MaasIf you showed me Swingers a few years ago and said “See that insecure guy who can’t get over his last girlfriend?  Some day he’ll direct a huge effects-driven franchise-starting sci-fi flick based on a classic series of novels,” I probably would’ve responded with something like, “Really?”  Well, perhaps with slightly more incredulity, but that genial sidekick who needed convincing that he was indeed “money” has since become a real Renaissance man.

Writer-director-actor-dinner host Jon Favreau is the latest lord to take the throne of Princess of Mars, Paramount’s massive adaptation of Edgar Rice Borroughs’ literature.  The story follows a war veteran named John Carter as he’s suddenly transported to the red planet and thrust into a world of beastly plants and hulking four-armed brutes. And the hottie of the title, of course.

We love the Favreau around these parts, and while he’s probably not the first name who comes to mind for such a project, he’s a dedicated geek and obviously developed quite a taste for FX-focused filmmaking on his latest flick Zathura, about brothers who find an old board game that somehow launches their home into the cosmos.  Let’s just hope the third time’s the charm on Princess  – Favreau replaces Sky Captain creator Kerry Conran on the project, who in turn took over when Robert Rodriguez departed. 

According to AICN, whose webmaster Harry Knowles is apparently still a producer on the project, Conran has left to pursue other pulp properties, while Favreau will jettison the previous Princess draft by Ehren Kruger and seek a screenwriter to better capture the Borroughs vibe.

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