John Carter may return to the big screen, no thanks to Disney
Following the fairly dismal performance of 2012’s John Carter, Disney has allowed the property’s rights to go back to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., according to IndieWire. Burroughs Inc. will now seek partners in an attempt to bring the franchise back to the big screen.
Disney had high hopes for John Carter. Directed by Andrew Stanton and staring Taylor Kitsch, the film was meant to be the first of a potential new franchise based on the original Edgar Rice Burroughs books, collectively known as the “Martian Series” or “Barsoom.” John Carter loosely adapted the novel, A Princess of Mars, the first of 11 books featuring the character of John Carter.
Things didn’t quite work out that way though.
John Carter went on to earn $284.1 million worldwide despite mediocre reviews. The film’s budget was estimated at $250 million, but that is just on the production side of things. Factoring in things like marketing, Disney reported losses of over $200 million thanks to John Carter. All future franchise plans came to a grinding halt, and the head of Walt Disney Studios, Rich Ross, was forced to resign over the film’s failure.
When you take all of this into consideration, it’s no surprise that Disney dropped the rights without a fight.
Burroughs Inc. will now seek a new partner to bring the series back to the big screen. It’s unclear if the company will try to continue the story that began in John Carter, or completely reboot the property.
At the moment Burroughs Inc. is currently working on bringing another of the author’s properties to the big screen. A film adaptation of Burroughs’ Tarzan is currently in production at Warner Bros. starring Alexander Skarsgard in the lead role, with David Yates set to direct.
“John Carter of Mars was the creative stimulus behind such movie classics as Superman, Star Wars and Avatar,” John Sullos, President of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. said in a statement.
“Edgar Rice Burroughs was the Master of Adventure and his literary works continue to enjoy a world-wide following. We will be seeking a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote. This adventure never stops. Along with a new TARZAN film in development by Warner Bros., we hope to have JOHN CARTER OF MARS become another major franchise to entertain world-wide audiences of all ages.”