New ‘John Carter’ Banners; Andrew Stanton Talks Title Change

3 years ago by  

Walt Disney Pictures has been working harder to heighten awareness of John Carter, its upcoming adaptation of Edgar Rich Burrough’s famous sci-fi/fantasy literary series. The studio has released numerous images and a full-length trailer to promote the expensive, CGI-heavy project.

Today, we have a trio of new banners for John Carter to share with you, along with a straightforward explanation from Oscar-winning director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL·E) as to how the project’s title evolved from A Princess of Mars (ie. the title of Burrough’s first John Carter novel) to John Carter of Mars -  and then, just John Carter.

First, check out the official synopsis for John Carter:

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.

The film’s latest one-sheets offer a better look at many of its extraterrestrial characters, including the giant White Apes, the aforementioned 12-foot tall Martian inhabitants (which are motion-capture creations), and other multi-limbed, leathery-skinned CGI beasts that roam the Martian landscape in John Carter.

Check them out below:


john carter banner 3 570x254 New John Carter Banners; Andrew Stanton Talks Title Change

john carter banner 1 570x255 New John Carter Banners; Andrew Stanton Talks Title Change

john carter banner 2 570x253 New John Carter Banners; Andrew Stanton Talks Title Change

With regards to the film’s title – Stanton previously managed to address the dropping of… “of Mars”, without actually talking about the logic behind the move. Most people have assumed it was largely due to Disney’s fear that “Mars” had become a taboo word, in the wake of its costly box office flop, Mars Needs Moms. However, Stanton has indicated there was much more to the decision than just that (sort of) knee-jerk reaction.

Here is what he said (via Bleeding Cool):

“Here’s the real truth of it. I’d already changed it from ‘A Princess Of Mars’ to ‘John Carter Of Mars’. I don’t like to get fixated on it, but I changed ‘Princess Of Mars’… because not a single boy would go. And then the other truth is, no girl would go to see ‘John Carter Of Mars’. So I said, “I don’t won’t to do anything out of fear, I hate doing things out of fear, but I can’t ignore that truth.

“All the time we were making this big character story which just so happens to be in this big, spectacular new environment. But it’s not about the spectacle, it’s about the investment. I thought, I’ve really worked hard to make all of this an origin story. It’s about a guy becoming John Carter. So I’m not misrepresenting what this movie is, it’s ‘John Carter’. ‘Mars’ is going to stick on any other film in the series. But by then, it won’t have a stigma to it.”

john carter 3 570x237 New John Carter Banners; Andrew Stanton Talks Title Change

Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and John Carter (Taylor Kitsch)

All things considered, it’s easy (and not unfair) to accuse both Stanton and Disney of being sexist, when it comes to the aforementioned assumptions about both male and female moviegoer habits. The counter-argument, of course, is that the minds behind John Carter know that mainstream ticket buyers are (by and large) not familiar with Burrough’s highly-inspirational source material; so, they’ve decided to “play it safe” and release the film under a title that should avoid ostracizing people, if stereotypes are anything to rely on (take that as you will).

Disney is definitely going to employ a marketing blitz for John Carter, simply because the project cost some $200-250 million (rumored estimates peg the price as maybe even twice that amount, believe it or not). Despite its “more marketable title,” one has to wonder if John Carter will end up following in the footsteps of this past summer’s costly (failed) sci-fi gamble, Cowboys & Aliens – especially since the latest footage released from the film didn’t look so promising (in our opinion, of course)…


John Carter is slated to hit 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters around the U.S. on March 9th, 2012.

Source: iTunes, Bleeding Cool

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT: john carter


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  1. I bought Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom collection for $.99 on my e-reader. I plan on starting to read them next. I would have never known about these stories if this movie wasn’t made. I’m looking forward to seeing John Carter’s tale in theaters.

    • You will enjoy the books and hopefully not be too disappointed with the movie.

  2. Stanton’s excuse doesnt hold water. It sounds like he came up with that line in a room with a bunch of marketing people. John Carter of Mars shows that it is a movie different from the other films resembling it in style, Prince of Persia, Conan, etc. Now it is just confusing and the last thing a movie needs is people confused about what it is about.

    • It’s about John Carter, what’s hard to understand about that?

  3. I call BS on that so called explanation. Girls love to see movies with scantily clad guys in them. They are also lowering the IQ of the general movie goer to near moronic levels to think people wouldn’t at least look up what the film will be about before going to see it. It’s going to say Mars in there somewhere so might as well get it out in the open instead of hiding it.

  4. I think it makes a lot of sense, and I do think it’s unfair to attack them for being sexist.

    I would even add another concern, that a whole bunch of people would walk into the film ‘A Princess of Mars’ and expect something that is NOT an enormous action adventure with a male lead (regardless of the advertising campaign).

    And just a minor note: Not only will less boys be willing to watch a movie called ‘A Princess of Mars,’ but exactly how many boys who WOULD be interested would also be willing to ask their parents to go see it? Fairly or not, if you’re the boy in that situation, you’re likely going to feel embarrassed!

    Fact is, the title change was pretty darn smart, near as I can tell.

    • We are talking about dropping the “of Mars”, not the change from A Princess of Mars. It was a working title anyways based on the first book’s title only. I never put much stock into the first title but the second change makes no sense.

  5. I really don’t think the typeface used for those posters suits the movie. Or the colour.

  6. Can’t wait for this one,Conan in Space ! Could be Movie of the Year !
    Trailer looked awesome as well ! :)
    Don’t care about the name,the Film it self its what matters !
    And hope that is good as it looks !

  7. The font is all wrong. The original font in the trailer would look better. Show more of Dejah Thoris (Actress Lynn Collins) she is hot! (splash myself in the face with cold water) I am still hoping for a great movie first preview was better. For me.

  8. Just watched the latest trailer for UK over at Rotten Tomatoes. It looks really good. A lot of stuff not in the books but they still managed to give it a Burroughs feel. And I really like the CGI Tharks. Also those white apes look a lot better moving than in a still pic.

  9. When I watched the trailer and the question is asked, ‘Are you John Carter of Earth?’, I groaned. It was obvious then that by the time the movie ends, he would proudly state “I am John Carter of Mars’. Changing the title will reduce some groaning when it comes out.

  10. Let’s see. They couldn’t use Mars because little girls are from Venus and would think it wasn’t for them and they couldn’t use Princess because little boys wouldn’t go see it.

    And they couldn’t use lord cause all the religious boys and girls might be offended and of course war is right out because all the little liberal democrat kids wouldn’t go.

    Of course we can’t use John cause all the little hooker girls and their clients might be offended.

    So um… let’s just call it Carter. Then the sequel could be called Welcome Back Carter and Tars Tarkuses catch phrase could be “Yo mister Cartier.” Oh my god that could be the title of the third film.

    • Can’t go with just Carter. Kids will think it’s a biopic of former President Jimmy Carter ;)

  11. I pretty sure I’m not alone when I say this but I’d never heard of these books til they started making this movie. So I’m looking forward to seeing this one in theatres.

    Hopefully it won’t suck. Because if the teaser trailer was any indication, which it probably isn’t, it looked to be real slow and boring.

    And at least they didn’t call it John Carter: A Princess of Mars. Because that would just look really bad. And Disney could kiss their $250M bye bye.

    • I’ve only read the books since hearing that this was being made.

      I think they should have changed the title to “John Carter AND the Princess of mars”

    • Never having heard of the books before and being a movie goer……would the Title “John Carter of Mars” initially interested you more than just “John Carter”?

      • Yes, absolutely.