Nobody knows how to create product awareness like Walt Disney Pictures, and the Mouse House is once again proving just that with its marketing campaign for the upcoming John Carter. Even people who had never before heard of words like “Thark,” “Calot,” or “Barsoom” – much less read the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ original John Carter novels “A Princess of Mars” – are now taking notice of Disney’s expensive adaptation of the iconic sci-fi series.
In case the previous featurettes, images, TV spots, or Superbowl Trailer weren’t sufficient for you to decide whether or not you want to actually see John Carter – we now have four new minute-long clips from the film, along with another promo that boasts additional not-yet-seen footage (to help you make up your mind).
John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) as the film’s namesake, a Virginian and ex-Civil War vet who accidentally gets transported to Mars – or Barsoom, as the planet’s inhabitants call it – after taking refuge in a mysterious cave.
Carter thereafter discovers that the Red Planet is engulfed in its own internal conflict, as he makes allies in the forms of the green-skinned Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe), the “Red Princess” Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), and the “Martian dog” Woola – while also crossing paths with foes such as the dark-eyed humanoid Matai Shang (Mark Strong).
See all those characters (and more) in action, by watching the latest footage unveiled from John Carter:
We’ve previously compared director Andrew Stanton’s $250 million John Carter adaptation to Disney’s similarly costly “gamble”, TRON: Legacy, another 3D effects-heavy cinematic installment in a sci-fi franchise with a strong cult following – albeit, one nowhere near as prolific or respected as Burrough’s source material. Similarly, John Carter seems to have an advantage over the TRON sequel, as the former appears far more epic in terms of sheer scale and the number of awe-inspiring action set pieces (the White Ape coliseum match, the Carter vs. Thark army battles, etc.). In other words: the film should deliver much more than a little bang for your buck.
That brings us to what doesn’t look so appealing about John Carter. Namely, Kitsch as the title character doesn’t really seem to exude charisma (he comes off as only somewhat more expressive than Garrett Hedlund in TRON: Legacy) while the storyline and character moments don’t look to leave all that strong an impression. The film’s “friendly” sense of humor is tolerable, though admittedly the jokes shown so far are geared more towards younger moviegoers (not a bad thing, per se).
That’s all to say: John Carter should offer a lot of cool eye candy, but it may not do justice by the beloved characters originally conceived by Burroughs. Whether or not the actual film will prove more substantial than that early consensus, we shall have to wait and see…
John Carter arrives in 2D, 3D and IMAX 3D theaters around the U.S. on March 9th, 2012.
Source: Walt Disney Pictures, Yahoo! Movies