‘John Carter’ Trailer Teases An Imaginative Sci-Fi Adventure

Published 4 years ago by , Updated July 14th, 2011 at 12:22 pm,

Teaser poster for John Carter of Mars movie John Carter Trailer Teases An Imaginative Sci Fi Adventure

Walt Disney Pictures has slowly begun to build anticipation for John Carter, an adaptation of Edgar Rich Burrough’s classic literary sci-fi series. Today marks the next big step in the film’s marketing campaign, as an official teaser trailer has been released online.

Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, Finding Nemo) is making his live-action directorial debut with John Carter, which seeks to both recreate the period aesthetic of Burrough’s original creation and offer moviegoers a visually unique other-worldly adventure. Based on the early footage from the film, it appears prepped to do just that.

John Carter is also being fashioned as the first installment in a new franchise, which partly accounts for why its title was shortened from John Carter of Mars. If all goes according to plan, Disney will release two more cinematic ventures that chronicle the experiences of the title character.

For those not in the know, here is an official synopsis for John Carter:

The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of [the Martian civilization] Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

Now check out the official John Carter teaser trailer below:

Obviously, John Carter is a very expensive undertaking that requires elaborate effects work, set design, and production values to realize its imaginative extraterrestrial setting – so there’s a lot of cool imagery that has yet to be unveiled. However, what material is on display in the John Carter teaser is overall quite gorgeous and boasts some impressive large-scale visuals of the Martian landscape, courtesy of director of photography Daniel Mindel (Star Trek). Plus, the mix of CGI elements with real-world landscapes and practical costumes/props in this footage gives the scenery more of a naturalistic and convincing feel.

There’s also something clever about how Stanton and his co-writer (Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon) appear to have framed the John Carter storyline with a subplot that follows a young Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara) as he uncovers the truth about his mysterious uncle. It strengthens the idea behind the retention of the author’s original Victorian perspective of Mars and its inhabitants, while also suggesting that the Burroughs narrative thread will parallel that of Carter’s, as the latter also discovers a world he could never dream of.

Lastly – the more atmospheric and almost lyrical pacing of this teaser trailer is rather refreshing. In an age where most theatrical previews for big-budget blockbusters aim to be as hyper-kinetic and frantic as possible (see: the Sherlock Holmes 2 trailer), this is a welcome change of pace.


John Carter of Mars arrives in U.S. theaters on March 9th, 2012.

Source: Walt Disney Pictures

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  1. god i hate disney

  2. Wow, that was very interesting! Interest piqued.

  3. Looks beautiful in its own unique way. Never read the books, but this may inspire me to pick them up.

  4. Looks interesting! Can see the Boris Vallejo inspired design but it looks very modern.

    • Boris inspired? Hardly. He might have done the recent painting above (oh look, he didn’t use his face this time!) and a few others in the past but when I think of John Carter I’m inspired by the works of Frank Frazetta, Joe Jusko and most importantly Michael Whelan.

      • Very true Mongoose, Frazetta set the tone for the books in the 70s and a ressurgence of the series. Whelan picked it up for the 90s crowd.

      • I agree in terms of Frazetta, and I see none of the artists mentioned in this film. It seems the Prince of Persia with different sets. A bit disappointing for me.

        • Mt thoughts exactly

  5. I think Andrew Stanton knows what he is doing, because to me, this looks all sorts of awesome.

    • I concur

  6. Looks good but there is a lot we have yet to see. I am still waiting to see the different Martian races, the big 4 armed white apes, plant men, 8 legged thoat mounts and iconic 8 legged banth (lions).

    Only thing I’m a bit disappointed with thus far is anthropomorphizing of the Tharks, always have to give them human eyes. I guess Hollywood feels if they don’t have human characteristics we, the audience, can’t make an emotional connection to them. At least they appear to be 12′ high, have 4 arms and are thin.

    They should also REALLY try to avoid using highly recognizable earth landscapes like the Shiprock fly by at 24 secs in.

  7. Ok, I’m switched on to this now. Hopefully, they don’t give too much away on the visuals/stunts/set pieces in the trailers, even if we do know the story!

  8. Nothing like swords and boards and spaceships :(

    To put the word camp in over drive.

    • You realize that this was written in 1917 correct?? This series started the whole sword and fantasy trend that we still see today.

      • doesn’t make it less silly.

      • Written and serialized in 1912.

  9. This trailer reminded me a lot of the Atlantis animated feature Disney did some years back I see a lot of the same elements. Anyone agree?

    • No

  10. I cant see it till I get off work, my work has Youtube disabled. Argh!

  11. Managed to find a site that had a different player.

    That was truly awesome, and a unique take on the books. I see they went with the Michael Whelan look of the Tharks but I am not impressed with the weapons I saw them wielding, It looked more like that was the first part of the book where John Carter and Dejah Thoris escape from the Tharks and head to Helium. The huge jumps he could make was also shown, but their costumes weren’t near to being right, too much material and not enough harness and ornaments. Now the fliers weren’t bad but will need to see a lot more of this to tell how much they deviated from the source material.

    Regardless I will be going to see it in March opening day.

    • And not even that. They gave the Tharks humanoid, forward facing eyes, instead of them being on the sides of their heads like an insect.

  12. Damn it almost seems like every movie in 2012 is going to be in 3D!

  13. Looks amazing

  14. It might appeal to the mainstream audience that has no knowledge of the books. It doesn’t capture the feel of the books at all though. There’s no feeling of ancientness to it. It just looks hot and dusty.

    Didn’t like the music either. Kind of weak and non-epic sounding.

    Also the actors seem a bit miscast to me. Especially the Deja actress. Nowhere near beautiful enough.

  15. This will be one of the must see’s of 2012 for me. As a kid I got into the Pellucidar series and a little of Tarzan. I never read any of the John Carter books so this will all be new to me. I can hardly wait! hopefully this will be a hugh money maker so other Burroughs’ stories (like Pellucidar) will make it to the big screen.

    • Did you ever catch the Pellucidar movies they made back in the 70s? Not bad except the creature effects which were terrible even for that time.

  16. Well the trailer in the film is nice but one thing i didn’t like is that the film should have take place in modern time IE 2012 or 2014.Maybe next john carter film made by adifferent studio should have made that type of film.

    • I disagree. I think the period in which the story was written should be reflected by the overall look of the movie. Not to mention staying true to the source material. Otherwise all you end up with is another post apocalyptic film with the only differance being it’s set on another planet.

    • I agree with JustDavid. Updating it would pull the main character out of the era he was born into and thus would be missing all of the needed skills that John Carter has like fencing and horseback riding. Not to mention how the character reacts to the situation he has been put it. Someone from the 21 century, who has been exposed to concepts like space travel, alternate dimensions, aliens, etc, would react completely different and out of character from someone born in the 1800′s.

      Plus the SyFy channel tried to do what you would suggest and it was stupid (the poor FX didn’t help either)

      • mongoose and JustDavid You maybe half right but Since that story A Princess of Mars is made in 1917,Seeing a film which is based on a material made long ago would be half bad since science fiction focuses more about the future and even the things that are different than our todays culture,I still think it should been set in present day,besides the war of the worlds 1953 and Spielberg 2005 work on this one and by the way actually the john carter adaptation that you see in Syfy isnt made by them but made by a cheap group of people with lousy effects called the asylum.

  17. I am looking forward to John Carter. I could see a trilogy or series of films on this!!

  18. I’ve never read the books, but I love this trailer. Very cool, love the designs.

  19. This actually looks kinda cool. However, it feels too much like “Prince of Persia.” I get that Disney is wanting these live-action films to recapture the success of the Pirates films but I don’t know. Even though I’ve never read the books or hear too much about John Carter, I just feel like the story will be predictable. That said, I still plan on seeing this. :/

  20. Cool. I had to read this book for college and draw representations of the characters how I interepreted them. It was a cool project to say the least and it quickly became one of my favorite reads of all time. I hope this film does the books justice. So far, so good.

  21. Why is Gambit fighting with a sword? :-D

    Looks cool. I’ve never read the books, so I don’t know if this movie will honor them. I do have 1 question: How does he breath on Mars?

    • You have to remember that when these books were imagined, people knew little more about the Red Planet other than they could see what appeared to be canals on it. Burroughs kind of took that idea and ran with it so things like having a breathable atmosphere were just a given to make it all work.

      • I kind of figured there was some epic battle that ripped away the atmosphere and buildings, leaving the planet in its current state. Who knows, maybe they do plan on doing that for one of the sequels.

        • Gambit with a sword, nice. :)

          • Yeah, with Wolverine’s girlfriend no less…

  22. He nearly did so with The Bourne Legacy as one of the finalists for the role that went to Jeremy Renner but this may be an even better opportunity…Hell be seen after John Carter as one of the leads in the upcoming board game adaptation Battleship. ..Heres the full synopsis — check out the gorgeous trailer beneath it…From Academy Award winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes John Carter a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom Mars . John Carter is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary former military captain John Carter Taylor Kitsch who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet including Tars Tarkas Willem Dafoe and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris Lynn Collins .

  23. this looks like a marvel comic book? what if conan the barbarian landed on mars? LOL…..

  24. I’ve noticed that at the end, it says “In Select Theaters Disney Digital 3D.” Does this mean that not every theater will show it in 3D? I’m confused because I’ve never seen that disclaimer before. I’m assuming Disney isn’t giving this a limited release…

    • Not every theater has 3D projectors.

  25. “There’s also something clever about how Stanton and his co-writer (Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon) appear to have framed the John Carter storyline with a subplot that follows a young Edgar Rice Burroughs (Daryl Sabara) as he uncovers the truth about his mysterious uncle.”

    If you consider ERB’s own device to be “clever” then alright, but please, don’t give Stanton or Chabon any of the credit. Might as well credit the director or last screenwriter for digging up Jason Gridley’s apparatus and eavesdropping, when it was Burroughs himself who created both.