Variety reports that Disney is optioning rights to the Edgar Rice Burroughs sci-fi series "John Carter of Mars" as a potential franchise for the studio. Paramount had previously owned the rights to the epic and had set the project up with Jon Favreau directing and Sean Daniel and Jim Jacks producing. But Paramount's option expired and now Disney has jumped aboard and is in talks with Burroughs' estate. The film begins with a Civil War veteran whose retreat into a cave to avoid capture by Apache Indians takes an otherworldly turn as he's transported via time portal to the planet of Barsoom and taken prisoner by 12-foot-tall green men. Burroughs wrote 11 volumes of Carter's adventures and Disney is hoping the film will launch a franchise.