A widowed Civil War vet attempts to reconcile with his past by engaging in other-planetary warfare, while a pair of newbie police officers have to revisit their embarrassing teenage years while working undercover at a high school. The premises couldn’t be further apart and yet are the setups for two major upcoming March 2012 releases, John Carter and 21 Jump Street.

Today we have new featurettes for the titles which both focus on the respective films’ central character duo: the titular hero (Taylor Kitsch) and Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) in John Carter, along with the nerdy Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and dumb hunk Jenko (Channing Tatum) in 21 Jump Street.

John Carter is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic sci-fi novel “A Princess of Mars” and tells the story of its namesake (Kitsch), a Virginian ex-soldier who accidentally ends up being transported to Mars after seeking refuge in a mysterious cave. He arrives on the red planet to find an alien world tearing itself apart through internal warfare and thereafter aligns himself with inhabitants such as the 12-foot-tall green-skinned Tars Tarkas (portrayed via motion-capture by Willem Dafoe) and the “red” warrior princess Dejah Thoris (Collins), in the hopes of striking a peace between the various factions of the Martian population.

Check out the new featurette for John Carter:

21 Jump Street

Oscar-nominee Jonah Hill (you read that correctly) and Channing Tatum star in 21 Jump Street, a movie take on the classic 1980s TV series which propelled Johnny Depp to fame. The film features Hill and Tatum as Officers Schmidt and Jenko, a pair of underachieving cops who get recruited for an initiative that requires them to go undercover as high school students, in order to blow the cover on an elaborate drug ring. However, getting back into the groove of teenage life turns out to be a rather difficult task for the oddball duo.

Watch the new featurette for 21 Jump Street below:

Early John Carter buzz indicates that co-writer/director Andrew Stanton (Finding NemoWALL·E) and his production team have done an overall solid job of bringing Burroughs’ often bizarre sci-fi characters and old-fashioned narrative to life in a fresh and exhilarating fashion. If good word-of-mouth continues to build, then the costly Disney flick could avoid becoming the box office flop many have been anticipating.

21 Jump Street is also being helmed by a filmmaking pair better known for their work on CGI animated fare, in the form of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Early footage (especially in the red band trailers) has gone over surprisingly well, thanks to the film’s Superbad style mashup of action and comedy – not to mention, the pervading self-awareness of the movie’s jokes in general.

John Carter hits theaters in the U.S. next month on March 9th, followed by 21 Jump Street on the 16th.

Source: Walt Disney Pictures, Yahoo! Movies