Jon “Elf” Favreau is directing John Carter of Mars for Paramount.
The film is now in pre-production, and is set for a 2006 release.
The sci-fi fantasy is a about Civil War veteran John Carter, who is mysteriously transplanted to Mars. There he discovers a lush, wildly diverse planet whose main inhabitants are 12-foot tall green barbarians.
Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, who is in desperate need of a savior.
The film was originally titled “A Princess of Mars” after the book on which it’s based. Robert Rodriguez was signed and announced as director and had begun pre-production in 2004 (it would have been his largest project to date with starting budget reported at $100 million). Rodriguez even hired fantasy painter Frank Frazetta (who illustrated many “John Carter on Mars” books) as production designer on the film. However, when Rodriguez resigned from the Directors’ Guild of America, that same year, due to a dispute over his film Sin City, Paramount was forced to replace him. They have a long standing agreement to only hire DGA member directors for their projects.
He was then replaced by Kerry Conran, who also directed Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I don’t have word on why Kerry was taken off the project, as this has been his dream project for some time. Kerry even hired Harry Knowles (of Ain’t it Cool News fame), as a producer on the film.