‘John Carter’ Image Reveals A Mighty White Ape

Published 3 years ago by

John Carter scheduled for IMAX 3D release John Carter Image Reveals A Mighty White Ape

Disney has been fairly quiet when it comes to marketing its upcoming (expensive) sci-fi project John Carter, an adaptation of the first novel in Edgar Rice Burrough’s classic John Carter literary series. The studio previewed footage from the film at the 2011 D23 Expo and unveiled a teaser trailer this past summer, but casual moviegoers still seem by and large oblivious to the film’s existence or background.

However, longtime John Carter novel fans are definitely intrigued to see the movie – and the latest image from the film, depicting a Martian “White Ape” in battle, should only stoke their fires of anticipation.

For non-John Carter fans, here is a quick plot synopsis for the new film:

Civil War vet John Carter (Taylor Kitsch)  is transplanted to Mars, where he discovers a lush, wildly diverse planet whose main inhabitants are 12-foot tall green barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), Princess of Helium, who is in desperate need of a savior.

Those who attended the D23 Expo actually got an early glimpse at one of the film’s big action set pieces: a deadly showdown where the alien Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and John Carter are trapped in a gladiatorial arena and forced to battle gigantic, multi-limbed Martian beasts known as White Apes. However, for the vast majority of people, the following still frame from said scene (see below) marks their first look at the CGI creatures.


john carter image 570x334 John Carter Image Reveals A Mighty White Ape

Here is what John Carter’s multiple Oscar-winning director, Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) had to offer EW, with regards to the design of the White Apes and their role in the film’s narrative:

“[The White Apes is] sort of an oversized gorilla in the books, and they’re kind of ubiquitous. They’re littered everywhere through at least the first several novels. They were always cool, just from a visceral standpoint, [but] they don’t really have a narrative function in the first book. So what we did is we made the White Apes a formidable creature that you kind of hear about throughout the movie, but you never really witness. There’s a subtle sense of anticipation for what these things might be like.

“Then Michael Kutsche — who did a lot of the designs on [the Johnny Depp movie] Alice in Wonderland came up with this design on his own, for just their scale. He made them nocturnal, almost like moles — they stopped using their eyes, and just had a heightened sense of smell. We just love that. We needed a scene where Carter was going have to get out of his execution sentence in order to move the story forward, and we thought what better than having to go up against this formidable creature?

“… I don’t want to give any spoilers away, but basically [John Carter] needs an army to solve his big problem in the third act, and the only army he knows was his previous captors. When he goes back, the game has changed, and he gets incarcerated. This is what he has to get out of. He has to get out of jail and not get killed by these apes in order to get his bigger problem solved.”

john carter taylor kitsch John Carter Image Reveals A Mighty White Ape

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter

Early John Carter footage has so far drawn love/hate reactions from viewers. The 19th-century aesthetic and fantastical design of everything from the Martian landscape to its native inhabitants has seemed outdated to some, imaginative and eye-catching to others. Similarly, the basic plot setup for the film has already (and is bound to continue) drawing comparisons to sci-fi titles like Avatar and Dune, to mention just a couple. While the narrative of Burrough’s source material was very much a trend-setter, it comes off as merely a generic copycat to many who are not familiar with the original John Carter novels.

John Carter boasts a pretty soldi creative team that includes Stanton, Oscar-nominated co-scribe Mark Andrews (the Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Samurai Jack cartoon series), Pulitzer Prize-winning scribe Michael Chabon, and director of photography Daniel Mindel (Star Trek). That’s not to mention the cast, which also includes reliable thespians like Samantha Morton, Ciarán Hinds, Thomas Hayden Church, Mark Strong, and Bryan Cranston in supporting roles.

That’s all to say: John Carter is definitely a costly gamble (the budget is estimated to be upwards of $200-250 million) for Disney – one that may not pay off either critically or financially. All the same, there’s certainly potential for this to be a truly memorable moviegoing experience.


John Carter arrives in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters around the U.S. on March 9th, 2012.

Source: EW

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  1. This film should be good.

  2. Looks like Price of Persia…wt eff?

  3. It is going to annoy me when people start saying “They ripped off Attack of the Clones!”

    I thought “Attack of the Clones” was a bad movie, but after I read the first John Carter omnibus I see just how much Lucas ripped it off for AOTC. That just makes me hate that movie even more.

    I’m looking forward to this. However, I’ve gotta agree that many people will think this film is copying others. Many of the ideas have influences later films and most viewers will not realize that the books it was based on are just over 100 years or so old.

    • Totally agree with your comments.

      • Yeah. No John Carter – No He-Man! ^-^

  4. I’ve read tons of the John Carter stories over the years, and this film just gets me more excited every time! Finally (not counting Disney’s Tarzan) a movie showcasing the creative brilliance of Edgar Rice Burroughs!

  5. looks pretty good.

    My only comment would be that I find it interesting they decided to anthropomorphize Tharks by giving them forward facing eyes like humans instead of more insect eyes (which is more correct) BUT for the White Apes, they made them look less ape like by doing exactly the opposite.

    • I missed the part above about making the nocturnal…..W T F? Why the hell do people insist on changing established things just to be different?

      This is from Princess of Mars:

      Here I was thrown upon my back, and beheld standing over me a colossal ape-like creature, white and hairless except for an enormous shock of bristly hair upon its head.

      The thing, which more nearly resembled our earthly men than it did the Martians I had seen, held me pinioned to the ground with one huge foot, while it jabbered and gesticulated at some answering creature behind me. This other, which was evidently its mate, soon came toward us, bearing a mighty stone cudgel with which it evidently intended to brain me.

      The creatures were about ten or fifteen feet tall, standing erect, and had, like the green Martians, an intermediary set of arms or legs, midway between their upper and lower limbs. Their eyes were close together and non-protruding; their ears were high set, but more laterally located than those of the Martians, while their snouts and teeth were strikingly like those of our African gorilla.

      Follow the books dammit and quit screwing with the source material for no good reason!

      • They are kinda between a rock and a hard place with this film. If they follow Burroughs too closely the audience who doesn’t know Burroughs will think it’s ripping off other fantasy movies and it’s old fashioned. But if they depart from Burroughs too much they will lose the Burroughs audience.

        It’s similar to the comic book movies. You are trying to please two different audiences. It’s a very fine line.

        • While I can see your point, exactly what movie are they ripping off with a 15′ tall 4 armed, hairless gorilla? The makers of this movie might not have liked the way the White Ape was described but just making them nocturnal and giving them mole eyes “because they wanted to” or simply because it’s “cool” is not a good or even poor reason to do it.

          Imagine if Jackson decided to change the Balrog on LotR to being an ice creature. It would be “cool” and you could dream up a reason why it should be ice based instead of fire but it would be neither right or necessary. The original description worked and was followed. Simple.

          Give me some at least semi plausible reason why they just HAD to do this and I will say ok, but this change was completely unnecessary.

          • I agree with Mongoose, there was no reason to change anything in the book no matter what concocted reasons people come up with. I understand their caving to the nudity issues, though we have come a long way since the turn of the last century, but changing source material simply because it is “Cool” is BS. Its also been the basis for why so many movies have failed in the last 20 years.

            This book was the basis for almost every other author who influenced all others since 1912. That should be a selling point and hyped by Disney. Instead we have them releasing little if any previews and interest in the movie until the last minute. It’s almost as if they want it to not pull in large audiences so they can say ” see we did an ERB movie”, now let’s get back to making cartoons.

            • But the director, screenwriters, producers, animators and the lunchtruck guy had a creative vision that was so much better. Heh heh.

  6. Picture of guy in chains is actually a screen-capture from the security camera at Wal-Mart where I work, of me in my last employee evaluation, being berated by my fearsome and beastly boss!

    • Huh. Your boss looks just like my brothers ex wife. Looks like he’s even dragging the ball and chain.

  7. I so hope this movie is very successful and brings Burroughs back into the spotlight and gets people reading him again. The man was just a great natural born adventure writer.

    Also it wouldn’t hurt for kids to read about truly heroic characters instead of the scumbags that pass for heroes nowdays either.

    • Thumbs up for that

  8. looks like a he-man movie hehehe

    • HeMan is a pimple on the rear compared to John Carter Warlord of Mars. The man was a true hero and an ideal for what true honor means.

      • Yet for all his gentlemanlyness he was no wimp. He could slice and dice innards with a sword like nobodies business.

  9. Ignore. Just trying to get avatar to show back up.

  10. i wish they would be proud to call the movie “John Carter of Mars”. that name is badass, even though this is an obvious attempt from disney to get back that semi bad-assness that prince of persia had. own it diz

    • Another sticking point with me. They supposedly changed the name to distance themselves from the crappy “Mars needs Moms” movie that Disney also produced. WTF? On what planet do we live where you would see the title, “John Carter from Mars”, link it with Mars Needs Moms and then decide John Carter will suck because the other one did??? Talk about a stretch of the imagination. They are completely over thinking the situation and in the process keeping themselves from using a better title that will probably garner more positive buzz because of the name.

      Change it back to “John Carter of Mars” like it should be.

      • seriously. John Carter alone reminds me of John tucker must die for some reason. it just like a romantic comedy about like a guy women are attracted to played by josh duhmal or whatever his name is. John Carter of mars has so much more potential behind that name and just sounds like it has a bigger story to be told. i guess they simply do not care too much since i’ve only seen the trailer in theaters probably twice maybe three times at most. and i go usually once or twice a week..it’s just sad to see potentially great lore (haven’t read the comic) obviously not being backed too well..if this were Pirates 5 or Persia 2???? forget it. we’d know all Depp’s HILARIOUS ONE LINERS well before the release date. definitely gonna try to do my best to enjoy this one

  11. Yes, with every new piece of info they release, my excitement turns more to concern. I fear much of Carter’s character and much of the story itself will get “improved”.
    I just hope it isn’t like The Count of Monte Cristo.

  12. i think if disney would emphasize that this story is by the author of tarzan it would help in marketing it. from many of the comments i have read on other sites people are unable to make the connection that they should. it was edgar rice burroughs that inspired many of those successful sci-fi authors who followed him. i am definitely going to see this movie!