A John Carter: Warlord of Mars video game? Years after a troubled road to the big screen, one of the world’s oldest action heroes is finally getting the interactive treatment …
Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., heirs to the creator of Tarzan, is working with UK-based World of Tanks publisher FNCPR to launch a Kickstarter campaign on April 19 to fund a John Carter: Warlord of Mars video game. It’s planned as a first-person action-adventure game for PC and consoles based on a famous Burroughs “Barsoom” book property.
Rather than sending Civil War veteran John Carter from an Arizona cave to the war-torn planet Mars, aka Barsoom, this John Carter will apparently be reworked as an American soldier working in post-World War II Germany who discovers Nazi tech that takes him out of this world.
“One might wonder what Mr. Burroughs, over a century after he first inked the names John Carter, Dejah Thoris, and Tars Tarkas to the page, would have thought to see his characters spring to life in a video game – what in his day would have itself been considered the stuff of science fiction,” said James Sullos, president of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., in a statement. “I’d like to think he would be pleased not only to see fans of John Carter play the game and step into his wondrous world of Barsoom, but also to at last set foot on the dying planet himself, with sword in hand, and have the visceral experience of being able to play one of his own heroes in the game. Doubtless, he would have been thrilled to see his immortal swordsman and the rich setting of Barsoom come alive in the John Carter: Warlord of Mars video game, exposing his creations to a whole new generation of fans.”
The John Carter: Warlord of Mars video game’s voice cast includes two BAFTA winners: David Elliott takes the lead role of Carter, Brian Bovell as Tars Tarkas and Kezia Burrows as the Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris. The creative work on the game is underway, with Tanglewood Games appointed by FNCPR as the lead developer for the project.
“In many ways, John Carter is the original fantasy action hero, thrilling readers and fans well before the likes of Flash Gordon, Superman and Luke Skywalker,” said FNCPR’s Frazer Nash. “Most superheroes have already made their transition into the gaming world; it is high time that John Carter makes his debut.
“The action follows Carter as he meets the weird and wonderful natives of Barsoom, acclimatizing himself to Martian gravity, the local customs and Martian languages. His mission includes meeting the mighty Thark warrior, Tars Tarkas, fighting with giant ape-like monsters and falling in love with the beautiful Princess of Mars, Dejah Thoris. It’s over a century since these characters were created, and we’re excited to find a new way of bringing them to life.”
Starting in 1945 at the end of WWII, the John Carter: Warlord of Mars video game will center on the soldier John Carter, working on a mission to find Hitler’s secret projects general, Hans Kammler. Kammler is experimenting with a new technology that ultimately transports John Carter to Mars, known to its inhabitants as “Barsoom.”
After Disney’s John Carter film, now generally well received but a box-office flop with little promotion, it remains to be seen how such a retooling as a century’s time jump will be received by Barsoom traditionalists, but will general audiences even know or care about the difference? The game play’s the thing …