Favreau to Pilot John Carter of Mars

Daily Variety reports that actor and Elf director Jon Favreau has been hired to direct Paramount Pictures’ long-gestating film adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic 11-volume book series, John Carter of Mars. A considerable amount of visual effects can be expected to tell this story of a Civil War soldier who is transported to another world.

Favreau fills the spot left vacant by Robert Rodriguez, who had to leave the project when he dropped out of the Directors Guild of America in order to make Frank Miller his co-director on Sin City. Kerry Conran, creator and director of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, was also attached to Mars for a time.

While he was hesitant to use digital effects in New Line’s Elf (tradition stop-motion was used for special character animation), Favreau wasn’t able to get around it with his latest directing gig, Sony’s adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg’s children’s book, Zathrua, a sequel to Jumanji. Zathura is scheduled for release on Nov. 11.

Alphaville Prods. partners Daniel and Jim Jacks are producing John Carter of Mars. Harry Knowles, founder of online fanboy Mecca Ain’t It Cool News, is co-producing along with scribe Ehren Kruger (The Brothers Grimm, The Ring), who reworked Mark Protosevich’s screenplay based on Burroughs’ works.