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The screenplay was seen as confusing and difficult to follow.
He had never directed a live-action film before, and wanted to make the film without any major stars whose names could guarantee an audience, at least on opening weekend.
The project remained at Disney, and Jeffrey Katzenberg was a strong proponent of filming the novels, but the rights eventually returned to the Burroughs estate.
Producer James Jacks read Harry Knowles' autobiography, which lavishly praised the John Carter of Mars series.
Andrew Stanton, director of the Pixar Animation Studios hits Finding Nemo (2003) and WALL-E (2008), lobbied the Walt Disney Studios to reacquire the rights from Burroughs' estate.
"Since I'd read the books as a kid, I wanted to see somebody put it on the screen," he explained.
Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio were hired to write, while John Mc Tiernan and Tom Cruise were approached to direct and star.