A while ago, on the Old Beat we told you about a new comics series to be published by IDW based on Edgar Rice Burroughs A PRINCESS OF MARS, to be written by Dan Taylor, with art by Ted McKeever and covers by Frank Cho and Mark Wheatley. However, yesterday, eagle-eyed Jen Contino spotted something on Ted McKeever’s website which made it look like the series had been scrapped.
The Princess of Mars project is now officially dead in the water. Two covers done, and the first half of the first issue completed, and word comes that IDW has decided it best not to continue with the project.
It has not been, needless to say, a very pleasant time for me. IDW has been totally gracious and forthcoming without all the legal mumbo jumbo , in telling me to halt all work, so I didn’t waste anymore time than I already had. Frustrating? Yeah. Creatively stunting? Definitely. Enough to cause me to fall apart completely? No friggin way.
This was swiftly taken down, but not before Detective Beat of Helium was on the case. As you know, tracking the various appearances of John Carter, Warlord of Mars, is one of our more pleasant little hobbies.
Now, A PRINCESS OF MARS, the first ERB Martian novel is now in the public domain, but the word on the street is that the Burrough Estate was not too pleased with the adaptation nonetheless. Although the copyright is in the public domain, trademarks may apply and so on. Plus Paramount is working on a JOHN CARTER movie, or has been for a zillion years. So what was the real story?
IDW had no comment, as expected. We decided to call up Danton Burroughs, the grandson of ERB, and head of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., which administers the Burroughs estate. Danton Burroughs had no comment on the proposed IDW comic. When asked if he knew why it was stopped he said only, “No, but I would like to.”
While the supposed demise of the Mars comic may be mysterious for now, Burroughs did allow as to how he had just been to NYC to see the Tarzan musical on Broadway, and perhaps more excitingly, he recently saw some of the presentation art put together by Jon Favreau, who is still on tap to film John Carter after he’s done with Iron man. According to Burroughs the art is “staggering. We’re quite pleased with what he’s done.”
Paramount is still weighing whether to move forward with the film, but a decision is expected soon.