As Disney/Pixar’s WALL●E gets set to storm the box office this weekend, writer/director Andrew Stanton has started talking about his next project. The filmmaker behind the Oscar-winning, animated blockbuster Finding Nemo confirmed in an interview with Ain’t It Cool News (www.aintitcool.com) that he will be the person who finally brings Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars to the big screen.
‘I have been a fan of those books since I was 10, and I’ve watched vicariously from the sidelines as it has gone from studio to studio since I was in college in the ’80s, and just as a fan, wanting to see it be made, and praying to God it would be done right,’ Stanton tells Ain’t It Cool. ‘I thought it was truly going to get done by Jon Favreau [(Iron Man)], and the minute it fell apart, I couldn’t believe it. The timing was just right with my schedule, and I said, ‘I don’t know, this is crazy but I’m going to see if we can get it.’ And here we are.’
Stanton will spend the greater part of the next year writing the John Carter screenplay with Mark Andrews, who served as story head on Ratatouille and The Incredibles. We won’t know for a while whether it will be animated or live action. Pixar is making its first foray into live action by co-producing a historical crime drama titled 1906, based on a book by James Dalessandro. Brad Bird (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) is set to direct the pic, which Warner Bros. plans to release sometime in 2009.
The 11-volume John Carter saga follows the adventures of a Civil War officer who is transported to Mars, where he is captured by green men before emerging as a great warrior and marrying a princess. The first title, A Princess of Mars, was published in serial form in the periodical All-Story in 1912.
DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg planed to make an animated John Carter feature when he was with Disney back in the 1990s. In 2002, the Mouse House relinquished the film rights to Paramount Pictures, which has had several directors attached to the project. Robert Rodriguez had to bow out when he resigned from the Director’s Guild of America because they wouldn’t let him credit comic book creator Frank Miller as a co-director on Sin City. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow helmer Kerry Conrad then threw his name in the hat before Paramount tapped Favreau to do the job. Favreau then left the project to direct Iron Man for Marvel Studios and Paramount.