The John Carter Super Bowl trailer took an odd approach to selling Disney’s pricey literary adaptation, which the Mouse House has poured some $250 million and several years worth of time and creative effort into. Considering just how massive in scale the special effects-driven adventure is, one might have expected a TV promo that played up the film more as a visually-majestic sci-fi epic treatment of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ famous source material.

For those who are in the mood for more John Carter eye candy than what the Super Bowl TV spot served up, you need look no further than our new gallery of high-resolution stills from the film.

John Carter is the first of two impending blockbusters headlined by Friday Night Lights‘ Taylor Kitsch (the other being Battleship) and sees the TV hunk appear alongside his X-Men Origins: Wolverine costar Lynn Collins, who plays the lovely Princess Dejah Thoris – ie., the character referenced in the title of Burrough’s first Carter novel, “A Princess of Mars”.

Both Collins and Kitsch spend the majority of John Carter running around scantily-clad, so give director Andrew Stanton (Finding NemoWALL·E) credit: he’s delivering the whole package (no pun), as far as fan service goes.

For proof of that, you need look no further than the new John Carter images, in the gallery below:

Muscular heroes, a gorgeous warrior princess, dangerous 12-foot-tall green-skinned native aliens, imaginative Martian architecture and aircrafts – everything a devoted sci-fi genre fan could ask for is present and accounted for in John Carter. So why then is there so much speculation around the movie blogosphere that this film could be a costly gamble that doesn’t pay off as well as Disney hopes (a la TRON: Legacy), rather than the start to a new prosperous franchise, akin to the Pirates of the Caribbean series?

Part of the problem is that John Carter‘s cast also features greats like Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes), Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), Samantha Morton (Minority Report), and Ciarán Hinds (The Woman in Black), but no one who’s really considered all that “bankable.” Not to mention, early footage of Kitsch as Carter has yet to leave a strong impression on most people – and an engaging central performance is all the more necessary for this film to work, given how much it centers around John Carter’s personal character arc.

We will find out for certain whether John Carter is a hit or miss when the film opens around the U.S. (in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters) on March 9th, 2012.

Source: CineHeroes (via Collider)