A Dying Planet

Over at the NRO Corner, one Michael Austin writes:

So, John Carter is shaping up to be the Ishtar of the 2010s, the Gates of Heaven of the Obama years. Disney is taking a $200 million bath on a movie that cost nearly a third of a billion dollars to make. Who would ever green-light such an absurd amount of money for a project whose original fans were driving Model T’s and listening to the organ while watching the latest moving picture from the Lumiere brothers?

Allow me to answer the question. Material from 1912 is (a) in the public domain and (b) if it has lasted a century, it is good stuff. The smothering mustard gas of modern realistic fiction had not found its way into the pulps, where the heirs of all the ancient epics and heroic ballads of old where to be found.

Mark Steyn chimes in:

Yeah, but what else you got? Sherlock Holmes? Narnia? Middle Earth? Hollywood’s business model is to take a story that cost two shillings and thruppence-ha’penny and spend a fifth of a billion making it lousier. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn’t, but either way the industry’s living off Model T fumes. Hollywood could use its own Edgar Rice Burroughs, but instead it’s a business full of guys who can’t even adapt Edgar Rice Burroughs for less than 300 mil — and then blow it.