Way back in the summer of last year, Screen Rant reported (as an update) that the project John Carter of Mars wasn't likely to start getting made for a long time, since at that time they hadn't even decided on what form it would take - animation, live-action or a mixture of both.
But things seem to now be steamrolling ahead as WALL-E director Andrew Stanton revealed in a recent interview with SciFi Wire.
[I'm] deep into it," Stanton said in an exclusive interview at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association award ceremony in Century City, Calif., on Monday, where he accepted the award for best picture of 2008 for WALL-E. "I'm on my next draft of it. We're in pre-production art-wise, and we're starting to talk to actors. So it's full bore.
And as to the question of what form the film will take, Stanton has thankfully answered it:
Yeah, I think [live-action] that's the only way," he said. "I mean, there are so many creatures and characters that half of it's going to be CG whether you want it to be [or not], just to realize some of these images that are in the book. But it will feel real. The whole thing will feel very, very believable.
Other information revealed by Stanton is that the film will most likely be PG-13 and that the script is intended to be no more than 120 pages (which constitutes roughly two hours of screen time).
It's always great to see a project that has been in development hell for years finally moving forward into and beyond the development stages. And after reading the story outline for it (given below), John Carter of Mars has the potential to be one hell of a fun ride!
Civil War vet John Carter 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, Princess of Helium, who is in desperate need of a savior.
Although the Mars novels written by Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs have been around for years, I can honestly say that I've never heard a plot for a movie quite like this in a long time (if ever!)...
What's most interesting about these details is that it will be live-action and not animated, as expected. As Stanton mentions they'll have to employ a truckload of CGI to bring this story to life - it's almost like they want to set themselves a challenge by taking the route more difficult to achieve. But then, isn't that how the best films end up getting made?
It's also interesting to note that it's not Pixar who's behind the project alongside Stanton, but Disney. However, that doesn't mean any less effort is going to be put into it - Stanton is known, as all of the Pixar directors are, for putting in a full effort; not just directing the project but helping to develop it from printed word and basic designs right up to its debut on the big-screen. And this is definitely a project that deserves a full effort, IMO.
John Carter of Mars is set for a 2012 release. Are you glad that it is finally getting made and that it'll be live-action instead of animated? Or were you hoping the filmmakers would go in another direction?
Source: SciFiWire and IMDB