Disney is pushing hard for its John Carter adaptation to become a ticket-selling smash when it hits theaters next month, but early tracking results are not boding well for the film's box office prospects. Many people have chalked that up to the bulk of the movie's marketing material, which has mostly painted the classic sci-fi literary adaptation as a bland "Disney-fied" variation on such effects-heavy blockbuster properties as Star Wars and Avatar (and other thematic descendants of author Edgar Rice Burroughs' trendsetting John Carter source material, ironically enough).
Today, however, we have new material in the form of a nicely structured fan-made mashup trailer, a beautiful Mondo poster, and the release of several entertainment journalists' Twitter reactions to John Carter (spoiler: they're largely positive). All of these items suggest that director Andrew Stanton's adaptation may turn out much better than Disney's official marketing campaign has indicated.
That aforementioned fan-designed trailer for John Carter is a little rough around the edges in terms of editing and image quality, but does a much better job of outlining the film's storyline and introducing its characters than pretty much any of the official trailers or TV spots released to date have.
Hence, to learn more about John Carter in general you should watch the actual trailer (see below):
Next, there's a new Mondo poster for John Carter (designed by J.C. Richard) online; Hero Complex also says that copies will be handed out to patrons who attend IMAX 3D midnight premiere screenings of the film. It's a lovely piece of artwork that encompasses the cosmic atmosphere of the film by revealing the titular hero (Taylor Kitsch) surveying the vast Martian landscape, as can be seen here:
CLICK FOR LARGER VERSION
Early John Carter Reviews...
Last (but not least) here are several early Twitter reactions to John Carter from some renowned members of the movie blogosphere:
John Campea (AMC): John Carter (aka John Carter of Mars) is MUCH better than it looks. A great sci-fi film. Plan on seeing it!
Edward Douglas (Coming Soon): My earlier John Carter tweet was just me being a brat... I did like it quite a bit and can't wait to see it again, hopefully in IMAX!
Devin Faraci (Badass Digest) JOHN CARTER Twitter embargo is listed! I can say that I will be giving the film a Fresh review... There are scenes in JOHN CARTER that are all-timers. Some brilliant work. But there are also a LOT of problems with the film... Hopefully, the internet will be able to put aside binary 'It sucks/It rocks' stuff and look at JOHN CARTER as a movie w/good and bad aspects.
Drew McWeeny (HitFix): I am no longer in danger of being killed for saying I quite liked "John Carter." Full reviews are still embargoed, though.
Steven Weintraub (Collider): JOHN CARTER is a great movie. For 2 hours I was transported to another time and place. Can't wait to see it again. Don't miss it... Also the effects were amazing. The action scenes inspiring. And the music was fantastic. Seriously... JOHN CARTER is not to be missed.
Jen Yamato (Movieline): I really dug John Carter, but it's got problems. For starts: Another journalist told me they didn't understand the plot. At all.
So, based on early buzz, it sounds like John Carter is a flawed but overall thrilling piece of sci-fi cinema that delivers all the grand-scale action and spectacle that Disney's been promising. Here's hoping the film is as solid as these early comments indicate and that the positive word-of-mouth helps pave the way for this project to become a (sleeper?) box office hit that kicks off a great new franchise.
John Carter arrives in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D theaters around the U.S. on March 9th, 2012.