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).
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.