‘John Carter of Mars’ Update From Director Andrew Stanton

Published 4 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

Things have been quiet on the news front for John Carter of Mars since filming began over a year ago. Disney played release date chicken with FOX before scheduling its sci-fi flick for a different date than Ridley Scott’s Alien-inspired flick, Prometheus, but otherwise no one has heard anything recently about Pixar director Andrew Stanton’s fantastical project.

Now Stanton has opened up a bit about his progress on John Carter of Mars, which is based primarily off the first novel in Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burrough’s other-wordly, 11-volume Barsoom series.

MTV caught up with the Oscar-winning WALL-E and Finding Nemo filmmaker, who offered the following in regards to the status of his John Carter adaptation:

“I’m not in post-production — I’m in digital principal photography now, which goes on for the rest of 2011, so I’m only halfway through the movie… I didn’t try to make it look like anything else. I really tried to make it its own thing. I tried to make a very historically accurate Martian film if that makes sense, so I’ll let you decipher that.”

John Carter of Mars was scripted by Stanton in collaboration with storyboard supervisor Mark Andrews (The Incredibles) and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay). It’s expected to be a PG-13, F/X-heavy adventure flick that will have its own unique visual style that differs significantly from that of illustrator Frank Frazetta’s work in Burrough’s original novel(s).

John Carter of Mars book artwork John Carter of Mars Update From Director Andrew Stanton

Wolverine‘s Gambit and future Battleship star Taylor Kitsch is playing the titular role of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who is inexplicably transported to Mars after taking refuge from a group of Apache Indians by hiding in a cave. Fellow Wolverine alumni Lynn Collins also appears in the film as the humanoid Martian princess (and love interest) Dejah Thoris, while Oscar-nominee William Dafoe (a.k.a. Green Goblin from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man) plays the compassionate but fierce alien warrior and eventual king, Tars Tarkas.

Stanton joins fellow Pixar creative head and Mission: Impossible 4 director Brad Bird as yet another acclaimed computer-animation auteur whose next release will be a high-profile, expensive live-action affair. Both of these gents are renowned for being excellent storytellers capable of crafting empathetic characters and creatively-realized settings (be it the ocean, outer space, or an exquisite French cuisine establishment), so there’s good reason to be excited about both of their new films. John Carter of Mars should be all the more interesting in particular, since its source material is that of an old-fashioned sci-fi/fantasy serial. That all but assures it’ll feel and look quite different than every other upcoming title that involves extraterrestrials, most of them visiting (or more likely destroying) Earth.

John Carter of Mars is scheduled to hit 2D and 3D screens around the U.S. on March 9th, 2012.

For more movie and TV news, follow us on Twitter @screenrant and @feynmanguy.

Source: MTV

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  1. Isn’t the pic at the top by the fantastic Boris Vallejo?

    • Not according to the signature on the picture, it’s a bit small to make out but it looks to me to say Frank Frazetta.

  2. Highlander, there are more than one, that is the One and Only Frank Frazetta.

    “It’s expected to be a PG-13″ That means that half of the content of the books have to be compromised, from the costuems to the fights and battle scenes.

    “Lynn Collins also appears in the film as the humanoid Martian princess (and probable love interest) Dejah Thoris” She is John Carters love and wife in the book series so yes she is the love interest.

    • yes lets PLEASE not insult Frazetta by calling his work Boris’. Not that I have anything against Boris but Frazetta’s work really stands alone.

      I’m also looking forward to this movie ever since I learned they were using the same tech as Avatar to do the aliens and Willem Dafoe was playing Tars Tarkas. I can hardly wait to see the likes of a Green Martian in action! and for those who don’t know what I’m talking about…..


      this one is even better….


      Giant white 4 armed apes, 8 legged lions and other assorted creature awesomeness oh my!

      • Those Tharks look a bit anorexic. I picture them looking more like Prince Goro from Mortal Combat.


        • Except they have to have a double torso, not just an extra set of arms jutting from the mid-torso. Plus they are 15′ tall so they can’t be bulky or they would be massive. I also believe they are based on an insect look which means thin.

          This pics I linked are the most widely accepted and correct look based on the books.

          • Actually I disagree with the thin tharks as well, Burroughs described them as massive and muscular. The why they were drawn by Frazetta and Gil Kane was always my personal favorite, remember Mars has a lighter gravity so the same rules don’t apply as here on earth.


            This seems to be the template they are using.

            • ack, I don’t know how that image fits into anything as the site itself claims to be from before October 2009. There is also no indication that this is what they are going to look like for the movie (thank goodness)

              I admit to not reading the books in a long time so you forced me to hunt them down for an exact description:

              - John Carter estimated them weighing 400 lbs (if on Earth) and 15′ tall.
              - “While the Martians are immense, their bones are very large and are muscled only in proportion to the gravitation which they must overcome. The result is they are infinitely less agile and less powerful, in proportion to their weight, than an Earth man…” (A princess of Mars, pg 24)

              So if the gravity on Mars is only 38% that of Earth and they are 2.5″ the height of a man, only weigh 400 lbs and are only just muscled according to the lighter gravity, that would clearly put them in the category of ‘thin’ (or more correctly not musclebound brutes). The Whelan and Jusko depictions are much closer to the book’s description.

  3. I’m looking forward to seeing this movie. Hopefully we’ll have more news or pics in the future.

  4. I have been waiting for this movie since I first read A Princess of Mars in 1976. But they have been putting out NOTHING to show what they are making, no production shots, stills with the stars, nothing.

  5. Ahh Pixar. Always so vanilla. Digital Principle photography… a fancy way of saying previz/lay out no doubt.

  6. I don’t see Lynn Collins as Deja Thoris the “most beautiful woman on Mars”.

    Also they must be making the Tharks more human looking facially if they hired William Dafoe to play one.

    • errrm, they will be using Avatar tech to do the Tharks. That means motion capture and then translating that. Think how the Na’vi were done but then make them 15′ tall, 4 armed green aliens. ;)

    • Yes and Lynn Collins is actually very close to how I imagined Dejah Thoris to be. With copper colored skin and the right costume, scanty with a jeweled harness and the fire that Dejah had when aroused she is a good fit for the role.

  7. so, like, not clothes on Mars?
    I’d have assumed that, well, it being a bit further from the sun, and colder and all, that people MIGHT want to bundle up a bit.

    • @Mike
      Burroughs supposed that the thin atmosphere of Mars would mean higher temps and that the lack of lare vegitation would keep the temp higher than is normal on Earth. Not to say there werent areas on the planet that werent cold and you had to wear heavier clothes but Barsoomians preferred to wear little clothing and were proud of their bodies.