Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Public Domain Movies

In light of the recent move by the Asylum to bring Edgar Rice Burroughs' A PRINCESS OF MARS to the screen, I thought it might be nice to brainstorm other possible "public domain" movies (or web serials) we might like to see in the near future:

How about THE BLACK BAT?

There's many others here.

For those of you not up on the idea of the public domain it boils down to the idea that anyone can take these characters and either reprint their old editions or create new work based on the character (which is then copyrightable, but you can't sue others who use the same character you did in their book). It's a LITTLE more complicated, but that's the basics.

It's an interesting situation using the public domain characters and material because you have instant recognition with your audience. You say you're making a movie with Captain Nemo and they get it because they've seen / read / heard his name for years. The problem (if it is a problem) is that anyone can make a Captain Nemo movie.

So yes, The Asylum and Pixar can both make their versions of A Princess of Mars (read it here). You can make your version... or you can make your version of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (I hear Disney abandoned theirs).

The point is to use this material to your advantage and make something!

Which public domain character would star in your movie or serial?


Stephen Geigen-Miller said...

Quite a bit of H. P. Lovecraft's work is now in the public domain; I'd like to do something with one of his more obscure, non-Cthulu Mythos stories, 'The Temple'.

A curse from lost Atlantis drives the crew of a WWI U-boat slowly mad; the Captain fights for control as the sailors turn on him and one another, while the gods of Atlantis watch and wait...

Jon Molly said...

Burrough's "Moon Men" series isn't quite as well known as the Barsoom series, but it's just as rollicking. Commie aliens conquer the moon and then the earth before finally being overthrown by the great-great-great-etc.-grandson of the original earthman freedom fighter? What's not to like about that?

And there's always room for a new version of Alice in Wonderland. I'm surprised Asylum hasn't tried to piggyback on the Tim Burton version yet.

barsoomcore said...

Dejah Thoris. No question.