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UPDATED! Pixar Live-Action? Brad Bird Directing? What Day Is It Today?

This is the first time since I've been at AICN that I fell for an April 1st story. That's because big chunks of this match rumors we've been hearing for a while. It appears this is a joke, though, so hats off to the Upcoming Pixar guy for connecting the dots in a way I wish was true. Here's the original story I ran.

God, Harry, I’m sorry, but you’re going to have to indulge me being giddy excited for this announcement. Brad Bird will direct a live-action JOHN CARTER OF MARS for Pixar, set for release in 2009. This is an official announcement via Upcoming Pixar, which started life as a Pixar fanblog, but which was recently purchased by Disney to become an official outlet for the studio. This is the first piece of news they’ve broken since the acquisition, and it’s one of the most exciting bits of movie news I’ve ever heard. Look, I wanted to see the version Harry was attached to produce. I know how hard he and the other producers worked with the various writers to try and pin it down, and the art department Harry put together was incredible. There was some beautiful stuff generated during the couple of years he spent on the project. But Paramount wasn’t ready to make that film, and I was nervous that they were going to slowly but surely dilute it into something half-assed, something that would be a disappointment after all the time fans have spent waiting for this to finally make its way to the bigscreen. And I include Harry among those fans who would rather not see a JOHN CARTER film than see the wrong one, much to his credit. The idea of Brad Bird taking on this material with a script by Mark Fergus, who is set to co-direct, and with Pixar serving as an effects house for the first time ever... well, that’s goosebump city. Between this and AVATAR, my inner SF nerd is pretty much rabid and frothing. I hope this is the film where Pixar takes a step away from the safety of the PG rating to embrace the material. I don’t think it automatically has to be an R, but I certainly don’t think you can softpedal this and still have it be JOHN CARTER OF MARS. I’d heard rumors about this, and during my recent trip to Pixar, I had to tread carefully because I knew they were never going to let me get anything on the record. Now that they’ve made the announcement, though, this is on my radar as one of the coolest projects in the works anywhere by anyone. Congrats to all involved.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

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  • April 1, 2007, 1:38 a.m. CST


    by ErnieAnderson


  • April 1, 2007, 1:38 a.m. CST


    by ErnieAnderson


  • April 1, 2007, 1:43 a.m. CST

    BREAKING NEWS: Terrell Owens signs 6yr deal with Eagles

    by zillabeast


  • April 1, 2007, 1:56 a.m. CST

    ok i'll be the A-hole...

    by slder78

    this is an April Fool's right? Garth at Dark Horizons has Spiderman 4 set for 2008, with Jason Bourne meeting his son.

  • April 1, 2007, 2 a.m. CST

    Thank goodness someone mentioned...

    by LordEnigma

    It's April's fools day. Fucking hell. This should be fun. Like it's always...not. If this is indeed If not, then, AWWW MAN! NOT COOL DREW! NOT COOL!

  • April 1, 2007, 2:02 a.m. CST

    Did Kurt Russel Laugh?


    If so, then of course....! It's okay.... :)

  • April 1, 2007, 2:03 a.m. CST



    Who will own SUMMER 2009? Start placing your bets.... I'm betting everyone will side with AVATAR?

  • April 1, 2007, 2:04 a.m. CST




  • April 1, 2007, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Dude, that's so uncool

    by tommy5tone

    Stories like these are the reason I HATE April Fool's Day.

  • April 1, 2007, 2:09 a.m. CST

    We'll See...

    by drew mcweeny

    Mark Fergus was the last writer at Paramount. That's true. We've been hearing rumblings about Pixar wanting the JOHN CARTER property for months. That's true. Yes, today is April 1st, and if this is a joke, it's a well-crafted one. But there's enough truth in here that I'm willing to run it as a news story. If it is a joke, it's on me, too, guys.

  • April 1, 2007, 2:09 a.m. CST

    Damn you Michael Bay


    Damn you Michael Bay

  • April 1, 2007, 2:18 a.m. CST

    Kurt Russell as Boba Fett!!

    by Flim Springfield


  • April 1, 2007, 2:23 a.m. CST


    by DerLanghaarige

    I'm speechless

  • April 1, 2007, 2:27 a.m. CST

    Well, Moriarty, you do realise

    by mark-blackmagic

    that apparently they also got Bought out by Disney today.

  • April 1, 2007, 2:28 a.m. CST

    Funny story that one :)

    by bioforge

    Thanks for the laugh

  • April 1, 2007, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Michael Bay to direct War on Terrorism

    by 12-GAUGE

    April Fools?

  • April 1, 2007, 2:48 a.m. CST

    Congrats Mori.... YOU'VE BEEN HAD!

    by W3bzpinn3r

    Gonna need to change the handle now. Moriarty was a genius at the same level as Holmes... to fall for a joke like this is sad... What shall the new handle be...<p> "TheRealMcWeenie"? <p> nah... sounds like either fast food or cheap porn. Guess you get to stay "Moriarty" afterall.

  • April 1, 2007, 3:02 a.m. CST

    Confirmed bogus

    by cinephobia

    Won't be a surprise to anybody, but I wrote about this on my site and the source blogger immediately confirmed in the comments that it's bogus:

  • April 1, 2007, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Yep, Totally Got Fooled

    by drew mcweeny

    Guy used just enough truth to reel me in completely. <P>I'll leave it up, since this is the first time in my entire run at AICN that I've been pranked on April 1st successfully.

  • April 1, 2007, 3:13 a.m. CST

    Dumb Shit

    by Professor Krapp

    I could smell that fart a mile away.

  • April 1, 2007, 4:20 a.m. CST

    "since this is the first

    by SpencerTrilby

    "since this is the first time in my entire run at AICN that I've been pranked on April 1st successfully" what about those Captivity ads then? You mean they were FOR REAL? Looks like they *did* warp your fragile little mind after all.

  • April 1, 2007, 4:28 a.m. CST

    That news was...

    by m_reporter

    ... just too good to be true. Oh well , nice 1st April jok, but Peter Jacksons King Kong 2 news was by far the best.

  • April 1, 2007, 4:42 a.m. CST

    live action

    by drave117

    Brad Bird's next project is actually going to be live action, though! No word on what it is going to be yet.

  • April 1, 2007, 5:02 a.m. CST


    by Luxo Jr

    Yeah I think I got a lot of people on this one. I agree m_reporter though. PJ's one last year was tops! There were people coming into chat for at least 2 days afterwards asking if it was real or not.

  • April 1, 2007, 5:14 a.m. CST

    sup thomas

    by mark-blackmagic


  • April 1, 2007, 5:56 a.m. CST

    I pranked you about Baby Seinfelds Mory...

    by Aust1n

    But I guess that wasn't on April 1st

  • April 1, 2007, 6:02 a.m. CST

    I was so stoked by son of Kong, went around telling ppl

    by bioforge

    Thanks for reminding me :)

  • April 1, 2007, 7:26 a.m. CST

    AWW, Man...

    by LordEnigma

    NOT COOL, DREW! NOT COOL! Maybe reality and make-believe can come together at some point to make this happen? The idea of a R-rated PIXAR movie maes me totally freakin giddy. Why? I am a emotionally stunted adult. Who happens to love the moving pictures a bit too much.

  • April 1, 2007, 7:39 a.m. CST

    How true is the 3/23 FilmStew article?

    by halfmoth “[Executive producer] John [Lasseter] brought us in to do an adaptation of the trilogy,” Fergus explains during a recent interview with FilmStew.

  • April 1, 2007, 8:20 a.m. CST

    In *real* Disney news...

    by bobbycap_1456

    Apparently, Corinne Bailey Rae has been cast in the lead role in The Frog Princess. Actually, I'm not sure how true this is. However, since there are some 'witnesses,' maybe it's more than just a rumor.

  • April 1, 2007, 8:31 a.m. CST

    Remember the Miyazaki/Pixar collaboration?

    by half vader

    That was an April Fool's day thing too wasn't it? I SO wanted that one to be true.

  • April 1, 2007, 9:35 a.m. CST

    But Russell liked it...DAMMIT!

    by Jumping Windows

    Right after I read the article, I looked to my left and saw that Kurt Russell was smiling, so it is obvious that he liked the idea. But Snake was not happy to hear that this was an April Fool's joke.

  • April 1, 2007, 10:16 a.m. CST

    @Nosferatu Jones A few days ago DonutBoy sent in

    by comedian_x

    a Grindhouse review and here is the excerpt: <br><br>"The final scene (i swear to god) had the killer having sex withsome one's decapitated head in the SNL "dick in the box" way. I couldn't believe this movie wasn't rated X. I looked over and Kurt Russell was laughing pretty hard, so I guess it was okay." <br><br> ...And the talkback, nay, society was changed forever.

  • April 1, 2007, 10:56 a.m. CST

    April Fools.

    by jimmy_009

    Didn't buy it for a second. Although it would be cool. The only thing cooler would be Pixar doing a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon.

  • April 1, 2007, 12:14 p.m. CST

    internet assholes

    by troutpencil

    Stuff like this happens all the time to people like Moriarty and Devin Faraci at CHUD. I mean stuff like them writing authoritative essays about things which immediately are made to look silly. I remember Devin wrote an enormous essay about how Batman Begins 2 was not getting made as his detective faculties were so skillfully able to deduce (even though no one else was as stupid as he was and thus knew otherwise) and like two days later the Dark Knight got an official press release. It's because these fucking pricks think they're the smartest guys in the world and blessed with Nancy Drew's powers of deduction, so you get shit like Moriarty trashing the upcoming Casino Royale and that AICN post about how the Indiana Jones movie wasn't happening, and to read them while knowing otherwise is just like getting drowned in douchebag water.

  • April 1, 2007, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Thank GOODNESS

    by 900LBGorilla

    Wow I must be the only one here saying THANK GOODNESS this is B/S. Love Brad Bird, and Pixar are great…but I have Z-E-R-O faith that they would do anything other than kiddi-fy this property. This movie is in trouble with Disney anyway, but it’s only real shot is to be given to a non-kiddy director…(and that’s a long shot now). Just like “Alexander” I’d rather see this not made AT ALL until it is in the hands of a director who knows what the hell to do with it….waiting for the first attempt at a film is probably going to be a lot shorter than waiting for someone to re-make a film someone cluster $#%@s into mediocrity or an outright failure. For this film- I actually hope Disney sells the property… for Alexander thanks Oliver “I smoked too many doobies to think straight” Stoned…we’ll probably now never see a film that does that subject matter justice.

  • April 1, 2007, 1:30 p.m. CST


    by liljuniorbrown

    If your telling the truth about the "Small Wonder" Will Ferrell thing then I must go away and prepare my family because the Apocalypse is close at hand. That sitcom sucked balls so bad I think everyone involved with it (actors,writers,directors,grip guys,lighting tech's) gathered together one night and killed themselves.

  • April 1, 2007, 1:33 p.m. CST

    That's a cruel f***ing joke.

    by MCVamp

    No, really.

  • April 1, 2007, 1:56 p.m. CST

    I think Ferrell/Fanning "Small wonder" sounds genius

    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    I probably won't go see it, but I doff my hat to the marketing brilliance of whoever cooked it up!

  • April 1, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST


    by where_are_quints_hobbit_set_reports

    BELIEVE ME SWEETY I GOT ENOUGH TO FEED THE NEEDY. <p> It's like the ads are doing a call-and-response duet. And like another TBer mentioned, Chevy's skin color in those ads is really something special. Lookin' good, Mr. Chase, lookin' good...

  • April 1, 2007, 1:59 p.m. CST

    Could be worse...

    by frankenberry

    A "Small Wonder" movie with Ferrell and Fanning still sounds better than that stupid "Different Strokes" remake on the way.

  • April 1, 2007, 2:41 p.m. CST

    Actual conversation....

    by liljuniorbrown

    Producer: I was taking a shit the other day and you know what it reminded me of? Studio Head: Not really...Wait,movie idea? Producer: The tv series Small Wonder. The one about the guy who made a robot daughter. Studio Head: Wow what did you eat, a bowl Aids covered in Death? That show stunk.It will only appeal to people who never seen or heard of the series and the lowest of the low end of our normal demographic. I'm loving it!!! What about the licensing rights and ownership? Producer: The shows creators were murdered in 1989 by the actor who played the brother to the Robot.He was caught in a ditch in Florida fucking the prop robots head. Studio Head: Can we get Will Ferrell?

  • April 1, 2007, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Aw CRAP, it was too good to be true

    by Drath

    FUCK. Well, Pixar, you might want to think about this one....please? I'd trade the Incredibles sequel for this actually, and that's the only sequel from Pixar I really want to see. Come on guys, you've got to do this while Hugh Jackman is still young enough to make it work!

  • April 1, 2007, 3:15 p.m. CST

    I can't be the only one who doesn't care

    by performingmonkey

    How many times can John Carter be brought back from the dead? I don't know. I'd rather see a movie about...The Outhere Brothers.

  • April 1, 2007, 3:27 p.m. CST

    "Small Wonder" announcement footage

    by myusername

    A bit more on that "Small Wonder" remake: Someone has posted footage of Ferrell making the announcement, at YouTube.

  • April 1, 2007, 5:22 p.m. CST

    Fuck Brad Bird - Zack Snyder should direct this

    by McGsStepson

    And he should direct the SMALL WONDER remake too.

  • April 1, 2007, 5:35 p.m. CST

    Small wonder was

    by emeraldboy


  • April 1, 2007, 5:46 p.m. CST


    by Womb2dooM

    Skunked ya, Mori!

  • April 1, 2007, 8:09 p.m. CST

    Pixar to do live-action?

    by Amy Chasing

    was I the only one thinking this was BS from the start? I don't work for Pixar or know what's going on there, but I never got the impression that they were ready to start making live-action films. Maybe my bullshit-o-meter is on higher alert today, even though it's already April 2nd where I am. Jokes on you guys I'm afraid. ;P

  • April 1, 2007, 8:40 p.m. CST

    I Got Suckered

    by Evil Chicken

    … into believing the reported Black Suit on Spiderman picture posted a couple of years ago. Bird is amazing though.

  • April 1, 2007, 11:13 p.m. CST

    Movie Called Fractrure...

    by fluffybunnywhiskers

    This is off topic... why is Fracture's trailer not on AICN yet, or did I miss it? Starring Anthony Hopkins and Ryan Gosling? Looks awesome... and I had to find it on a diff site just to hear about it. Lame. Trailer from Apple:

  • April 2, 2007, 8:06 a.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    ... much of WALL-E, the next Pixar film after RATATOUILLE, is live-action, so this doesn't seem that far-fetched.

  • April 2, 2007, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Fool me twice...

    by SympatheticDevil

    When I was a kid, the local paper published an article on March 31 telling us that Kevin Bacon was going to be staring in a film that they were going to shoot around town, including our flour mill where they were going to have a big dance scene. The article ended with a reminder that the next day was April Fools Day. Footloose started filming in town three months later. Letting something leak for April Fools is a great way to squash rumors. Now nobody is going to believe future John Carter rumors, because we'll still be redfaced from getting fooled the first time.

  • April 5, 2007, 7:36 a.m. CST

    site problem - 48hr old data

    by sounding ran into some trouble at approximately 4am CST. a drive array "went south" and we are currently recovering about 48hrs worth of stories and talkbacks. this will not affect posting from this moment on. the site will work normally. editors can post stories, talkbackers can post chatter, etc. <br><br> see the notice on the homepage for further updates