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Nowadays, the name "John Carter" is synonymous with "flop" in Hollywood. Behind-the-scenes problems led to a ballooned budget of $250 million, and when it was released in March 2012 it only managed to make $73 million at the domestic box office. As the movie moved around the globe, an international take of $211 million certainly helped, but the legend of the disappointing blockbuster was written by that point, and the film found itself at the center of lots of jokes and ridicule. But that particular failure doesn't mean that the titular hero's time on the big screen is finished.
PR Web has published a press release announcing not only that the rights to John Carter of Mars have reverted back from Disney to the estate of author Edgar Rice Burroughs, but that there are future plans to bring the character back to the big screen. Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. is currently looking for another studio to keep the adventure going, and if this press release is any indication, they're still marketing the idea with the fact that the original novels inspired some of the greatest bits of pop culture made in the last century. Said James Sullos, president of the company, in a statement,
“John Carter of Mars was the creative stimulus behind such movie classics as Superman, Star Wars and Avatar. Edgar Rice Burroughs was the Master of Adventure and his literary works continue to enjoy a world-wide following. We will be seeking a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote. This adventure never stops. Along with a new TARZAN film in development by Warner Bros., we hope to have JOHN CARTER OF MARS become another major franchise to entertain world-wide audiences of all ages.”
The question is, who would actually make the movie? The John Carter brand was definitely stained by the 2012 Andrew Stanton-directed movie - which critics didn't exactly love either - and a good portion of audiences might just write off the idea of John Carter 2 as a joke. That being said, I do wonder if perhaps Universal might be an option. In the past decade or so they've been the company to make sequels to potential film franchises that other studios dropped. They picked up Hellboy from Sony and made Hellboy II: The Golden Army; they made Kick-Ass 2 after Lionsgate decided that they were done after part one; and most recently they agreed to make Dumb and Dumberer after Warner Bros. dropped it. Perhaps they could be the ones who gamble on more John Carter movies? They do now have Legendary Pictures at their back...
I'm almost certainly in the minority when I say that I actually kind of liked John Carter and wouldn't necessarily mind seeing a sequel, but what do you guys think? Tell us your thoughts and feelings in the comments below.