Andrew Stanton Reveals Titles of Would-Be ‘John Carter’ Sequels

Published 11 months ago by

Lynn Collins and Taylor Kitsch in John Carter1 Andrew Stanton Reveals Titles of Would Be John Carter Sequels

Andrew Stanton was an accomplished creative force behind two of Pixar’s most successful and critically acclaimed animated features, having directed Finding Nemo and WALL•Ewhen Disney tapped him to take on their long-in-development John Carter. It proved to be a difficult property for audiences to wrap their heads around, to say the least.

Based on the 1917 novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs – the legendary sci-fi/fantasy author who also created TarzanJohn Carter had seen a series of directors come and go over the years, but fans of the book series remained hopeful that Stanton’s proven storytelling vision and knack for the more fantastical side of the film’s elements might prove successful.

While we liked the film, audiences in general stayed away in droves, making it a huge money pit for Disney and the world’s new reference for a potential box office bomb. Some blamed Stanton, some blamed the confusing marketing, but as we’ve seen with The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet, connecting modern audiences to certain lesser known, decades-old franchises can be problematic.

With Stanton returning to the Pixar well with Finding Dory, he may not have much of a reason to look back, and he’s gone on record to say that everyone tried their best to make John Carter a success. Still, he appears to be feeling nostalgic, as he recently shared the titles and logo mock-ups for two additional would-be sequels.

The first sequel would have been Gods of Mars:

And the follow-upWarlord of Mars:


In the past, Stanton seemed upbeat about the possibilities of John Carter sequels, and these potential titles share the names of Burroughs’ second and third books of his ‘Barsoom’ series. The tone of these tweets, however, suggest that fans hoping for more John Carter shouldn’t hold their breath. There’s certainly plenty of source material – beyond these first three books, there are seven other novels in the series, along with various interconnected novellas and short stories.

Disney clearly wanted John Carter to launch a franchise, given the film’s extensive (and sometimes off-putting) world-building and sequel bait of an ending. It’s been a couple of years now, and while the movie is an entertaining mashup of Western, sci-fi and fantasy tropes (along with par-for-the-genre convoluted plot), it hasn’t really generated the kind of devoted cult following which movies like this need to justify a sequel.

Taylor Kitsch John Carter Poster Andrew Stanton Reveals Titles of Would Be John Carter Sequels

The estimated production budget for John Carter was $250 million, not counting the cost of marketing and distribution. The movie ended its domestic theatrical run with just over $73 million and a worldwide take of just over $280 million. And that’s not including what it cost to develop the project over the years or the money that went back to theaters.

Disney lost money on this film, that’s beyond argument. Will glowing reviews and massive success for Finding Dory allow Stanton to jump back into live-action features, a la fellow Pixar alum Brad Bird? We’ll have to wait until 2016 to find out.


Gods of Mars and Warlord of Mars may or may not ever make it onto the big-screen. Stay tuned for more details.

Source: Andrew Stanton

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  1. “It’s been a couple of years now, and while the movie is an entertaining mashup of Western, sci-fi and fantasy tropes…”

    It was the originator of those tropes. I still say it was the marketing department that failed this film. I still don’t understand the vitriol that almost every critic had toward it.

    • John Carter the movie did not create any of the tropes you saw.

      • He meant the books, not the movie.

    • NO film fails on marketing alone. This film failed on word of mouth. It was terrible. Just accept that most people did not like it.

      • I accept your opinion and that you didn’t like it.
        Re: word of mouth though, nobody I know saw it in the theater so word of mouth doesn’t apply here for the original theatrical release. It did apply later because my oldest son who knows my taste eventually saw it on DVD and knew that I’d like it so he recommended it to me. Could be that word of mouth is working slowly with people who are getting to see after market releases, DVD, streaming etc.

      • Most people didn’t like it? Well, everyone I saw it with did like it, including me. That’s 5 for 5, or a 100% positive rating. Even on Rotten Tomatoes it has a 51% rating. While that isn’t great (critics are often TOO critical), that’s still a majority result for liking it. So, most people actually DID like it. ;)

        • Alright, alright. You proved me incorrect…by 1.1%.


          The film has many flaws, however, which is why it was not a success. “Marketing” alone was not the only, nor the primary, reason, in my opinion.

        • No buddy, most people did not like it. Just because you and your 5 buddies have terrible taste in films, doesn’t mean everyone else in this world does too.

          • And just because you hate the movie’s guts it doesn’t mean everyone else in the world does too. So, there. If I had a picture of a cat rolling a melon out of a lake, I’d say your argument is invalid. :D

            • Anyone in the world with half a brain would hate this movie as well. It’s sad that you do not fall into this category.

              • It’s clear you are the greater intellect. Your ability alone to slay so convincingly with such bullet proof insults is ample enough proof for anyone with your brain cell count.

                Bravo Brainy Smurf.

              • Resorting to insults never proved a point. Quite the opposite. You lose. :D

      • Hard to generate word of mouth if almost no one bothered to see it in the first place. THANKS TO THE MARKETING.

  2. I enjoyed it – I thought it was great. Pure escapism, which is what ever film should

  3. I really liked John Carter I’d like a sequel

  4. Disney would be smart to go ahead with a sequel, cap the film at 130 to 150 million and market the film using it’s Star Wars and marvel franchises ( attach trailers and first looks to the theatrical and DVD releases). Add that to the following the first film has developed and they would easily break the 500 million worldwide bix office. Either that it letvthevrughts go to a studio that knows how to make the franchise work

    • Too true marketing was the problem ,disney had major issues with it loved the film should have kept it as John Carter of Mars tho fingers crossed for a follow up.

    • Good ideas there, and since a lot of the design & pre-production work is already done, a trim & fit budget is entirely possible to produce an excellent good sequel.

      I’d be there on opening night & I’d bring bells to shake with every “barsoom”. lol

  5. You know, I don’t understand why this movie receieved a lot of negativity. I actually thought it was pretty good. It was something new, fresh and kind of exciting. Yea there were some parts in there that was unnecessary and a bit long but this really could have been a great franchise.

  6. I adored this film & it’s beyond my un-jaded self why it bombed at the box office. But it isn’t beyond my jaded self; I get why, for one, a movie with a guy who is as young, hot & shirtless as Taylor Kitsch would get the thumbs down from almost every alpha male in charge of what movie the gang’s gonna see tonight kind of thing. Straight guys have a strange issue with young hot guys, especially the shirtless ones with super hot bodies. I dunno why cuz, like, hey they’re straight so what’s the problem.

    Maybe John Carter was a test to see if mass audiences were ready for a movie front-loaded with such a hot young shirtless guy. My jaded self was, sadly, as un-surprised as it was disappointed. There is such rich, fantastic source material for John Carter! What a waste! And it is a wonderful movie; 8.6/10.

  7. The movie was painfully uneven and the main actor seemed insincere perhaps due to the heavy CGI , there were really fantastic points in the story but the script was so so dull. I have a very high tolerance for fantasy + sci fi but I was bored out of my mind

    • I’m surprised to see so many positive comments. I couldn’t take more than 15 minutes of the film. I tried to watch it again after a friend told me that she liked. But I’m sorry. It was so boring that it was literally painful to watch. I’m glad Disney fired people over this film. I can’t believe that anyone is seriously talking about a sequel.

      If they do this, they need a new team: stars, director, screenwriter, the works.

      Obviously the public has cast its vote on this film. $280 million “worldwide”? If I got that right, that is truly pitiful.

      • It’s only a handful of positive comments. Obviously, these are people who believe that, because they liked the film, its failure must have been due to “marketing”.


  8. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and would love to see sequels. I really don’t know what happened with this film. I saw a lot of advertisements and such athe time. I honestly knew nothing about it, but the commercials reminded me of Prince of Persia, which was a success. Still, Disney needs a smaller budget on unknown properties.

  9. This makes me sad… I read the John Carter novels as a kid, and waited 50 years [!] to see it on the big screen. And it was a great movie. And then it flopped for no obvious reason…and there won’t be any more. Sad, sad, sad.

    • It did flop for obvious reasons. The marketing was HORRIBLE. The trailers gave little explanation on the movie’s story, characters, tone, or concept. It aimed at no particular demographic, which caused scepticism among anybody considering to watch it. Not to mention that generic title ‘John Carter’ which could be placed in just about any type of movie. They were afraid that girls wouldn’t watch a film called John Carter of Mars, and they were also afraid boys wouldn’t watch a film called Princess of Mars. They should have just called it John Carter and the Princess of Mars, lol. It would have gave the film a defined presentation, instead Disney thought they were playing safe. I’m not saying the movie was bad, just the advertisements.

  10. I have John Carter backlisted on my huge list of things to watch on Netflix, but have not gotten to it yet. I have herd it is not very good, but I will give it a watch none-the-less.
    One reason Lone Ranger and Green Hornet (the modern versions with Rogan, Burton, Depp, etc.) failed is because they did not respect source material…in fact went out of their way to disrespect it. Same with the dark Shadows Depp/Burton debacle. They made them all low-brow comedies and farces, and rubbed the noses of the true fans of yesteryear in it. For that reason alone, I think Depp, Rogan, Burton, and probably a few others should be banned from making movies forever–and face it, none of those people are that good–and should be forced to collaborate on opening up a 7-11 store in some crumbling ghetto someplace to earn a living at about the only thing they know how to do: gouge the public for products that are not that good! And in fact, the Fantastic Four reboot looks headed in that direction a well, since I am suddenly ranting and raving!

    • “herd” = “heard”. Oops, did I miss again? I think I missed again….!.

      • Just remember Goldilocks…if after watching the movie, you don’t like it, like so many of the people who saw it (depsite the positive reviews here), then your dislike of it must be due to the “marketing”.

  11. “a well” = “as well”. Don’t try to type when you are dead-tired!

  12. I loved this movie. Unfortunately the marketing sucked harder than a Kirby vacuum cleaner.

    Way too many people not familiar with the source material so what would they expect from a film simply titled John Carter. So ambiguous who would commit to something that gave no idea what it is about.

    They should have pushed it on the fact it was really the precursor to much of our modern day science fiction.

    Someone in marketing should be on the unemployment line after this film failed. No excuse, it was a great and nobody knew.

  13. ill tell ya what kept me from going to the theatres and seeing it and I still havent seen it since is the crappy CGI. im sorry but it just looked like garbage for the amount of money they put in the film.

    • You haven’t seen it? I would say that the CGI is great. The general aesthetic of the film is on the fantastic side, to some extent, but within that, it looks great, IMHO.

    • CGI sucks on a movie you never saw.


      Young ppl 2day. lol

  14. I read just about everything ERB wrote back in the 60′s, and the books are still enjoyable. My wife and I have watched John Carter several times, and I think the movie is quite enjoyable. Unfortunately, they should have framed it for modern audiences, which would probably have been sacrilegious for the purists, but it’s hard to push a story about people living on Mars when we’ve got rovers taking pictures of a world without life. Pulling the alternate universe routine Trek used comes to mind as an alternative presentation, but it’s probably all moot now.

  15. Darn. I wanted to find out if Bryan Cranston’s character actually died or not. When Carter arrived back home, there was a body missing.

    • No, watch it again, he was quite, quiet, dead. Bag of bones.

      • Yeah but that could have been anyone’s bones. There were other people there at the time. I was thinking he may have got up and stepped through the portal or whatever it’s called and was healed, taken in by some group of people on another part of Mars. They can’t killed Bryan Cranston in everything he’s in lol.

        • lol !!!

  16. I have to comment, to say that I loved John Carter. I will defend the directing, acting, writing, visual effects, basically every aspect of the actual film. As others have said many times, it was the marketing. It should have had “Mars” in the title, and the trailers were among the most impenetrably confusing that I’ve ever seen. I only went to see it because I had the curiosity to investigate “what’s it about” on my own.

    As much as I’d love to see a sequel, though, I would not make one if I was Disney at this point. It could not be expected to be a smash, ergo it could not warrant the same budget, and I don’t want to see a “cheap sequel” to this film.

    For anyone who hasn’t seen this film, just give it a shot. I believe that it failed because people didn’t see it more than that people didn’t like it. If you enjoy space fantasy (Star Wars, Fifth Element, Green Lantern as possible tonal matches) it’s a gem, in my opinion.

  17. I honestly saw it only for John Carter’s jumping. And I was curious to see how he actually got to Barsoom.

  18. I personnaly think, he should change the actor…

    • You are the wisest man on this thread.

      Where’s the portal to that alternate universe? My bags are packed. lol

      Kitsch is a talented actor & he’s tenacious & patient.

      • Plus.. He was thunderously charming in Battleship (also an underrated movie). The dude’s getting a worse deal than Ryan Reynolds at the moment. I think he should step into the Fast and Furious franchise and thrive there for a while.

        • Battleship is a strange beast of a movie. I really liked it.

          It was, oddly, like the Right Wing’s answer to a nerdtastic scifi flicks (the smart nerd-like creatures are portrayed as idiots & cowards, with everyone remotely tough with brains of right brawn save the world). The whole deal with the Iraq war vet with the prosthetic leg that ended up facing off vs. the scary alien semi troll had me in stitches!

          And once again Kitsch was terrific in it; it still slays me every time I watch his mad escapade to get the hot chick at the Bar (during his 20-sumthin’ birthday) a chicken burrito at the store across the street by breaking in thru the roof & – well, see it for yourself, he’s hilarious.

          Underated flick for sure. Battleship may have sunk at the Box Office, but I still oft helm it thru alien invaded waters to victory lol 7.8/10

          JOhn Carter’s even better though.

  19. If they want good John Carter, for starters they would need to recast the insipid Taylor Hirsch.

    • You got tat right Buba! An Need to develop more historey of theWorld,, this’s pulp were dealing w/, not the meticulous developd Middle Earth!

  20. awesome movie, love to see sequel

  21. My whole family saw it recently and all uniformly loved it. One of the most original & charming movies of recent years. Great leads too. Sequels please Disney? With these titles you’re going to get a lot more people than with a movie called just ‘John Carter.’ Would you go to a movie call ‘Joe Bloggs’? Same effect, Disney!!

  22. I really liked John Carter, it was a good movie. I would like to see those sequels.

  23. A great, fun adventure movie. I would have loved to see the sequels, Unfortunately I didn’t see in the theater, because the trailers made it look worse than the movie actually is. When I watched it at home I regretted it.

  24. I think it’s fair to say we all miss Dejah.

    • Oh Dejah Vu, as I have seen you before, come back to me again, vision of Martian & Earthly delights.

      Ok, kill me, I deserve it for that.

  25. Green Hornet was not a flop. It made $227 million worldwide on a $120 million budget. For some reason money from other countries isn’t considered real. Probably because it is backed up by something tangible and not just magic green paper.

  26. Why on earth wasn’t the movie Titled John Carter of Mars???

    To myself and the general movie going public, ‘John Carter’ just sounded like a generic boring courtroom drama. The marketing for this movie was awful.
    From the author and creator of Tarzan, might of been worth mentioning also during promotion.

    I had honestly never even heard of this series or character before it had already been in theatres for a couple of weeks and was being repaired as Disney’s worst box office flop ever, at which point I was definitely not gonna see it.

    Such a shame because I saw it randomly on TV one time and absolutely loved it. Would of looked forward to these sequels and even started reading the novels.

    • *edit* === reported not repaired

      “reported as Disney’s” not “repaired as Disney’s”

  27. I missed it in the theater and agree with everyone who blames the marketing. It just never looked that interesting back then. I watched it later at home and really liked it. I also agree that they should have called it “John Carter and the Princess of Mars” or at least something better than just John Carter!

    I don’t know why so many people people have negative comments about Taylor Kitch. I thought he did the character justice. I don’t really understand internet haters in general but he seems to be the male equivalent to Anne Hathaway/Nicole Kidman to the haters of the world. I don’t waste my time going to message boards or reading articles about actors I don’t like so these things baffle me. As for Taylor, he may not be destined for super stardom (not many are) but I’ve liked him in everything I’ve seen him in. Didn’t like Battleship but that wasn’t because of him! I’d also much rather have seen him again as Gambit that Channing Tatum…but I digress…

    To Chris who said he didn’t make it through 15 minutes: that’s too bad since you missed the actual movie and only saw the introduction/background to the character. If the Mars aspects had been emphasized better in the marketing perhaps you would have waited till the movie shifted to Mars before giving up on the movie. The back story was necessary, as it usually is in movies like this, so I suggest you fast forward through that if you have a low tolerance for narrative, and start your viewing when he’s fighting in the cave.

    Bottom line for me: I hope they keep Taylor as the John Carter character if they make sequels, and that they market it better. I also hope they don’t dumb it down and turn it into a YAM movie like they did with The Lone Ranger & Green Hornet. Those were really insulting to their original sources. ERB’s original books may be fantasy but they are intelligent and should be treated as such.

  28. “John Carter” is a great film, with terrific special effects, not to mention Lynn Collins as a perfect Dejah Thoris. All concerned did a great job, including Bryan Cranston. It was so sad to see a good movie underperform financially — but of course Disney was already looking to the Star Wars franchise as its SF tentpole so they didn’t exactly do much marketing. But if more SF is needed at Disney, I hope they let Stanton and crew bring out some sequels like Gods of Mars. My family and I will be there the first day of release.