More John Carter movies could happen, just not with Disney

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Oct 21, 2014, 12:16 PM EDT

Still wishing John Carter had more of a chance on the big screen? There's a new glimmer of hope.

Director Andrew Stanton's ambitious adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars was much-anticipated by many genre fans ahead of its 2012 release, but sadly it wound up being one of the year's biggest flops. The film earned a fair amount of critical praise, and a number of enthusiastic fans, but most moviegoers just never seemed to be interested in the sci-fi spectacle, something that's often been blamed on Disney's poor marketing of the flick. Stanton had plans for two more Mars films, but John Carter's financial failure meant Disney wasn't keen to make them. So Stanton returned to Pixar to make a sequel to Finding Nemo, and any John Carter sequel hopes evaporated.

Well, those sequel hopes are likely still dead, but new adaptations of Burroughs' Barsoom novels could be in our future. Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. announced this week that rights to the novels have now reverted back to them, and that they're eager to find a new avenue to deliver more filmed adventures for Carter and his friends.

"We will be seeking a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote," Burroughs Inc. President James Sullos said. "This adventure never stops."

The Barsoom books are among the most influential science fiction adventures of all time, so they certainly deserve every opportunity to make it to the screen, and hitting the reset button on a franchise is certainly not uncommon in Hollywood right now. It's easy to see John Carter coming back to the big screen, but the problem might be getting him back to the screen so soon after the financial failure of John Carter. Sure, we can blame Disney marketing all we want, but the writeoff Disney took on that film is still enough to make any executive skittish about diving back in that water. The small screen might be an option, particularly since there's so much Barsoom material to adapt. But again, financial fear could linger. So we might see John Carter on the screen again, but it could take a while.

What do you think? Will the Barsoom novels get another chance at adaptation? Could TV work?

(Via Den of Geek)