Thanks to a poster named Nerdvana, we learned the great news announced during the ERB Inc Comic Con panel this year: a movie could be produced out of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels starring his hero Carson Napier. There are four novels, and a short story (even if the fourth novel is composed in fact of four short stories). The movie would adapt the first two, Pirates of Venus and Lost on Venus, which form indeed a whole story.

The producers are Harry Kloor and Matthew Rhodes. The treatment is written and the writing of the script will soon follow. The release of the movie is still at least three years away at this point. The producers would like to have someone of the caliber of Chris Pine or Chris Hemsworth to play the hero (as do all producers in town I guess!). The story won't take place in the 30ies but will be contemporary.

The producers would also like to create a television show out of the Pellucidar novels, which take place inside the Earth. They describe it as a "Star Trek" inside Earth.

It's not the first attempt at adapting the adventures of Carson of Venus. For some time the rights were bought by a studio, Angelic Pictures, and a great fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jeff Doten, worked on the art direction (you'll find one of his posters below). The production at the time didn't led to an actual movie.

It's left to see if this one will go farther. Harry Kloor wrote some Star Trek Voyager and Earth Final Conflict episodes, and was a scientific consultant on the latter. No credit in movies as of now.

For those who wouldn't know the adventures of Carson Napier, he's more or less the goofy cousin of John Carter. Carson is a relatively late hero in the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Most of his greatest sagas originated in the years 1910 (1912 for John Carter and Tarzan, 1914 for Pellucidar...), but Pirates of Venus was published in 1934. It's funny to see how we go from an absolutely fearless hero, John Carter (Burroughs had abandoned him for a time to concentrate on other Barsoomian heroes. He will go back to him two years later with Swords of Mars), to a Carson Napier way less daredevil and reckless. It's also funny to see the treatment of the feminine character, Duare, way less of the "damsel in distress" stereotype than in other novels. She event saves Carson quite a few times!

Writing-wise, Burroughs seems to let go of every attempt to create an unified storyline. When the Martian novels lend themselves to pretty straightforward adaptations quite nicely, the Venus novels throw to the wall hundreds of ideas and concept, to under-utilizing them in the long run! For example, Carson Napier is gifted with psychic powers, that he doesn't use once until the posthumous short story published in 1964! Coincidences more than ever abound in the stories, and more than once Carson gets back on track in the plot in the most random way, thanks to the will of his author. So even more than for Barsoom, Amtor, the name its inhabitants give to Venus, is perfectly suited for an  even loose adaptation. The political stances of Burroughs are presented there without any attempt at subtlety, the time of metaphors is gone! Indeed the Zanis from the third novel, and their matial salute "Maltu Mephis", don't leave any doubt about their origin. And that was written two years before World War 2. The Venus novels are thus imperfect, but also very touching. Burroughs, if he's free-wheeling his plots, still posessed his incredible imagination. After Burroughs' death in 1950, a few lines were found in his safe about another Carson Napier adventure. This hero was visibly dear to his heart.

Adaptation-wise, the excellent artist Mike Kaluta drew Carson Napier's adventures for DC Comics. Unfortunately the magazines were cancelled during the "Lost on Venus" adaptation, but he always said that he would be ready to draw the end of the story, if asked! One of the first "strips" published on ERB Inc's website was about Carson Napier, by Martin Powell and Tom Floyd (who was ill recently, we wish him a good recovery). Dark Horse published a great Tarzan and Carson Napier crossover. The novelist Neal Romanek wrote a sequel to Carson's adventures, "Skies of Venus" but it seems he didn't find a publisher yet.

Nerdvana's original post: http://nerdvanamedia.com/events/san-diego-comic-con-2016-friday/113233/

The sites of Jeff Doten: http://www.barsoomia.org/ http://www.strangeworldsanthology.com/ http://jeffdoten.dunked.com/

(Poster by Jeff Doten. In the center, Carson Napier and his princess Duare, and below, their plane named an Anotar by Duare)

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