John Carter of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta

John Carter of Mars should be HBO’s next Game of Thrones

Books Columns Featured Sci-Fi/Fantasy Television Top story
John Carter of Mars - art by Frank Frazetta
John Carter of Mars – art by Frank Frazetta

The Internets have been in an uproar over the conclusion of HBO’s Game of Thrones television series, which ended after eight seasons in 2019.

Despite the potential for multiple spin-off series, fans are of course disappointed to have the adventure and drama come to an end. To be certain, it’s a bummer on the same scale as being decapitated – but wait, hold the door!

There is another literary fantasy series, with an equally amazing monarchical atmosphere of politics, drama, action and incredible beasts – with stories that are loved by thousands, including George R. R. Martin himself, and that undoubtedly inspired the GOT author to become a writer. I’m talking about, of course, John Carter of Mars!

Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) as Dejah Thoris?
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen)
as Dejah Thoris? We should be so lucky. (GQ)

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoomian series would be the perfect replacement for Game of Thrones. Despite the unjustly maligned 2012 film, John Carter (of Mars, dammit), the serialized Martian stories were made for the type of adult adaptation that HBO specializes in, and they would undoubtedly appeal to the GOT audience that will be soon be suffering from sword-and-sorcery withdrawals.

Assuming that several actors from the GOT cast will be looking for work, let me also suggest Kit Harington (Jon Snow) for the role of John Carter; Rory McCann (The Hound) as Carter’s loyal Thark friend, Tars Tarkas; Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) as Tars’ daughter, Sola; Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) as Carter’s Martian military comrade, Kantos Kan; and Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) as the incomparable Dejah Thoris.

By now I think most people realize that the problems surrounding the Disney adaptation of the original space-fantasy character were the result of a FUBAR marketing strategy (and/or lack thereof) and had nothing to do with what is actually a very good film (really, check it out!).

The John Carter of Mars movie rights were reclaimed by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate almost two years ago and it is ripe for the picking. Seems like space-fantasy serendipity to me, so get on it HBO and put Burroughs’ Martian stories back on the map – you’ll be glad you did.

ADDITIONAL READING:

TheGuardian.com – George R. R. Martin essay on Mars, Burroughs and John Carter


SPECIAL THANKS ARE IN ORDER:

Discuss Literary Adventures at the Facebook group 'For the Love of All Things Edgar Rice Burroughs'

Trademarks TARZAN®, TARZAN OF THE APES®, JOHN CARTER OF MARS®, DEJAH THORIS®, PELLUCIDAR®, A PRINCESS OF MARS® and EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS® are owned by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
Become a Patron!

Here and there ...

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Bob Leeper
Bob Leeper is the co-owner and manager of "Arizona’s Pop Culture and Alternative Art Network," Evermore Nevermore. He is the co-creator of the pop culture events Steampunk Street and ENCREDICON, and is a member of the Phoenix Film Critics Society. He also curates the Facebook fan site The Arizona Cave – AZ Fans of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is one of the few brave and bold fans of Jar Jar Binks.
http://www.evermorenevermore.com