When I met him and he showed me the storyboards, the ideas for the sets and the designs for the characters, it's just absolutely mind-blowing. I can't wait to get involved with it. I said to him, how do you feel about live action? And he said it's going to be easy. As an animator, you literally have to invent everything. The color of the background, the size of people's noses. Whereas in live action, half the stuff is given, and you can embellish the rest with CGI.

On his part:
There's some filming in Utah, but most of it is in a studio outside of London. My character doesn't actually get involved in any of the motion-capture stuff. All the stuff is live action. Although I can shift my shape (to other human beings mainly), so I have to be photographed by a 360-degree camera. I can adapt into anything. That's going to be my particular talent. 

JC in UK Studios
Foreign filming on British soil is booming thanks to a favourable dollar/sterling exchange rate, a tax credit that's particularly generous for Hollywood blockbusters and a strong post-production sector that can provide high-end vfx. … "John Carter of Mars" are among the U.S. projects in various stages of shooting, contributing to an estimated $1 billion-plus of inward investment in 2009... Top facility: Longcross Studios in Surrey.
~ From our UK reporter Laurence Dunn
Mark Strong on JOHN CARTER OF MARS ~ December 16, 2009
Strong says he plays Matai Shang and “over the course of the 3 movies that they’re envisioning making, and I’ve seen the synopsis of the 2nd and 3rd, Matai Shang is basically John Carter’s nemesis.” He also confirms the movie is both live action and motion capture and they are filming from January to May in both London and Utah.

Collider: I actually saw Andrew Stanton when I was in London and spoke to him. He said he’s filming at Shepperton ’til April or something like that. So can you talk a little bit about…have you worked at Shepperton before? And are you looking forward to being in this crazy production?

Yeah, I mean I’ve worked at Shepperton and Pinewood. They’re the most famous British film studio lots. And Andrew wooed me with the storyboards that he had at the interview. He showed me his vision for the thing and it’s just mind-blowing and . . .  he’s a master storyteller and I think the fact that he’s been given the opportunity to direct live-action and a motion capture film together and in the light of “Avatar” knowing that these Pixar guys like to be in the vanguard of everything. . . .

I play a character called Matai Shang and he is the ruler of a group of people called the Ferns [sic] who are like the old Olympian Gods. They exist….people aren’t really sure if they exist, but basically he’s a master of the Universe. They travel ’round keeping order in the Universe. So basically he exists over and above the Martians that exist on the planet. Like I say, he’s like an Olympian God.  I mean getting to play Mati Shang Master of the Universe, it doesn’t get much better than that.

I’ve seen the synopsis of the 2nd and 3rd, basically and in the novels, Princess of Mars that Rice Burroughs wrote, Matai Shang is basically John Carter’s nemesis. So he comes into his own during the 2nd half of the current movie and then just basically gets bigger and bigger in the 2nd and 3rd. . . .  It’s extremely nerve wracking because what you have to do is understand that you’re committing to something in the future and if the first one is a huge success and they want to make the 2nd and 3rd, basically they have first call on you for a number of years.  It’s a combination of live action and motion capture (probably not 3D). 

Collider: I spoke to Andrew after the Avatar screening. . .   I think Avatar is going to influence every filmmaker who’s working in motion capture of any kind because how could it not. . . . Do you think when you saw the test stuff for John Carter did it already look like it was pushing the boundaries for you at the time?

Oh my God yeah. I mean it looks phenomenal. I mean his conception of it is extraordinary. I mean it’s "Avatar" type territory and I think the point I was making before about these Pixar’s guys are always wanting to be in the vanguard. They want to be leading from the front.  . . . But they I think Andrew said they’re in the business of giving the public what they want before they know they want it. So I can totally imagine he's gone to see "Avatar" and that’ll just set the cogs whirring in his brain and the twinkle in his eye because he'll just want to surpass it, no question.

Yeah, I mean it’ll be enormous. I think it’s something like a $200 million budget. It starts in January and I actually go through to May. I think some of it is also filming in Utah, so it’s a 5 month production based largely in London with some exterior scenes in the desert I assume in Utah. So it’s a massive production. . . .  I think the fact that it’s a science fiction movie and that it's going to spend 2 years in post and not come out 'til 2012 means that the vision for it is enormous. And as you pointed out, in the light of “Avatar”, I think they are planning on creating something extraordinary.

PWBeat ~ December 16, 2009
A notary claims that Frank Frazetta Sr. came to her nine days before the aborted heist and asked her to notarize a power of attorney removing control of the art from Bill, Heidi and Holly and giving it to Frank Jr! “He was in the right frame of mind,” said the notary. This backs up claims by Frank Jr. that he was only acting on his father’s wishes in removing the paintings to some other home. 
Lori Frazetta, wife of Alfonso Frank Frazetta, discusses her husbands side of the story after he was arrested on charges of stealing approximately $20 million in paintings from the family-run art museum on Wednesday evening, Dec. 9, 2009. 

He is the son of prominent Pocono artist Frank Frazetta, 81, whose work has been featured in books, posters and album covers. Lori Frazetta said the incident was the result of family infighting that began after the death of Frank Sr.'s wife a few months ago. 

For more on this story, go to
Pocono Record
Google Hosted News
Philadelphia Inquirer
BBC News

Alternate on YouTube

Letter may decide defendant's fate in Frazetta art case
Pocono Record ~ December 18, 2009 
Legal issues and family loyalties continue to muddy the Frazetta art heist case. But the emergence of a notarized document could signal a death blow for the prosecution's case against the elder son of the world famous fantasy artist. Though Frank Frazetta may no longer have the authority to grant his son permission to take the paintings, the document granting that permission may douse any concept of intent to commit a crime.

At Wednesday's bail hearing for Frank Jr., a woman came forward to say she notarized Frank Sr.'s signature on a document that granted Frank Jr. permission to secure the art. Frank Jr. is charged with burglary, criminal trespass and theft. One of the elements of the theft charge is the intent to deprive another person of their property. "If that wasn't Frank Jr.'s intent, it would be impossible to convict him on the theft charge," said T. Axel Jones, the attorney representing Frank Jr. "That's the linchpin — without the theft charge, they can't sustain the burglary charge, because burglary requires the intent to enter a property to commit a crime. Without the intent to commit theft, you can't have burglary."

In other words, if Frank Jr. thought his father had the authority and gave him permission to "secure" the artwork, then it would be hard to prove he intended to steal it. And the notarized letter from Frank Sr. giving his son Frank Jr. the OK to secure the paintings "by any means necessary" would be crucial to this line of defense. The "any means necessary" language may also, in a strange way, help to explain why Frank Jr. chose a backhoe to get through the front door of the museum.

Frank Jr. and his wife, Lori Frazetta, contend that Frank Sr.'s property — including an art collection reportedly worth $100 million — is being appropriated by the 81-year-old artist's three other children. Frank Jr. said he broke into the museum to secure the paintings from his siblings.

Bill Frazetta, brother of the accused, hinted at the possibility of a negotiated reconciliation. And Jones, the attorney for Frank Jr., confirmed he has been in discussions with attorneys for Frank Sr. and Bill Frazetta and his two sisters, Holly Taylor and Heidi Gravin. Mancuso has already expressed his hope that the family could work it out.

Disney's John Carter of Mars - Official Casting Call and Plot Details
The ODI ~ December 08, 2009
Star Now Casting Calls: Canada

With the major players in place, Disney is looking for actors to round out the cast of John Carter of Mars! 
Disney's live-action John Carter of Mars movie adaptation of the classic book series by Edgar Rice Burroughs was originally scheduled to begin shooting in November, but the date has been pushed back to an early 2010 start. It is still unclear why the film was delayed, but apparently the casting process is still incomplete. SpoilerTV recently listed this new casting call sheet for John Carter of Mars: 

Director: Andrew Stanton
Starring: Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas, Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris and Mark Strong as Matai Shang
Synopsis: A damaged civil war veteran finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars where his involvements with warring races of the dying planet force him to rediscover his humanity.
[STABLE BOY] 9 yrs old, Mestizo – a mixture of European and Native American or Mexican decent, no lines, 1 scene
[DIX] The storekeeper, 40’s – 50’s, built like a lumberjack/longshoreman, strong & husky, 5 lines, 1 scene
[1ST ROWDY] Late 20’s – early 30’s, rough and dirty, worn looking, 1 line, 1 scene
[2ND ROWDY] Late 20’s – early 30’s, rough and dirty, worn looking, 1 line, 1 scene
[CAVALRYMAN/SERGEANT] Early 30’s, clean cut, 2 lines, 1 scene
[US STOCKADE PRISON GUARD] Mid 20’s – early 30’s, clean cut, 4 lines, 2 scenes
[APACHE LEADER] 40’s - 60s, Native American, must speak Apache, wise and experienced with a weathered face. Multiple lines, 1 scene
[TWITCHY CORPORAL] 20’s - 30s, a shifty bad guy, not to be trusted. 1 line, 1 scene.
[YOUNG THARK WARRIOR] 20’S, tall (6’ PLUS), athletic, experience working on stilts, MOTION PICTURE CAPTURE ROLE

Phil Collins and Sons Celebrate Tarzan
October 19, 2009
Phil Collins and his two sons - Nicholas and Matthew - attended the Birthday gala of Walt Disney's musical Tarzan in Hamburg, Germany on October 19, 2009. The boys' mother is Phil's third ex-wife, Orianne Cevey. Collins contributed 11 songs and instrumental pieces, and was deeply involved in the Broadway production of Tarzan. Unlike the movie, where Collins sang all the material, the characters sang on stage. The 58-year-old You'll Be In My Heart singer also has a son Simon and a daughter Joely with his first ex-wife, Andrea Bertorelli. He is also dad to Lily with his second wife Jill Taverman.

The former singer and drummer for Genesis told a German newspaper that since he had surgery in April to repair a dislocated vertebra in his neck, he doesn't have feeling in his fingers and isn't able to pick up his sticks. The 58-year-old musician was quoted by Hamburger Abendblatt on Monday as saying the only way he could drum is if he were to "glue drumsticks to my hands." But that's not stopped his recording aspirations. He told the newspaper he plans a new CD that will feature covers of 30 songs from the Motown label in 2010. "I want the songs to sound exactly like the originals," the paper quoted him as saying.

See the ERBzine coverage of the 2008 Tarzan Premiere in Hamburg.
also the NYC Broadway Tarzan Premiere
the Netherlands Tarzan Premiere

Fossil finds extend human story  ~ ERB's Mangani?
BBC News ~ National Geographic News ~ October 1, 2009

An ancient human-like creature that may be a direct ancestor to our species has been described by researchers. The assessment of the 4.4-million-year-old animal called Ardipithecus ramidus is reported in the journal Science. If Ardipithecus ramidus was not actually the species directly ancestral to us, she must have been closely related to it  Fossils of A. ramidus were first found in Ethiopia in 1992, but it has taken 17 years to assess their significance. The most important specimen is a partial skeleton of a female nicknamed "Ardi". Ardi shows an unexpected mix of advanced characteristics and of primitive traits seen in much older apes that were unlike chimps or gorillas. As such, the skeleton offers a window on what the last common ancestor of humans and living apes might have been like. The biggest surprise about Ardipithecus's biology is its bizarre means of moving about. All previously known hominids — members of our ancestral lineage — walked upright on two legs, like us. But Ardi's feet, pelvis, legs, and hands suggest she was a biped on the ground but a quadruped when moving about in the trees. Even in the trees, Ardi was nothing like a modern ape, the researchers say. Modern chimps and gorillas have evolved limb anatomy specialized to climbing vertically up tree trunks, hanging and swinging from branches, and knuckle-walking on the ground. While these behaviors require very rigid wrist bones, for instance, the wrists and finger joints of Ardipithecus were highly flexible. As a result Ardi would have walked on her palms as she moved about in the trees—more like some primitive fossil apes than like chimps and gorillas. More>>>
From our Barsoom and John Carter of Mars sites:
Church, Purefoy & Strong join JC cast
September 29, 2009

Thomas Haden Church, James Purefoy and Mark Strong have joined the cast of joined "John Carter of Mars," Disney's adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book series that Andrew Stanton is directing. Church plays Tal Hajus, an ambitious and vicious Thark warrior who is biding his time to be a ruler. Purefoy plays Kantos Kan, the captain of the Xavarian, the kingdom of Helium's grand warship. Strong is Matai Shang, the ruler of the Thems with godlike status.

The casting reveals a bit about the movie's plot, which would appear to combine elements of Burroughs' first Barsoom book, A Princess of Mars; the second, The Gods of Mars; and the third, The Warlord of Mars.

Lynn Collins Gets 'A Really Great Tan' 
To Become Alien Princess In 'John Carter Of Mars'
MTV MoviesBlog ~ September 24, 2009
Edgar Rice Burroughs' "John Carter of Mars," is going to start shooting in Utah as early as January of next year.  Pre-production continues to move steadily forward on the hybrid live action/CGI film. As co-star Lynn Collins told MTV's Josh Horowitz, she's already seen workups of fight sequences she'll have to film and, last week, some initial effects work kicked into gear.

"We're actually getting into some hair and makeup tests this week to see what the look is like," said Collins, who plays the humanoid Martian princess Dejah Thoris. "It's really collaborative and really creative and I'm really excited about it." The preliminary idea is not to bury Collins under prosthetics and heavy-duty makeup but to create a look that would not be out of place on a tropical island. "I think they're going more like a really great tan, like the best-tan-you-can-ever-imagine type of thing," she said. "I've yet to find it. Maybe the makeup team will be able to."

There's no word yet how the rest of the cast will end up looking. Joining Collins in "John Carter" is her "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" co-star Taylor Kitsch as the title character, a Civil War vet inexplicably transported to the Red Planet, where he stumbles upon all manner of alien adventures. "Taylor is so amazing," Collins said. "We went to Pixar and saw some of the workups of some of the fighting that we have to do. I was like, 'Oh my god, there's just no guy better for the job. He's so athletic and wonderful and such a great actor and so positive.'"

Calling her character "a priestess of science and letters," Collins extolled co-writer/director Andrew Stanton's ("WALL-E," "Finding Nemo") vision for "John Carter." "Edgar Rice Burroughs was a really smart writer, so smart that some of the stuff I can hardly wrap my head around, so that's up to Pixar to see if they can put in visually to life," the actress said, adding, "It's completely satirical and politically on point, I'd say." More>>>

Andrew Stanton discussed the film in the MTV Movies Blog:
Andew Stanton on Webcastr"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 a 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."

John Carter of Mars Casts Brits as Tharks and a Zodangan
Morton, West and Walker Join ERB's Mars Film
Aug 25th, 2009 ~ From the Web: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
The cast of Disney's big budget adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars continues to grow, with the news this week that three Brits have found roles that do much to flesh out the story's rich alien mythology. Playing Sola, Tarkas' daughter who must hide her softer side from her warrior race, will be Samantha Morton (Minority Report). Polly Walker (the sexy Atia in HBO's Rome) will be playing a more typical Thark, Sarkoja, who is described as "merciless" and "tyrannical." Finally, there is Dominic West (The Wire), who will be playing Sab Than, the prince of the Zodangans who believes it is his destiny to rule Barsoom, which we know better as Mars. . . . League of Extraordinary Gentlemen actor Jason Flemyng has let slip that he could well be in line for a role in the film.

Samantha Morton ~ Dominic West ~ Polly Walker
Bob Jacoby
Bob Jacoby
 age 64, of Springville, AL, died on September 17, 2009. 
Our close-knit band of ERB fans have lost a true friend and colleague.
Our condolences go out to Bob's wife, JoNan and the entire family.
Death of a legend - Mr. Donald M. Grant
Examiner ~ August 25, 2009
Donald M. Grant, Robert Weinberg ? Glenn Lord
Donald M. Grant, Robert Weinberg & Glenn Lord @ the World SF Con in Kansas City, 1976 (photo from Robert Weinberg's collection)Donald Metcalf Grant (April 3, 1927 - August 19, 2009) passed away early on Wednesday morning in North Port, Florida. He is survived by his wife, Shirley, his two children, Nancy Mahoney ? Douglas Grant, and his granddaughter, Ellen Mahoney. Grant was one of the greats who stood fast in his belief of great science fiction, fantasy and horror, helping to start several small press publishing companies and eventually founding the self-named Donald M. Grant Publisher, Inc. more than 45 years ago. He was known for his printing of library and collector-quality limited editions of titles, including many by such great writers as Edgar Rice Burroughs, Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Ambrose Bierce, Stephen King, Fritz Leiber, Roger Zelazny and many others, including a brand new Ray Bradbury release.  Mr. Grant's contribution and dedication to the industry earned him three World Fantasy Awards in the special professional category (1976, 1980 ? 1983), a special convention World Fantasy Award (1984) and a World Life Achievement Award (2003). Donald Grant helped bring what is now known as Spec Fiction out from the dying pulp magazine medium and kept it alive in books. Mr. Grant's interest in fantasy and science fiction started when he began reading the stories of Edgar Rice Burroughs at age 10. More>>>
G.I. Joe director talks Tarzan remake
Coventry Telegraph ~ Aug 7, 2009 
With his new action-packed sci-fi flick G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobraopening this weekend, director Stephen Sommers already has a sequel in mind. And he's also set to direct a remake of Tarzan, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' famous ape-man most recently seen on screen in live-action form in 1984's Greystoke (starring Christopher Lambert) and 1999's Tarzan and the Lost City with Caspar van Dien in the lead role.
"It will be live action but we'll contemporise it. It'll still be a period movie, but it's almost like The Mummy, it took place in Ancient Egypt and the 20s and 30s, but it felt more contemporary, that sort of deal.

"We'll just stick with the book. What I want to make is our idealised version of a Tarzan movie. Seeing a guy talking to apes didn't work 30 years ago with Greystoke so it won't work now." The remake is being written by G.I. Joe screenwriter Stuart Beattie, who also worked on 30 Days of Night, Australia and the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

Beattie said, "It's at Warner Brothers. They're deciding how much money... there's like a battle over the budget of that. People do it one way, studio wants it another way and they're just trying to find a middle ground." It could be Sommers' next project if the budget was agreed.

Explaining his take on the story, he said: "It's a period [story]. Tarzan, I think, is probably the most filmed story of all, so our belief in doing a Tarzan movie today was you couldn't go tell the raised-by-gorillas and loincloths and 'Me Tarzan and You Jane' story because it's been done so much and it's just not interesting anymore. "So it was much more big romantic action-adventure film with supernatural stuff and witch doctors and lots of really fun stuff."

"And mythic Africa, like that deep dark heart of Africa stuff, you know, where the trees are twice as big and the vines stretched forever and the canopy is a whole world in itself and just really cool-looking place to spend a couple of hours." He said it would be "big, fun summer spectacle" and would be set in 1932 or 1933.

Back in December 2006, it was announced by Variety that Guillermo del Toro was in line to make a live-action Tarzan movie. 
Del Toro said at that time: "I'd love to create a new version that is still a family movie, but as edgy as I can make it. There are strong themes of survival of a defenseless child left behind in the most hostile environment." John Collee (Master and Commander) was in talks to write the screenplay but Del Toro's commitment to The Hobbit put him out of the running and Sommers replaced him in September 2008.

The New Tarzan Live Action Project ~ July 19, 2009
Stuart Beattie is writing/developing “Tarzan: Lord Of The Jungle” for director Stephen Sommers at Warner Brothers, “The 89th War” for Ron Howard, “Bra Boys” for Russell Crowe, Tom Clancy’s “Without Remorse”, and “Spyhunter” for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Stuart pinpoints some of the highlights of the new Tarzan project:
Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle
* Warner Bros. and Stephen Sommers are trying to work out the budget right now and if they can agree on a number, it could be his next project.
* It’s a period piece. Takes place in 1933.
* Has a supernatural element
* It will be a "big, fun summer spectacle"
'Tarzan' actress Brenda Joyce dies
Starred as Jane in five of the series' movies
Brenda Joyce, the only "Jane" to star opposite two different Tarzans in the talking era of the big screen, died July 4, 2009 at a nursing home in Santa Monica. She was 92. After Maureen O'Sullivan exited the "Tarzan" series after six films, the strikingly blond Joyce stepped in to star with Johnny Weissmuller in 
Tarzan and the Amazons (1945)
Tarzan and the Leopard Woman (1946)
Tarzan and the Huntress (1947)
Tarzan and the Mermaids (1948)

She later returned to star as Jane opposite Lex Barker in:
Tarzan's Magic Fountain (1949)

Ellie Frazetta has passed away
From the Frazetta Facebook
Eleanor Frazetta, business and life partner of her husband, the famed artist Frank, has passed away. Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Frazetta, the wife of celebrated artist Frank Frazetta, passed away today to be with the Lord after a courageous one-year battle with cancer. Eleanor Kelly was born in Massachusetts and moved to New York where she married Frank in November, 1956. She acted as his business partner as well as his lifelong companion. Known for her feisty personality as well as her intuitive business acumen, she was instrumental in successfully establishing record prices for Frank’s work throughout her life.

She is survived by her husband Frank, her four children, Frank Jr., Billy, Holly and Heidi, numerous grandchildren, and many friends. A public memorial is planned and details will be announced shortly. In the meantime, the family requests privacy.

Rebooting Tarzan: Make him fly?
SciFi Wire ~ July 17, 2009

The celluloid adventures of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan range from Disney animation to Miles O'Keeffe's frolicking with a naked Bo Derek in the jungle. Perhaps the most iconic is Johnny Weissmuller's portrayal in 12 adventure films from the '30s and '40s. What else is Hollywood to do with such a popular character but reboot it? Having written the script, Stuart Beattie described his new vision of the Lord of the Apes.

"It's not your traditional Tarzan," Beattie said in an exclusive phone interview on Wednesday while promoting G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. "It's your Pirates of the Caribbean kind of Tarzan. It's fun. It's how a Tarzan movie should be. It's just, because Tarzan's been done so many times, you can't just do the standard retelling of Tarzan again, because everyone knows that story. If you're going to do Tarzan, you've got to do it different than it's ever been done."

"[It's going to be] more mythological and supernatural, mythic Africa, where the trees are two or three times the size of trees," Beattie said. "It's that deep, deep, deep, dark, heart-of-Africa jungle that no one's ever been [to], 1930s, period, all that kind of stuff, and really bring that world up into that kind of mythic status, where Tarzan can fly around on all these trees and do amazing acrobatics. I just had a lot of fun with it."

Warner Brothers is in talks with The Mummy's Stephen Sommers to direct Beattie's Tarzan script. More>>>

Tarzan! examines how Europe saw Africa
Paris's famed Quai Branly Museum uses fiction to explore attitudes
Reuters ~ June 23, 2009
The exhibition "Tarzan" at the Quai Branly museum in Paris, is being held from June 16 to September 27, 2009. The museum organisers say the show aims to unpick the myth of the archetypal wild hero created in 1912 by the American writer Edgar Rice Burroughs. "For a good part of the 20th century, popular culture has got its inspiration from the non-European world," said Stephane Martin, director of the Quai Branly museum. "This is a good synthesis of the way popular culture has looked at Africa."

Created in 1912 by Edgar Rice Burroughs, a restless former soldier, prospector and publicity agent from Chicago who never set foot in Africa, Tarzan was an instant success, with over 20 novels translated into 56 languages, thousands of comic strips and dozens of films. But Tarzan's jungle realm, populated variously by helpful apes, savage cannibals, tigers, sultry beauties clad in leopard skins and the lost descendants of Roman legionaries, is a purely imaginary product of early 20th century America. "Burroughs was a fantastic sort of sponge, soaking up all kinds of stories, random facts and images," said Roger Boulay, the exhibition's curator. He drew on a hodgepodge of influences ranging from the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, to Charles Darwin's theory of evolution, Rudyard Kipling and the story of Romulus and Remus, twin founders of Rome who were suckled by a wolf.

The exhibition features photographs, books, original plates from many of the comic strips by masters of the genre like Burne Hogarth, as well as a special stand where visitors can try to win a trip to Africa by imitating Tarzan's famous cry. But the exhibition shows Burroughs' hero was far more articulate than the tongue-tied hunk of the screen -- son of a British aristocrat who spoke English, French, a smattering of Latin and the language of apes. More>>>

Tarzana's PARS-TV Gets Word Out to Iran
Hossein Hedjazi's political news and commentary is beamed to his ex-countrymen by a makeshift satellite network -- and all in Farsi.
Hollywood's The Wrap ~ June 23, 2009
Hedjazi, an Iranian expatriate who lives in Los Angeles, hosts a weekly newscast on PARS-TV, which broadcasts out of Tarzana, California. The first TV station in the Persian community, its mostly political programming is sent by satellite worldwide -- all in Farsi. It even reaches viewers in Iran, despite the efforts of the Iranian government, which has blamed Western media outlets for encouraging protesters. Founded to “provide a sense of political and cultural harmony,” PARS is run by Amir Shadjareh, a native of Tehran, who founded the network in 1998 after running Channel 18, the first Persian late-night TV production company for eight years. More>>>
The Guardian's Digested Classics presents
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Guardian ~ 20 June 20, 2009
"Dash it," said John Clayton, Lord Greystoke. "These beastly Europeans mistreat the blacks even more than we do. There will be a mutiny, I'll be bound."

"Oh John, my love," said Lady Alice, bursting into uncontrollable sobs as the mutineers landed them ashore. "What's to become of us now we've been stranded in this savage jungle?"
. . .
Tarzan saw Clayton's happiness and could not bear to reveal his true aristocratic identity. "I'm an apeman, I'm an ape ape man, I'm an apeman the apeman," he sang, swinging his way out of the book and into the sequel. More>>>

Was Tarzan the original eco-warrior?
Belfast Telegraph ~ June 16, 2009
Moi Tarzan, toi Jane. If you visit the Eiffel Tower this summer, study the steelwork carefully, because you might see, or imagine you see, a familiar figure leaping from strut to strut. Tarzan of the Apes has taken up residence in the Mus?e du Quai Branly, the museum near the base of the Eiffel Tower, which is dedicated to non-Western – or, as some people insist, "primitive" – forms of art.

Paris may seem an unusual place to find the most learned exhibition about Tarzan, also known as Lord Greystoke, ever assembled. He was, after all, an English aristocrat and orphan fostered by socially responsible apes in the African jungle. He was the literary creation of an American writer, Edgar Rice Burroughs, who never bothered to visit Africa . . . more>>>

ERB, Inc. and Tarzan swing into Las Vegas ~ June 2-4, 2009

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. unveiled their new Tarzan natural food line 
and numerous other licensing projects at 
the 2009 Licensing Expo at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. 
More at:
From our Barsoom and John Carter of Mars sites:
John Carter of Mars is Cast
Taylor Kitsch has been cast as in the lead role in John Carter Of Mars. Canadian Kitsch played Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Lynn Collins has joined the cast as Dejah Thoris, aka the Princess Of Mars. Collins played the Siverfox role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Thomas Hayden Church told Jeffrey Lyons of Reel Talk that he will also be joining the film, in what he's calling a "very dramatic role."

Kitsch ~ Collins ~ Church
Kitsch, Collins to star in 'John Carter'
Andrew Stanton helming Disney's fantasy epic ~ June 12, 2009
Walt Disney Pictures has set "Wolverine" stars Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins to star in "John Carter of Mars," a fantasy epic that marks the live action directorial debut of "Wall-E" helmer Andrew Stanton.

Kitsch, a member of the "Friday Night Lights" ensemble who made his screen breakthrough as Gambit in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," will play the title character, a damaged Civil War veteran who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars where his involvements with a warring race of the dying planet force him to rediscover his humanity.

Collins will play Dejah Thoris, the Princess of Mars. Collins worked with Kitsch in "Wolverine," playing Hugh Jackman's character's love interest Kayla Silverfox. She also co-stars in the HBO vampire drama "True Blood."

Pic will begin filming early next year. Jim Morris and Colin Wilson are producing. Stanton wrote the script with Mark Andrews.

Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins blast off to 'Mars'
Disney adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs book series
Hollywood Reporter ~ June 12, 2009
Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins will star in "John Carter of Mars," the adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book series that Andrew Stanton is directing for Disney. The movie is a big step for Stanton -- who as one of Pixar's top creators directed the company's animated films "Finding Nemo" and "WALL-E" but will now helm his first live-action feature -- and Disney, which hopes the big-budget production will launch a franchise on the scale of "Pirates of the Caribbean."

"Carter" centers on a civil war veteran who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, where his involvement with warring races of the dying planet force him to rediscover his humanity. Kitsch will play the title character, while Collins is playing Dejah Thoris, heir to the throne of Mars' Helium kingdom.

Stanton wrote the screenplay with Mark Andrews. Jim Morris, who produced "WALL-E," and Colin Wilson are producing "Carter," which is eyeing a start in early 2010. Brigham Taylor is overseeing for the studio.

The role of Carter was considered one of the "gets" for a young actor, and Disney has spent months meeting and testing a wide swath of names from Jon Hamm to Josh Duhamel during its search. Canadian-born Kitsch, repped by WMA and Untitled, began building buzz with his starring role on NBC's "Friday Night Lights." Before long, he was considered one of the town's next generation of leading men, especially when he booked the role of Gambit in "Wolverine." 

Collins, repped by WME and 3 Arts, had a recurring gig on HBO's "True Blood" but appeared with Kitsch in "Wolverine," which raised her profile considerably. She next stars opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in "Uncertainty," which IFC is releasing this year. 

Utah will be stage for Mars in new Disney Pixar film
The deal will bring millions to the state and employ nearly 400 Utahns.
The Salt Lake Tribune ~ June 12, 2009
First as the planet Vulcan and now the red rocks of Mars, Utah has become Hollywood's destination spot for depicting exotic intergalactic worlds. Disney and Pixar are expected to partly film the pulp science-fiction adventure "John Carter of Mars" in Utah from November to July 2010. Portions of the Beehive State will double as Mars, including Lake Powell (where the original "Planet of the Apes" was partially filmed), Moab, and Kane and Wayne counties. 

"It's the biggest movie we've ever used incentives on," said Utah Film Commission executive director Marshall Moore. "We haven't seen these kinds of numbers since doing a TV series for a year." The San Rafael Swell already doubled as the planet Vulcan in this year's summer blockbuster "Star Trek," but second-unit crews only shot for four days in Utah. 

Disney is scheduled to shoot in Utah for 45 days. The story, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs science-fiction book series -- which begins with A Princess of Mars -- is about an American Civil War veteran who is transported to Mars to face a series of adventures. 

Burroughs, who was born in Chicago, was no stranger to Utah, working as a railroad police officer in Salt Lake City in 1904. 

Disney/Pixar to produce new film in Utah ~ June 11th, 2009 
SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah's new movie incentives bill has landed the state its first big-time motion picture project. 
Take the Walt Disney company, combine it with Pixar and Utah scenery, and you're going to have the movie "John Carter of Mars." It's based on a series of books about a Civil War vet transported to the Red Planet. Governor's Office of Economic Development Director Jason Perry is stoked. "This is a place where Disney will start looking as the place where they will want to do all of their films," he said. The film will bring hundreds of cast and crew members to the state during production. "This is over 400 people involved in full-time work for seven-straight months here in the State of Utah. This is going to put our film crews to work. It's really going to put us on the map as a place to film," Perry said. 
Chabon Revising "John Carter of Mars" Script
Kavalier and Clay Site ~ April 9, 2009
Michael Chabon: ( (pronounced “Shea as in Stadium, Bon as in Jovi”) “I’ve been hired to do some revisions to an already strong script by Andrew Stanton and Mark Andrews. I wrote my original screenplay The Martian Agent back in 1995 because I wished I could do [Edgar Rice] Burroughs's Barsoom. So this is pretty much a dream come true for me.” 

 Chabon has written some highly respected books over the years, including Wonder Boys, The Yiddish Policemen's Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier ? Clay, which is essential reading for any comic book fan.  Rogert Ebert, reviewing the Spider-Man sequel, said, "One of the keys to the movie's success must be the contribution of novelist Michael Chabon to the screenplay; Chabon understands in his bones what comic books are, and why."

Disney got the option rights to Burroughs' 11-volume series in 2007 after the rights lapsed at Paramount Pictures. Andrew Stanton, the writer and director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E, is set to direct. It’s expected to hit theaters in 2012.
Chabon Bio |

Disney scouts South Australia for mars landscape
The Advertiser - Adelaide ~ March 30, 2009
Moon Plain near Coober Pedy has formed the backdrop for a number of Hollywood films.South Australia could form the backdrop for two of Disney's biggest forthcoming films, John Carter of Mars and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo. Senior representatives of Walt Disney Studios have scouted the state for locations for the upcoming blockbusters although no decisions have been made. John Carter of Mars is being written and directed by Andrew Stanton, who made the Oscar-winning Wall-E. Bruce Hendricks, Disney's president of physical production and producer of all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies scouted SA for locations on the weekend of March 22 and 23. John Carter of Mars, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic science-fiction novel series, is scheduled to begin shooting next year.  The makers of Paramount's aborted version of the film examined filming the movie at locations near Coober Pedy in 2005. Breakaways Reserve and Moon Plain are perfect stand-ins for alien and post-apocalyptic landscapes. The area has been featured in films such as Pitch Black  (1999), Red Planet (2000) and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985). SA's major drawback for large-budget films is a lack of studio space and facilities. Australia is seen as an attractive proposition for American films at present with the low value of the dollar against the greenback and the 15 percent rebate for foreign films. More. . .

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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