‘John Carter’ Images: Giant Green Men, Airships, & A Princess of Mars

3 years ago by  

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)

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: john carter


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. I think this looks really great. The Superbowl trailer looked pretty awesome.

    Off topic…. A load of new Dredd pics turned up online today. They look soooooooo cool. I can’t wait.

  2. The trailer during the superbowl for john carter looked really good but only one trailer stood out above the rest THE AVENGERS EPIC!!!!!!!!

  3. Hope I’m not entering controversial territory by asking, but was the character Dejah Thoris a “warrior princess” in the original novel? Or was she… you know… a princess?

    Not that I have any problem with it, I just feel like it’s interesting that any time there’s a princess nowadays in a movie, she’s somehow gotta be a MACHO princess too (see Pixar’s next on that).

    Not trying to stoke controversy, just askin’…

    • She is described in the books as being a competent fighter. So while she is supposed to be Carter’s love interest, she is a much less frail and weak damsel in distress and more warrior on equal footing.

  4. “everything a devoted sci-fi genre fan could ask for is present and accounted for in John Carter”

    Yes, except for the whole, couldn’t be bothered to follow the book descriptions with any degree of accuracy thing. So other than that LITTLE oversight, sure, everything…….

    • The most immediate things that bug me are the Princess isn’t red-skinned enough, and the Tharks look like a bunch of grasshoppers in a bugs bunny cartoon. On the other side, Andrew Stanton is a great director for this type of film, so that’s keeping me semi-optimistic for now.

      What other visuals are bugging you, Mongoose? (and no, the princess can’t be naked, I’ll give them that :) )

      • You know, if it was just little things like skin not being red enough I could let it go because there does come a time when you have to let go because it will never match exactly and you are being nit picky…..however……not matching goes well beyond simple skin tone.

        The easiest thing to do is direct you to the last John Carter thread where I posted a bunch of links as to what the creatures should look like.


        You can compare them with the movie versions and draw your own conclusions.

        About the Tharks…..I agree with you completely. They should be 15′ tall green, four armed, martians with insectoid heads/eyes and tusks coming out of their mouths. About all they got correct was color and general proportions (i.e. tall and skinny and NOT muscular like some artists have mistakenly drawn them) I do know why they did it though.

        Height – was cut down to about 10′ so they didn’t have to pull the camera back 20′ just to keep the human and martian heads in frame at the same time. A non-issue in the books but a huge one in a movie where you want to capture the characters expressions. So forgivable.

        Humanesque features – This would be, as you put it, looking like cartoon grasshoppers. The used human eyes instead of the correct bulbous side eyes because what I will call the “alien factor”. Hollywood is terrified of the audience not being able to relate to the main characters so they feel it’s necessary to make the more alien looking creatures more human so we can better relate to them and empathize with them. The more non-human they appear the more sinister and evil they are perceived to be, vilifying them. Not what you want people to think because the Tharks are good guys. I understand their logic train but I don’t agree with it, especially in this day and age. If we can relate and love a silly short robot (a la R2D2 or WALL-E) or embrace and care for the anti-hero (like say Riddick) why not a 15′ tall, 4 armed insect? Hollywood is afraid to take a chance so this is what we end up with….safe and human. I’m really tired of them not allowing us the choice and forcing us to hold their hand when we cross the movie street. Understandable but misplaced perception.

        Side facial tusks – Same thing. It would make facial expression difficult to recognize and they would look more bestial = not human = non-relatable.

        Even if this was the only large deviation they made, I would be fine with it because I do “get” the method behind the madness when it comes to the Tharks. Sadly it goes much further (at least I think so)

        So go look at the links in the other thread, compare them and then you can tell me if I’m being too harsh and they match what the books say they should look like.

  5. @mongoose – I confess I have not read the Barsoom novels, so I can’t speak to the look of the film compared to the books. Still, whenever these types of projects come up (modern interpretations of sci-fi/fantasy classics), I often wish we could hear what the original author might think of these efforts. Apart from their surprise that their vision has been made “real” by modern movie technology, would they be flattered or disappointed?

    • An interesting PoV but not entirely without prescient.

      I don’t know if you are familiar with the 1984 movie “DUNE” but it deviated quite heavily from the book in places. Frank Herbert (the author) embraced the changes David Lynch (director) made. They were very different but he quite liked the things Lynch changed/added.

      I saw an interview where the two discussed the movie and Herbert looked genuinely pleased with things. Whether he was just putting on a good face for the crowd and really didn’t like the changes I can’t say but I got the impression he was being sincere.

      Conversely……Just recently an animated feature named “Tales from Earthsea” was created by Goro Miyazaki (Hayao Miyazaki’s son…….Hayao created shows like Spirited Away an Princess Mononoke). Ursula K. Le Guin, the author of the Earthsea Series, gave a mixed response to the film in her review on her website. Le Guin commended the visual animation in the film but stated that the plot departed so greatly from her story that she was “watching an entirely different story, confusingly enacted by people with the same names as in my story”.

      So it appears as if she was truly displeased with the outcome but was doing her best to try to find some good in it and not to be too negative.

      In the end it really depends of the author. I will say though that if the director followed the creators book as closely as possible, the author should be happy…..should. I would like to think Tolkien would love and respect what Jackson did with LotR because he stayed pretty true to the material while balancing the limitations of time (and attempting to cram 3 huge books into a 10+hr tale.

  6. ^^^I know what you mean. Of course, I guess it depends on the writer. Has Alan Grant been happy with ANYTHING based on his writings?

  7. mongoose,

    I am an agreement with you that a more faithful interpretation of the creature descriptions from the source would have been great.I also can see the film makers point of view on why they changed them as you covered many of those reasons.Some of the illustrations you supplied are good “illustrations” of illustrators renditions of Burroughs vision, however if these were conceived in 3d or even sculpted exactly like these illustrations they may look a bit out of place with the human actors because they were derived from “illustrations” not concept art. Concept art for the most part is created to follow certain real-world anatomical guidelines: weight, mass-functionality etc. Being an illustrator myself and a concept artist I can say it’s a diffrent process from illustrating a creature for a book cover then concepting a creature for film. For book cover it doesn’t have to look completely realistic. For live action-film not only does it have to look realistically it has to function/move realistically, if it’s a creature that’s even more difficult.
    With that said though a good concept artist can take those illustrations you supplied and convert them to something that may work in a live action film, but a direct copy of those illustrations may not work for live-action film, for an all animated film you can do these in any style. I hope that makes sense. Maybe an animated film would have been better for this.
    I would have loved to see the Tharks more “ALIEN” like, not only in anatomy but textures as well. They feel a bit like tall ninja turtles. I know for a fact that like the “Navi” in Avatar that the Tharks were modeled with the actors facial characteristics in mind. I love the new facial motion capture technology that was used in Avatar and not sure this was used in JC but I would imagine a more “humanoid” Thark face would be more applicable when using such technology with Human actors.

    The one major thing I can say the “Alien” factor over-all seems to be diminished in the film, nothing frightens me nothing “wows” me like the books did. It may still be a great film but feels like I’ve seen this before with all the Star-wars, Avatar etc.I would hope down the line “film makers” will dare to be “diffrent” and go more “alien” with the visual designs, like the original “Alien” not much in the last 25 years has been as stunning as Giger’s vision. The technology has improved now artist must step up their game.

    • I can appreciate what you are saying and understand that a point for point translation from page to “reality” might not work BUT the changes Stanton and his art team made to the creatures were ALL frivolous.

      As an example, the White Apes are supposed to look like gorillas but one of the concept artists approached Stanton with the idea to make the White Apes nocturnal and thus gave them small, hardly functional mole eyes. The sole reason? Because it was cool. (this was even documented in one of the SR articles in case you think I’m making it up) Completely unnecessary. They also stripped the Apes IQ from them, I guess to better fit this story but that in turn ruins many stories from the books. They are supposed to be semi-intelligent, thinking creatures (like using clubs as weapons), not just mindless beasts used as pretty much movie prop villains.

      Thoats – was it really too difficult to get them to look equine instead of bovine? THEY decided to turn them into bulls with horns.

      Woola – Again couldn’t they have given it more frog-esque features and bulbous eyes (and still made him cute)?

      What’s funny is they got the BIG things right. Like having 4 arms or more than 4 legs for many of the creatures. It’s no easy task but they made those work. If they could make that happen then they could have EASILY come close to matching the book descriptions but they made a conscious choice NOT to (because obviously they knew better than Burroughs what would look best). Sorry but Directors that think they know better than the actual authors of the source material really annoys me and it’s been going on for years.

      • Hey mongoose, We are on the same page.
        I see your point that some of the changes made to the designs,and ceatures had nothing to do with the books. The White apes in the film look like a combo between a Walrus and an ape. The fact that they have small eyes and are supposed to be “nocturnal” is the filmakers taking their artistic licence and going a bit “buck wild” with it.

        I don’t think it’s a matter of “knowing better” I think filmakers want to be able to have some creative freedom to mold things to their liking. The idea of a giant “White ape” like creature can be translated into many variants and concept idea. This films version of Burroughs masterpieces is only one “variant” interpretation. The major thing is that it’s a 200 million dollar interpretation and those not familar with the original book may assume this is a faithful interpretation. There are thousand of ideas and more faithful interpretations of many of our favorite books that unfortuantely do not have a 200 million dollar budget. Many of these are illustrations, and maybe a few low budget films, etc.

        As an artist myself, I can’t say I’m not thrilled with many of those designs, the Thoats look unimpressive and generic as do many of the film’s creatures. I know for a fact many were designed by Stan Winstons company “Legacy” many of those artist are “z brush” sculptors, and not sure if any of them actually sit down and draw with graphite. These days 3d concepting is becoming the “norm” and the fact that it’s in full rendered 3d somtimes distracts from actually seeing the core design of the concept. Alot of mmundane ideas, generic concepts can be hidden by high quality rendering and texture maps.

        It’s all in the concepts.