Someone passed along the above video and with a bit of research was able to track down some interesting details.
Now it’s interesting for several reasons, but first any fan of sci-fi related projects or animation projects would like to know that in 1930 animator Bob Clampett approached Edgar Rice Burroughs (author of Tarzan and John Carter of Mars) about working with Warner Brothers Studios on a feature adaptation of the John Carter series.
Could you imagine the possibilities for both the sci-fi genre and animation as well if this had been completed? It’s a similar hypothetical when it was discovered that director Orson Welles was working on a potential Batman project that eventually got shelved.
Here, the animation is similar in vein to the Fleischer-era Superman cartoons. “Sadly, problems with the studio prevented the animated film from ever seeing the light of a Terran day,” writes John DeNardo on AMC’s SciFi Scanner. “Burroughs and Clampett wanted to make a serious since fiction adventure while the studios (in typical studio fashion that foreshadowed decades of missteps) wanted to make a sci-fi slapstick comedy.”
The good news is that Pixar Studios has in development some sort of John Carter of Mars project, which has fallen through the Hollywood studios. It has long been in development hell, with directors such as Robert Rodriquez, John Favreau (who dropped it to do Iron Man), and Kerry Conran (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) previously attached.
Update: I should have done my homework instead of relying on my sketchy memory.? Yup, the Orson Welles Batman project was indeed a hoax.? Many thanks to all of you for pointing this out, keeping me on my toes and fact checking for me.? Much obliged!