|Andrew Stanton director||previously directed WALL-E|
A man dealing with the loss of his family in the Civil War ends up transported to Mars in this fantasy epic.
|Edgar Rice Burroughs||novel, characters|
|Taylor Kitsch||John Carter|
|Lynn Collins||Dejah Thoris|
|Willem Dafoe||Tars Tarkas|
|Mark Strong||Matai Shang|
|Dominic West||Sab Than|
|Thomas Haden Church||Taj Hajus|
|Daryl Sabara||Edgar Rice Burroughs|
|James Purefoy||Kantos Kan|
|See Full Credits|
"The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands".
Producers Mario Kassar and Andrew G. Vajna bought the rights to Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel A Princes of Mars so Disney could have a competitor for Star Wars and Conan the Barbarian. Disney hired writers Ted Elliot and and Rossio to draft a screenplay for the film and director John McTiernan was approached to direct while Tom Cruise was approached to star as John Carter.
McTiernan left the project as the visual effects technology was not nearly advanced enough for the film to properly recreate Burroughs' vision. As a result the project collapsed and the rights remained at Disney for a time before returning to Edgar Rice Burroughs' estate. Then in the early 2000's producer James Jacks expressed interest in filming the novel and convinced Paramount Pictures to purchase the rights only to start a bidding war with rival Columbia Pictures. Paramount won the rights to the film and hired writer Mark Protosevich to draft a screenplay. Director Robert Rodriguez then signed on to direct the film and filming was set for 2005.
Rodriguez left the film however after he credited Frank Miller as co-director on Sin City. Unlike Rodirguez, Miller was not a member of the Directors Guild of America and as a result, Rodriguez left work on John Carter and resigned from the Directors Guild as he would only be credited on Sin City. So Paramount then hired director Kerry Conran to helm the film as he was a member of the DGA. Conran left the project for unknown reasons though and in October 2005, director Jon Favreau was hired to replace him. Favreau however wanted to use practical effects for the film instead of digital like Rodriguez and Conran had planned. Paramount however decided not to renew the rights in 2006 in favor of focusing on Star Trek and the project ceased development.
Disney eventually regained rights in 2007 and immediately began development on the film hiring director/writer Andrew Stanton and writer Mark Andrews to make the film. The two though had to make sure the film stayed at a PG-13 because of Disney's familiarity as an "all ages" brand and because they had never even made a rated R film at the time and as of 2012, they still have not. By 2008, the two had completed a script that was intended to be part one of a trilogy and in 2009, author Michael Chabon was hired to do rewrites on the script. To do research for the script, Stanton visited Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc in Tarzan, California but found the task of pre-production very easy as he had read all eleven of the Barsoom novels in his childhood and recalled vividly the details of the books. He originally had the film titled "John Carter of Mars" but subsequently dropped "Of Mars" from the title because he felt it would not reach across a wide demographic if that portion of the title was kept.
Filming lasted for six months starting in January 2010 in London at Longrcross Studios and wrapping in Utah in July of 2010. Much of the film was shot in the desert using real locations that resembled ancient ruins and CGI was used to add things to the structures like windows or stairs. Despite having 2,295 visual effects shots, director Andrew Stanton stated in an interview with Collider.com, that 80% of the film was physical photography and only 20% was actually visual effects. Most of the main CGI characters in the film were created via motion capture with actors on set and the digital image being added in during post production.
For scenes involving large numbers of CGI humanoid characters, only one actor was used and the visual effects artists just duplicated the image multiple times. By January 2011, Stanton had a rough cut of the film to present to the heads of Pixar but the screening did not go over well. They felt that Princess Dejah Toris was too unlikable for the kind of character she was and had Stanton cut a few scenes so that the audience wouldn't find her totally unlikable. In Post Production, the film was converted into Digital 3D and IMAX 3D.
To score the film composer Michael Giacchino; Pixar's "go to" composer was hired. Giacchino had never worked with Stanton before but had composed scores for four of Pixar's other directors: John Lasseter , Pete Docter, and Brad Bird whom he had composed three film scores for. Giacchino in total composed 19 songs for the film. A limited run of physical copies were manufactured and the album sold remarkably well; even making it to Amazon.com's Top 25 best selling soundtracks two weeks before release. The soundtrack's physical copy continued hold steady up until the film's release even cracking the top 15 on Amazon's soundtrack chart.
|1.A Thern for the Worse||7:38|
|3.Gravity of the Situation||1:20|
|4.Thark Side of Barsoom||2:55|
|5.Sab Than Pursues the Princess||5:33|
|6.The Temple of Issus||3:24|
|8.The Blue Light Special||4:11|
|9. Carter They Come, Carter They Fall||3:54|
|10. A Change of Heart||3:04|
|11. A Thern Warning||4:04|
|12. The Second Biggest Apes I've Seen This Month||2:35|
|13. The Right of Challenge||2:22|
|14. The Prize is Barsoom||4:29|
|15. The Fight For Helium||4:32|
|16. Not Quite Finished||2:06|
|18. Ten Bitter Years||3:12|
|19. John Carter of Mars||8:53|
To tie in to the film, Disney released three tie in books; John Carter: The Movie Novelization, The Art of Disney's John Carter, and a collected edition of a prequel comic entitled John Carter: World of Mars. Unlike most move novelization's for Disney films, John Carter: The Movie Novelization is intended for adult readers and not kids as the film is rated PG-13. The novelization also includes Edgar Rice Burroughs' original novel A Princes of Mars. World of Mars was a four issue limited series by Marvel focusing on the war between the character of Sab Than and the Princess of Mars. Unlike most major big budget films, John Carter did not receive a video game adaptation. The Art of Disney's John Carter by director Andrew Stanton showed a behind the scenes look at the film's unique visual style.
The first trailer for John Carter was released on July 14, 2011. The trailer clocking in at 1:37 was intended to be a teaser trailer and received mainly negative reactions. Disney released on a second trailer on December 1, 2011 and received mixed reactions from people with most calling it derivative or unoriginal because they were unfamiliar with Edgar Rice Burroughs' novel which the film is based on. In late January 2012, Disney released a sneak peek for their Super Bowl TV Spot for John Carter. The TV Spot itself received mainly negative reviews because it was less than 30 seconds in length and showed almost nothing from the film. However the extended TV spot received positive reviews as it was about 30 seconds longer and gave a much better look at the film.
Disney's marketing was widely criticized as it was severely undermarketed in comparison to other big budget films like 2011's Green Lantern (Which Warner. Bros spent $100 Million marketing). However many were quick to point that 2010's TRON: Legacy was a big success at the box office despite being poorly marketed by Disney. All the trailers for John Carter caused significant negative reactions upon their release causing Disney to wonder if the film was going to be a success for them. On February 5, 2012 a fan made trailer was released for John Carter that compiled footage from various clips and the several different trailers. The fan trailer garnered significant positive reactions across the internet that was universally accepted as a much better trailer for the film than any of Disney's.
According to Deadline, early tracking for the film by rival studios showed that most people had either not heard of the film or were aware but were completely uninterested in it with responses being "Not good. 2 unaided, 53 aware, 27 definitely interested, 3 first choice". In order to get the film noticed more, Disney released on February 23, 2012, an extended 4:27 clip of the film showing a few scenes in the film. As with the other trailers released by Disney, it received mainly negative feedback with many calling it unoriginal and looking too much like Attack of the Clones despite the fact that it is based on a book that inspired Flash Gordon which in turn inspired Star Wars. Although from fans of the Barsoom series, reception was mainly positive.
Disney released a final trailer for the film on February 28, 2012 and again received much negative criticism for not giving anyone unfamiliar with Edgar Rice Burroughs' any clue as to what the film was about. On March 4, 2012 Disney released a ten minute clip showing the first ten minutes of the film. The clip garnered extremely positive reactions making it Disney's first piece of marketing to receive such reactions.
Several weeks before release, rumors were circulating that John Carter was behind scale and massively over-budget (well over $300 million). However, Indiewire reported this on February 17, 2012:
Calling reports about the rumored $300 million budget “a complete and utter lie” Director Andrew Stanton insisted the studio was fully behind him: “I want to go completely on record that I literally was on budget and on time the entire shoot. Disney is so completely psyched that I stayed on budget and on time that they let me have a longer reshoot because I was such a good citizen, so I find it ironic that we’re getting accused of the opposite.”
Domestically in the United States, John Carter opened to only $30,180,188 but made made over $70 million overseas in it's first weekend. In its' second weekend the film dropped a sharp 55.5% domestically ending up making only $13.5 million but raking in $40.7 million overseas. On March 19, 2012 Disney announced that they would write down John Carter as losing them $200 Million costing them $120 Million for the first fiscal quarter of the year. With that loss, John Carter overtook Disney's 2011 box office bomb Mars Needs Moms! as the biggest box office bomb of all time. John Carter makes 2012 Disney's fourth consecutive year with a loss in profits caused by a large write down of poor performing films starting in 2008 with Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
Early reception for the film was mainly positive as soon as Disney removed their embargo on reviews for the film one week before release. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film held a 73% approval rate from critics just five days before the films' release with 15 reviews posted at the time. Many of the earliest reviews were extremely positive with critic Devin Faraci of Badass Digest saying "Often spectacular, with stunning action and thrilling moments, it's a film that captures the pulpy, swashbuckling sensibilities of Burroughs while updating much of the whiz bang for an audience a century older than the original novels". However as soon as more reviews started toi come in for the film it's tomatometer dropped into the 60's fluctuating frequently. Critic Joshua Sterns of ComingSoon.net gave the film an 8.5 out of 10 calling it "A modern pulp adventure in the classic Spielberg and Lucas vein, John Carter is exactly what pointless entertainment should be but often isn't".
However other critics such as Jaime N. Christley reacted extremely negatively to the film giving .5 out of four stars. More negative reviews followed with the film only receiving a "rotten" 52% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes out of 208 reviews the general consensus being that "While John Carter looks terrific and delivers its share of pulpy thrills, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and characterization." Critics were sharply divided over all aspects of the film with many praising the film for its' pacing and other lambasting for poor pacing. One thing that most critics could agree on though that the plot was near incomprehensible for those not intimately familiar with the Barsoom series.
Here's The First Ten Minutes Of John Carter
Disney's movie is doing poorly in tracking, so they release a ten-minute clip that has no aliens or Mars or hot princesses in it. Um, ok!
Trailer 3: John Carter
Disney apparently took the challenge of that actually-decent fan trailer seriously, and decided to beef up this last trailer with...dubstep? Oh, Disney!
Trailer 2: John Carter
This looks like some ridiculous mashup of Attack of the Clones, Stargate, and Wild Wild West. Will it be good? We'll find out in March!
Trailer: John Carter
Dune meets Cowboys and Aliens? This live-action debut of Pixar director Andrew Stanton is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter Of Mars.
|blog||The Next JOHN CARTER??||VioletEyedDragon|
|news||Best Movies of 2012: Matthew Marko||MatthewMarko|
|review||John - ah - ah - Saviour of the Universe! (3 out of 5)||etragedy|
|news||DVD/Blu-Ray: June 5th||staceywi|
|blog||3-D Report: February & March 2012||VioletEyedDragon|
|review||John Carter (B) (3 out of 5)||VioletEyedDragon|
|review||John Carter and the weight of wait (3 out of 5)||ruckus24|
|news||John Carter Is Now Officially The Biggest Bomb Of All Time||Rorie|
|US Release||March 9, 2012|
|UK Release||March 9, 2012|
|AUS Release||March 8, 2012|
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|Alias(es)||John Carter of Mars|