Burroughing for Monsters

With the proposed big studio John Carter of Mars project still slated for 2012 — “reimagined at Pixar as a half animation/half live action project”, having gone through a gamut of directors (from Robert Rodriguez, to Kerry Conran of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow fame, then to Jon Favreau, director of Zathura: A Space Adventure) — it may be that Edgar Rice Burroughs’ space fantasies are about to see some long-overdue big screen action. Another Burroughs film project has raised its head into the bloglight, this one from Angelic Pictures.

Pirates of Venus poster

Angelic Pictures is an independent production company that was founded in 1997 “to assist in the creation of a major Steven Seagal action film”. In 2003, according to its website, it changed its focus to the production of fully funded feature films.

Now the company has announced the development of a $40 million project to film Burroughs’ Pirates of Venus, the first in the five-book “Venus” series. The film is scheduled for a 2010 release and the treatment and script is said to be completed. The website claims that Angelic has secured the rights to six Burroughs novels altogether.

Sounds ambitious, doesn’t it? From the website it’s a little hard to determine how current this information is as the most recent date mentioned is the launch of the film’s first public promotion at Comic Con International in 2006. The film may be dragging its heels after an enthusiastic start, as is often the case. The Pirates of Venus movie website is copyrighted 2005.

Still, it looks like something to watch.


After the carnage of World War 1, flying Ace Carson Napier had given up on life and the “civilized” world. At the lowest point in his life, Carson’s fortune changes as he inherits the expansive estate of his lost Grandfather. Fate leads him to decide if he should risk his life and follow his Grandfather to a distant world aboard an aged craft built by the old Man. A beautiful alien princess in need of his help gives him a new purpose in life within the dense jungles of Venus.

The website includes lots of concept art by Scott Benefiel (done in 2006, by the way) and this is certainly worth a look:

Napier fighting big spider

It also includes several galleries of “Vintage Art” relating to Pirates of Venus. If the giant monster goodness of the images below from Joe Jusko’s Art of Edgar Rice Burroughs (FPG 1996) reflect something of the potential final product, you can definitely count me in!

Pirates of Venus by Jusko 01

Pirates of Venus by Jusko 02

Pirates of Venus by Jusko 02

Current producer of the film is Bruce A. Pobjoy, who, apart from other credits, was post-production supervisor on the 1991 “Dark Shadows” TV series.

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3 Responses to Burroughing for Monsters

  1. I would love to see the Carson of Venus novels on film, but my expectations are pretty low.

  2. Backbrain says:

    I prefer to have no expectations…. 🙂 I hope they pull it off though.

  3. Avery says:

    I’m really hoping that this project does indeed get made. All the fantastic concept art and a budget of about 40 million sounds grand. Let’s hope we do get to see this one and that it doesn’t just fade away like the too good to be true”STEAM WARS”, and “WAR EAGLES”.

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