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Disney to Mars?

01.17.2007

Gossip site TMZ reported on Friday that Disney had acquired the rights to Edgar Rice Burroughs' JOHN CARTER OF MARS. What they didn't report at the time is that the Pixar portion of Disney was actively involved in acquiring the rights and the studio, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is looking to turn JOHN CARTER into an animated film. This would end the involvement of Jon Favreau and Harry Knowles who had been developing the film in Paramount before that studio decided not to renew its option. Disney/Pixar is hoping to turn the ambitious project into a family-friendly franchise a la PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN. The film follows John Carter, a Civil War soldier who escapes into a cave to avoid capture by Indians only to be transported to another world inhabited by giant green aliens and falls for the lovely Princess of Mars. An animated film would a great way to adapt the world of Barsoom but my only concern would be how long it takes to get the film off the ground. Disney and Pixar both already have a number of projects in their pipeline and even if they fast-tracked CARTER, it might not hit theaters until 2010. Favreau has obviously moved on to IRON MAN, which he'll begin shooting in March.

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