Love and war on the Red Planet

Books, Movies

I’m a huge fan of the writings of Edgar Rice Burroughs, even though I believe he was an unabashed white supremacist. (Just to be clear, I am not.)

Tarzan and his Martian Tales aren’t the finest literature in the world, but how can you not have fun reading chapters with titles like Love Making on Mars, Through Carnage to Joy and Corridors of Peril? It’s the pinnacle of pulp fiction from the era that defined it.

Burroughs’ swashbuckling vision of a living Mars (or Barsoom, as he called it) awash in the blood and sweat of all-too-human aliens so captured the imaginations of his time that a crater on Mars was named in his honor.

The world will likely be talking about this epic interpretation of Mars again soon, if Pixar’s hybrid CGI/live action adaptation, tentatively titled John Carter of Mars, takes off in the years to come.

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In the first book, A Princess of Mars, American Civil War vet John Carter “dies” in Arizona and awakes on the Red Planet to battle green aliens alongside a beautiful princess. It’s a tried-and-true formula, that’s for sure.

According to Empire Online, a team from Pixar recently visited Burroughs’ archives in Tarzana (get it?), Calif., to chat with the keepers of the late author’s lore as part of pre-production research. This could be a huge franchise for them, if they can get it off the ground: Filmmakers from Ray Harryhausen to Robert Rodriguez to Jon Favreau have reportedly attempted to get this off the launch pad in the past.

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