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Disney’s 2012 summer tentpole John Carter might have failed at the box office, but that doesn’t mean that cinema audiences will never again get the chance to visit Barsoom alongside the former Civil War captain. Or at least that’s what the estate of the character’s creator is hoping.
In a statement released by Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., the company announced that movie rights to the John Carter of Mars series have reverted from Disney back to the estate, and that it will be “seeking a new studio to continue this seminal Sci-Fi adventure.”
Disney confirmed that the rights had reverted back to ERB Inc., but had no further comment when contacted.
James Sullos, president of ERB Inc., is quoted as saying that the estate will be looking for “a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote. This adventure never stops.”He also mentions Warner Bros.’ plans for a new Tarzan film, saying that John Carter of Mars has the potential to “become another major franchise to entertain worldwide audiences of all ages.”
Disney’s John Carter, co-written by director Andrew Stanton and novelist Michael Chabon, stumbled at the U.S. box office upon its release two years ago, although it did perform better internationally. Although producers had initially talked about working on follow-ups to the movie, its domestic performance ensured such plans never reached fruition.
When asked by THR whether Taylor Kitsch would continue to play Carter in any future project, Sullos replied that he couldn’t comment before entreating into discussions with an interested studio. “We have no preconceived notion at this time of how this adventure will be further advanced,”he said, adding that ERB Inc. “hopes to find a studio that believes that this massive adventure story can continue to entertain audiences of all ages around the world.”He cited the international box office (while the movie only made $73,078,100 in the U.S., it took in $211,061,000 internationally) and domestic DVD sales of the Disney film enjoyed as a sign of the franchise’s potential.
The announcement about regaining movie rights to the character is the second announcement ERB Inc. has made regarding the property this year. In May, the company partnered with Dynamite Entertainment to relaunch the John Carter comic book franchise.
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