Hey folks, Harry here - and I have to say, I'm incredibly happy to say, "JOHN CARTER OF MARS is finally underway!" I've been dying to see Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic PRINCESS OF MARS adapted to the screen, and although I spent a lengthy part of my life working to try to inch it closer to the screen, it has been an incredibly difficult property to get to screen. Literally, since the 30s, several of the most amazing filmmakers in the world were attempting it, unofficially adapting pieces of it, and ultimately it remains to be seen. When the dim bulb that blinked on JOHN CARTER at Paramount blinked... and Disney/Pixar jumped in and swooped up the rights, I was relieved. Then, after watching AVATAR, I was again relieved, because with AVATAR's success, I know that it will raise Andrew's game - and that Disney will be incredibly confident in the sort of tale that John Carter is. And on their side, the creature designs, culture and mythology of Barsoom, to me, is something folks are going to clamor over. Here are the press releases that Disney sent out today regarding the project, enjoy:
WALT DISNEY PICTURES’ “JOHN CARTER OF MARS” BEGINS PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN LONDON BURBANK, Calif. (January 15, 2010) – Principal photography is underway in London for Walt Disney Pictures’ “JOHN CARTER OF MARS.” Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings. Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter, who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants. Produced for Walt Disney Pictures by Jim Morris (“WALL•E,” “Ratatouille”) and Colin Wilson (“Avatar,” “War of the Worlds”), the live action/animation film marks Academy Award®-winning director/writer Andrew Stanton’s (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) first foray into live action. Stanton directed and co-wrote the screenplay for Disney•Pixar’s “WALL•E,” which earned the Academy Award and Golden Globe® for Best Animated Feature (2008); Stanton was nominated for an Oscar® for the screenplay. He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” garnering an Academy Award-nomination for Best Original Screenplay and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature (2003). He has worked as a screenwriter and/or executive producer on Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life” (which he also co-directed), “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Ratatouille” and “Up.” "I have been waiting my whole life to see the characters and worlds of 'John Carter of Mars' realized on the big screen,” says Stanton. “It is just a wonderful bonus that I have anything to do with it." The stellar ensemble cast is led by Taylor Kitsch (NBC’S “Friday Night Lights”, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) in the title role, Lynn Collins (“50 First Dates,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) as the warrior princess Dejah Thoris and Oscar® nominee Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man 3,” “Shadow of a Vampire”) as Martian inhabitant Tars Tarkas. The cast also includes Thomas Haden Church (“Sideways,” Spider-Man 3), Polly Walker (upcoming “Clash of the Titans,” “Patriot Games”), Samantha Morton (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “In America”), Mark Strong (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Body of Lies”), Ciaran Hinds (“Munich,” “There Will Be Blood”), British actor Dominic West (“300,” “Chicago”), James Purefoy (“Vanity Fair,” “Resident Evil”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”). Daryl Sabara (“Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” “Spy Kids”) takes the role of John Carter’s teenaged nephew, Edgar Rice Burroughs. The creative team includes Oscar®-nominated production designer Nathan Crowley (“Public Enemies,” “The Dark Knight,” “Batman Begins”), costume designer Mayes Rubeo (“Avatar,” “Apocalypto”), cinematographer Daniel Mindel (“Star Trek,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Spygame”) and video effects supervisor Peter Chiang (“The Reader,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”). OHN CARTER OF MARS WALT DISNEY PICTURES Genre: Adventure/Sci-Fi Rating: TBD Release Date: TBD Cast: Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Daryl Sabara, Polly Walker, Bryan Cranston, with Thomas Hayden Church and Willem Dafoe Director: Andrew Stanton Producers: Jim Morris and Colin Wilson Screenplay by: Andrew Stanton & Mark Andrews (credit not final) Based on the story by: Edgar Rice Burroughs From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E”), JOHN CARTER OF MARS brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings. Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter (TAYLOR KITSCH), who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas (WILLEM DAFOE) and Dejah Thoris (LYNN COLLINS). Notes: · Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago and is best known for writing and creating Tarzan – still one of the most successful and iconic fictional creations of all time. JOHN CARTER OF MARS is based on Burroughs’ first novel, “A Princess of Mars.” · Academy Award®-winning director/writer Andrew Stanton directed and co-wrote the screenplay for “WALL•E,” which earned the Academy Award® and Golden Globe Award® for Best Animated Feature of 2008. He was Oscar® nominated for the screenplay. He made his directorial debut with “Finding Nemo,” garnering an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay and winning the Oscar® for Best Animated Feature Film of 2003. He was one of the four screenwriters to receive an Oscar® nomination in 1996 for his contribution to “Toy Story,” and went on to receive credit as a screenwriter on subsequent Pixar films “A Bug’s Life,” “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “WALL•E.” He served as co-director on “A Bug’s Life,” and was the executive producer of “Monsters, Inc.,” the 2006 Academy Award-winning “Ratatouille” and the 2009 smash hit “Up.” Set in the wounded planet of Mars, JOHN CARTER OF MARS chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter (TAYLOR KITSCH), who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas (WILLEM DAFOE) and Dejah Thoris (LYNN COLLINS).