Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

Quint travels to Barsoom and visits the John Carter set!!!

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a tale of adventure to tell. This particular tale has your humble narrator traveling to the Martian land known as Barsoom (or Lake Powell, Utah), being jostled by the elements in a tiny craft (or a small prop plane from Phoenix, AZ to Page, AZ), being caught in a sandstorm (true) and getting to tell Willem Dafoe about how “Chaos Reigns” has become a battle cry at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

It’s safe to say that I’m a Barsoom fan. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ pulp sci-fi fantasy adventure novels have influenced all science fiction and fantasy that you know and like.

Picture a movie about a military man taken from Earth to a strange world where he falls in love with the Princess of an alien race, tamed and rode a crazy wild creature and proved himself to be a great warrior as well as a key figure in an epic battle that was fought on land and in the air…

Did you see blue cat people when reading that? Well, I just described the plot of Burroughs’ A PRINCESS OF MARS, which serves as the basis for JOHN CARTER, directed by WALL-E’s Andrew Stanton, his first live-action feature film.

I don’t mean to single out James Cameron’s AVATAR as the only story to liberally borrow from Burroughs’ Barsoom series. He’s not alone. Everything from The Lord of the Rings to Star Wars to Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon have borrowed elements, great and small, from these books.

Burroughs’ novels have been cherry-picked for decades and in all that time film adaptations have begun and failed. Did you know that Walt Disney’s SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES might have been the second full length animated film if events had unfolded differently? Looney Tunes director Bob Clampett was working closely with Edgar Rice Burroughs and his son, John Coleman, to produce an animated feature starting in 1931, going so far as having an animated sequence completed that was shown around town in 1936.

Since then Ray Harryhausen, John McTiernan, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Robert Rodriguez, Kerry Conran, Jon Favreau and even our own Harry Knowles have tried to make the film a reality.

Even though I have been to the set, have seen Stanton directing Tharks and John Carter himself, I’m finding it difficult to believe this movie is actually happening after all these years.

My adventure really began on the road to the set. The lovely driver who picked me and fellow traveler Geoff Boucher of the LA Times up from the tiny Page, AZ airport knew the general direction we were going, but not the exact location.

We passed over the state border into Utah without any fanfare… I didn’t even see any signs welcoming me to the state… and he asked us if we knew where we were going. I was clueless, my usual state, and we couldn’t get anybody on the phone, so we kept on driving.

The terrain was total John Ford territory… Red clay sand, purple mountains majesty and all that. There was a glint of something at the foot of these far off mountain that could be the set, but no real way to get there short of going off-road and hauling ass through the desert.

Just when it seemed like we were hopelessly lost and would soon turn on each other out of desperation and hunger we came across a giant yellow sign with the word “Barsoom” fit nice and snug inside an arrow pointing the way we were headed. That was a pretty good indication that we would eventually get to where we were going, which was pretty good because I didn’t like my chances going up against Boucher in a survival-of-the-fittest one-of-us-is-going-to-be-dinner scenario. The driver I could have handled… I stood no chance against Boucher.

Soon enough we followed the production signs deep into the desert and were met with layer upon layer of security until finally we were wandering around the red planet’s surface and interacting with Tharks.

There was a real set in place, not just empty desert standing in for Mars. Large pillars rose up out of the ground, surrounded by gypsy-like tents made of animal hide. The pillars were part of long run-down ruins, adobe-colored and at odd angles. They weren’t what I’d call crowded together. In fact, all the action we saw filmed that day pretty out in the open, with the ruins giving character to the natural landscape.



At the time I assumed these structures were the beginnings of the world of Barsoom, but judging from the trailers and the footage I’ve seen since this visit Stanton really wants the iconic US desert geography to be a huge part of the look of the film. It’s a decision I don’t know if I’m on board with yet, to be honest, but we’ll see what the final product delivers.

They were shooting a scene from early in the movie with our leading man still in his Earth clothes, giant scraggly beard and all, being dragged along the ground by his Thark captors.

Tharks on set that day were Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas, Polly Walker as Sarkoja, Thomas Haden Church as Tal Hajus and Samantha Morton as Sola. For those not obsessed with Burroughs, let’s do a little clarifier here.

The story has a Civil War vet transported to Mars, a planet in turmoil with rival factions either at war with each other or on the brink of war. Most of the planet’s tribes are human-ish, with the Tharks being the big exception. They are very tall, have tusks, are green and come equipped with an extra set of arms for good measure.

Tars Tarkas has a soft side, but is a strong leader, Tal Hajus in a conniving power-hungry character, Sola is kind and Sarkoja’s a huge bitch.

Now that you’re all caught up with the characters let’s talk about the Tharks’ physicality. In the book they’re huge, well over double the size of your average earth-bound human. In Stanton’s film they’re a little smaller, the males topping out around 9 ½ feet and the females a bit shorter.

Even though the Tharks will all be computer animated characters in the film, they used performance capture on the set and had the actors there performing in the scenes with the live action actors. As a result they had crazy rigs to wear. Not only did they have to do the standard grey leotard covered in dots get-up, but they had the Avatar head gear that recorded their facial tics and eye movements. And they had to do that all while on stilts.



There’s something cool that you can’t see in that above photo (because it looks like the photo was taken during a rehearsal, I’m guessing). Each Thark actor had hard drive backpacks on, storing the data recorded by their face cams, and they decided to use those hard backpacks for another purpose. Sticking out of the top was a head on a pole. So, each actor had a crude actual-size Thark head (tusks and all) about 2 feet above their real heads that served as a representation of just how they fit in the frame as well as giving an eye line for the other actors in the scene.

Stanton was shooting anamorphic 35mm because he wanted a more realistic look for the movie, a tone he described as historical documentary. I’m all for shooting on film, which has a personality that just seems more cinematic to me than all but the top tier digital cameras wielded by the top 1% of brilliant cinematographers.

So, I like this technical decision and was very pleased they were going through the effort, especially on a film as effects heavy as this one.

The sequence Boucher and I saw filming involved John Carter in his filthy Civil War uniform and thick beard being dragged around by the Tharks. Sola (Samantha Morton) and Sarkoja (Polly Walker) get in a tussle, which is broken up by Tars Tarkas (Dafoe). As Jeddak (or leader) Tars is riding a giant Thoat (think of a cow mixed with a Bantha and you’re close) and leading the pack. He not only breaks up the fight, but instructs Sola to go back to their captive.

Poor Captain Carter is being dragged behind and is kind of caught in the middle of the fight between the females. The cameras were low on him, looking up from the ground as Sola approaches. She pulls out a knife and he cries out, “No! Wait!” and she cuts his bonds.

They got another angle, coverage on Dafoe as he angrily calls out, “Sarkoja!” as she attacks Sola. Even in the ridiculous jumpsuit when Willem Dafoe sharply called out her name and stared daggers into here I was struck with the uncomfortable feeling of daddy hitting mommy at the dinner table. That man can glare!

Of course he wins the stare down and she walks off, dragging poor Mr. Carter along for a bit before dropping him. Cables were actually doing the pulling, but she still had her hands on him, dropping him at a certain spot. Remember Ms. Walker was doing all this on stilts with that crazy giant headgear on. Plus they needed to do a clean pass after they got the performance, which mean they had to drag Taylor Kitsch around the frame without the Thark actors in it.

To complicate matters a mini-sandstorm blew in during this sequence, which looked great on the monitors, actually, but it played hell with continuity.

It was pretty cool watching Willem Dafoe work, especially since he was working in such a unique way. He was speaking Thark at this point and hearing him shout orders as Tars Tarkas was pretty geekerific stuff, I must say.

Even though the visit was short on observing actual filming we got a lot of time with the various cast members talking about their characters and the experience of shooting the film. I was there on day 72 of 100, so by then they had gotten into a flow and every actor seemed to adore Stanton.

It’s hard not to get caught up in Stanton’s infectious enthusiasm. He is so passionate about filmmaking and even more passionate about the source material he’s almost Mormon nice and energetic. It’s the uncynical, almost childlike, enthusiasm that sneaks up on ya’.

The first person we got to sit down with was Dafoe (in the shade of a natural rock face, by the way. Remember this whole day was outside in the Lake Powell area of Utah… kinda dusty, deserty conditions) and like I mentioned at the beginning of the article I totally regaled him with tales of drunken shouts of Chaos Reigns that echoed the halls of the Alamo Drafthouse during Fantastic Fest. I probably freaked him out talking about Anti-Christ so much, but it had to be done, you understand.

One of my favorite parts of talking with Dafoe was hearing about his background with Burroughs. He told Boucher and myself about skipping church as a kid so he could go play Tarzan. Later on he fell into the Barsoom films and found himself fascinated by its place in history and the questions it raised as a template for what we take for granted as common pop culture. Did the notion of Green Martians come from this tale? That kind of thing.

When questioned specifically about his character, he spoke of the joyful gray area between Tars Tarkas’ public face and his private one. Apparently it was in this space that he had the most fun, switching between the stoic, strong and cold Thark leader and the more caring, emotional creature he is underneath.

I asked him about finding Tars’ physical voice and how he came to find it. Dafoe laughed and said it was quite the process. They actually had a linguist build the Thark dialect so everything he says in the alien tongue has a root in real language so it makes sense for him as an actor and also doesn’t come off as jibberish.

For the voice itself he found himself influenced by a number of factors, but the two on the forefront were Nelson Mandela and an unspecific Native American inflection.

Dafoe was very open to our questions and our short time with him flew by as he was pulled away and we moved on to chat with Thomas Hayden Church, which was a much more unfocused bullshit session.

The few moments that were on point in this discussion involved his discussions with Stanton about Tal Hajus. He’s kind of a bad guy, but he has a very rigid view of the world and his place in it. There’s no extenuating circumstances, no room for gray area. There are strict societal rules for the Thark; specific ways to prove honor. It’s a culture that rewards blood-thirsty, cold-hearted ambition and Tal has that in spades.

So, there was that kind of talk for about 4 minutes, then the rest devolved into chit-chat about how he couldn’t stop hitting on Dana Wheeler-Nicholson during the filming of Tombstone and how great Austin is.

It actually turned into a bit of an Austin contingency because during our chat Taylor Kitsch joined in. He spent many seasons of Friday Night Lights in Austin and we talked about the music scene, the amazing food and I also brought up Church’s directorial effort Rolling Kansas. He filmed that in Austin as well and even cast my little brother in the movie as a rude bully who flips off one of the lead kids in a flashback.

Kitsch was half out of costume, changing for another shot to be gotten later in the day, explaining that he was in transition between “hero Carter” and “jaded “fuck-off!” Carter.” I thought that was actually a great way to describe the John Carter that arrives on Mars, but I don’t expect you’ll hear him repeat that too much out on the press circuit. This is a Walt Disney production, afterall.



This conversation was quite fun, very relaxed and not at all an interview even thought it technically was. That’s just my impression of Church as a person. He’ll always go for the laid back comfortable chat instead of the on-the-clock let’s-get-down-to-business type talk.

We need to talk about Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris. I’ve been pretty critical of her casting, I won’t deny it. I had a pretty definitive type in mind for Dejah, who is kind of the Cleopatra of Mars. I know Collins has had a very successful career on the stage, but her film work didn’t show me the qualities I was expecting in the woman who would play the Princess of Mars.

One of the big reasons I was eager to visit the set was to see how Ms. Collins was as Dejah and how they were going to visually execute the Red Men of Mars. Talking with the producers it became clear that the Red Men of Mars aren’t really going to be red. They said they did a lot of tests and couldn’t figure out a way to pull it off. The make-up either didn’t read or it made them look like they had a bad sunburn.

So ultimately they decided on combining a heavy tan with red tribal tattoos as a way of meeting in the middle.

Of everything I saw on the set, this is the only thing that really struck me as being wrong. Sure, it’s a fan nitpick, but I would have almost preferred they didn’t try to make them red at all than have them covered in tattoos. Maybe they work in the context of the movie, but it looked kind of silly to me.

And thanks to Ms. Collins I got a close up look at them. Boucher and I were taken to her trailer where she was waiting to talk to us. She was in the process of being made-up. Her spray tan and tats were done and we had some time between that process and getting her fitted into her wardrobe and wig.

She was wrapped in a comfy looking bathrobe, but was very open about how… revealing… the make-up process was on the show.

“So much spray tan! I’m like so good at standing still and naked getting spray tanned! That’s a skill that any good actress needs to have,” she said laughing.

I didn’t get to see her work, so I can’t comment on her performance, but I will say that she’s a charmer in person. I see how she gets work just because she’s cool to hang out with, is super funny and willing to poke fun at herself. Her personality is just that bubbly and adorable, but not that sickening fake actress type.

If they let a lot of Collins’ real personality seep into Dejah I think she may work in the role.

Still not sold on the tats, though. They’re pretty gnarly up close, looking more like those scar-tattoos than typical ink tats. But then again I also only saw some of them and Ms. Collins was kind enough to reveal enough leg and shoulder to give us a peek. She wasn’t in costume under the robe, you see.

“I don’t have my costume on… I can’t get naked for you guys!” she exclaimed. Geoff responded immediately with: “It’s not going to hurt the story.” Huge laughs in the trailer as she was being pulled away to actually get into costume. “I’ll give you something to write about,” she threatened, but sadly didn’t follow up.

Told you she was funny. And also excited at the opportunity to sink her teeth into a really strong female character, which she says has an almost masculine femininity. Collins was very honest about being intimidated by the task at hand, saying she felt so much pressure to get her right that it took some time to actually get out of the way of herself and let the character just come out.

That moment happened pretty much by accident as she was practicing a sword fight and just let loose to be greeted by a chorus of “that’s it! That’s Dejah!” when she finished the sequence.

This caught my attention because in the books Dejah is written as a powerful woman, but does fall into the damsel in distress trope quite a lot. So, hearing she’s got some sword fighting in the film is a bit of a change of character and I asked about that. It was here that she brought up Dejah’s “masculine femininity,” saying this version of Dejah developed over time as she worked with Andrew Stanton to elevate her beyond the girl that needs saving archetype.

Then we were kicked out so Collins could have some much needed privacy. Here’s a pic of her riding on the back of what will be a fully formed Thoat when you see it on the big screen:



Last, but not least was Andrew Stanton himself. While he didn’t threaten to get naked for the good of our stories he was just as excitable about the movie and was very open to a frank discussion with this uber nerd (I won’t lump Boucher in with me without his consent, although he’s kinda nerdy too… shhhh, don’t tell him I talked!).

Stanton knows his shit when it comes the Barsoom books. Let’s get that out of the way up front. He loves them and has been under their spell since he was a child. He has some very strong opinions on how to translate that world to celluloid and it made for a very fun chat.

Let’s start with the transition from animation to feature filmmaking:


“People think because I worked on computer animated movies I worked with computers. No, I worked with 200 people. I had a person who was the best cameraman, I had a person who was the best storyboard artist, the person who was the best costume designer, the person who was the best with props, the person who was the best set builder. My dialogue here is exactly the same, it’s just learning how they do their jobs a little differently. But the goal is exactly the same, which is to make everything look great in a frame. The planning is no different. If anything Pixar plans more. Way more. People keep waiting for me to crumble, for me to become overwhelmed, but nothing has come even close to overwhelming like I get on a day at Pixar.”


He went on to say that the stress of making the movie wasn’t nearly as much as the Pixar work, but physically it’s much more demanding and that he’s been on his feet from 6am to 10pm every single one of the 72 days they had filmed up to that point.

One of the bigger departures from the iconography of the books is in the Tharks. I’ve already mentioned they’re smaller, but they’re also more lithe, thin and sinewy. That comes from Stanton’s research into various real world fighting tribes like the Masai Warriors and Aborigine Tribes. He noticed they aren’t hulking masses of muscle, but thin. He wanted the Tharks to have developed in a similar way.

Now, when I think of the Barsoom books I see Frank Frazetta’s art. It’s by no means the only vision of the story (hell, that version wasn’t seen until some 50-60 years after the first Barsoom book came to print), but having seen a lot of interpretations of the world over the decades, that’s the version that most resonates with me.



Stanton acknowledged that, but said he didn’t want “fanboy fantasy creatures.” He wanted believability, which is why he look to Earth’s warrior tribes for inspiration on the Tharks.

I said I understood and agreed there needed to be a solid real world grounding or else the fantasy would just look like fluff, but just speaking as a fan I’d miss some of the Frazetta influence on the design of the world.

Stanton loves the Frazetta work, too, but said by now he feels the look is cliché and has been over-used in pop culture.


“Had somebody made this movie around the era of Frazetta it probably would have been a bullseye, but now you’d think I’d just be making a Molly Hatchet album or the side of a van.”


I get his point, but I think there’s a way to find a middle ground in much the same way Peter Jackson incorporated John Howe and Alan Lee’s vision of Middle Earth while still keeping it rooted in a tangible reality. But I get where he’s coming from and maybe he’ll fully convert me when I see the finished film in the coming weeks.

Much respect to Stanton for being willing to argue a bit with a fellow Barsoom fan during his lunch break. And like I said no one’s doubting Stanton’s passion for the material. He told a story about working with Disney in the very early days of the project where he was up front that his vision is a strong PG-13, with real consequences to action, beheadings and blood-letting during the swordfighting and if they weren’t in for that version with him, he understood and they’d part ways, but he needed to be clear now so there’s not a problem later on. To his great surprise the higher ups at Disney said sure thing and have kept that promise even when there was a regime change during prep.



When talk turned to how he found his John Carter, he mentioned being a fan of Friday Night Lights and of Kitsch’s work there, but thought he was too young for the role. But when he found out Kitsch was in the same age range that Sean Connery was as Bond in Dr. No and Harrison Ford was as Han Solo he changed his mind right away.

Stanton said he saw something in Taylor Kitsch he felt John Carter desperately needed, a raw nerve quality that was hiding nobility underneath. He wanted Carter to be damaged goods so he would have some place to go with the character.

Finally we talked about the framing device that has Daryl Sabara playing Edgar Rice Burroughs and that’s probably the only bit of news that has survived the nearly two years since the set visit until the embargo lifting.

The Barsoom books are written as if Burroughs was hearing these crazy stories from his Uncle Jack Carter and presented as if they actually happened, so it’s great they’re incorporating that aspect into the movies. We’ve known this for a while, but the news is that Stanton said he plans on using this same framing device for the next two John Carter movies as well.

Disney and Stanton optioned the first three Barsoom novels and Stanton told us back in July that he’s writing the sequel, The Gods of Mars, as they post John Carter kind of on faith that the movie will do well and Disney will continue. There’s that passion thing turning up again. He didn’t have a deal in place, wasn’t getting paid to do it, but he wanted to get a jump on it should it happen.

It was clear from my visit that everybody from the AD to the actors, VFX guys, grips and producers was passionate about the material. That all comes from the top. I didn’t see enough to tell you guys definitively if Stanton succeeded in translating Burroughs world to the big screen, but I can say that should they succeed it’ll be well earned and if they should fail it’ll be a noble failure.

So much rides on the shoulders of Kitsch and Collins that it is really impossible to tell if the movie will work until we see if they work together. If we don’t buy John Carter and Dejah Thoris’ romance the whole house o’ cards comes tumbling down.

I can’t wait to see what Stanton delivers and I really appreciate the time and access he and the folks at Disney granted us. It was a fun peek at the process. Now all that’s left is just seeing the damn thing!

Hope you guys enjoyed the report! Next up in the crazy-long set visit reports will be the return of the Unexpected Journey Hobbit set pieces. Stay tuned!

-Eric Vespe
Follow Me On Twitter

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Feb. 9, 2012, 7:53 p.m. CST

    so much green

    by happybunni


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:06 p.m. CST

    by MikeTheSpike

    Does anyone, anywhere, care about this film at all? I've never seen this John Carter of Mars business mentioned anywhere else online but on this site. I mean, hats off to Disney for giving it a shot, but this is going to be one massive bomb and we all know it.

  • This is exactly what is wrong with the field of modern creature design. Monsters have to "make sense"; their anatomies and behavior have to be rationalized and grounded in some form of reality. John Carter is pulp. Fantasy creatures are exactly what is called for with this material.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:15 p.m. CST

    A Pricess of Mars, in development hell since

    by lv_426


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:28 p.m. CST

    Not enough exposed penis or rape for a Willen Dafoe movie.

    by Onin Solstice

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Nice article Quint



  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:14 p.m. CST

    So glad this movie is getting made but seriously...

    by Tom Fremgen

    we have special effects that can do anything anyone can imagine- except make someone red skinned!? That smells like such BS. I'm sure some marketing dork thought red skinned people would scare viewers away. Still I'm open to seeing 'this vision' of John Carter. Though, I suppose the only way we see it closer to the original concept and with more Frazetta flair would be if it ever gets animated.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:21 p.m. CST

    i have faith in Pixar directors who move to film

    by antonphd

    i can't wait to see this film

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:32 p.m. CST

    I've got the faith

    by D.Vader


  • Feb. 9, 2012, 9:38 p.m. CST

    It will tank.

    by themanwhojaped

    I agree with the commenter above - I have never seen John Carter mentioned anywhere other than AICN and I have been coming to this site since before Episode I came out. No one cares about this property, and it has the stench of something that is going to bomb completely about it. I hope I'm wrong, but I expect it to do Conan-reboot numbers at best.

  • It hands down has had some of the worst marketing I think I've ever seen.

  • Yeah, the making creatures fit in their environment type of thought process is way over-done in movies today. Sometimes a cool monster is far more effective. However, I like the look of the tharks and white apes in the trailers. I'm not sold on Kitsch, but he does have the chops. Stanton's direction is key to make Carter a worthy character. I like how Stanton is confident about the decisions he has made. It doesn't feel like he's had to compromise with suits, but rather has worked with a team of artisans. It if succeeds as art, or fails as art, at least it was art. This doesn't happen much in Hollywood these days. Hopefully it's a success. Hopefully I enjoy it. I'm buying a ticket.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:45 p.m. CST

    Stereo ^

    by WONKABAR the more reasonable posts I've seen on aicn in awhile

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 10:59 p.m. CST

    wonkabar, thank you for the compliment.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    I'm usually not that civilized.

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:05 p.m. CST

    Haters gonna hate.

    by Gus

    I have seen a lot of footage on HULU for this as well as what happened during the Super Bowl. I have seen trailers for this for a long while, in fact I just saw CHRONICLE and there was a trailer for this there. Also, there was a trailer for this in TINTIN. I like Kitsch but he definitely reminds me of Tim Riggins in here. Especially when he says, "YES MAAM" in the trailer. My wife wants to see this because she friggin LOVES TIM RIGGINS. So, yeah, one of the few movies SHE wants to see, so for that I am down. I hope this does well, because if it does then it expands the SPACE/SCIFI genre again, which needs rejuvenation. Ice Pirates anyone? STARJAMMERS!!!

  • Feb. 9, 2012, 11:07 p.m. CST

    SO much coverage for a movie that will clearly suck!!!

    by notcher

    I mean it's the Avatar thing all over again, the white man saving an alien race. Wow, I'm intrigued by such a profoundly fresh and original idea. ZZZZZZZZZZZ.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 12:32 a.m. CST

    You know why this movie won't be good?

    by Odkin

    1) Dusty gray and brown modern photography 2) Likely a modern soundtrack of tuneless sonic wallpaper 3) Unwillingness to go balls out on an old-fashioned story of a spunky American who brings knowledge and freedom to misguided savages. You KNOW Carter will be portrayed as a dimwit bumpkin who LEARNS from the wise noble Martians, rather than teaches and leads them as a Warlord.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Lord of the Rings Borrowed from Burroughs?

    by Longtime Lurker

    Wrong, wrong and WRONG.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:41 a.m. CST

    I actually think this movie will be a hell of a lot of fun

    by melonman

    Not great - but great fun, like CLASH OF THE TITANS should have been.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 2:53 a.m. CST

    Nothing Interesting

    by DoctorImpostor

    As far as I can tell....The aliens look like cartoons. His two leads are uncharismatic. The use of the desert with his sparse, bad production design fails. The CGI looks crappy. So does the lighting. Poor decisions all around even if he is an artist. Unless the drama is undeniably epic and emotional, this is gonna tank.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 2:57 a.m. CST

    I'm pretty sure Tolkien wasn't a big John Carter fan

    by kwisatzhaderach

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 4:02 a.m. CST

    Just listen to you suckbags...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...´´Ooh, it's gonna be a bomb!´´ ...´´Ooh, the marketing is terrible! ´´ Before the heady days of the Internet NOBODY but the studio bean counters you profess to despise ever thought in those terms. You'd read Fangoria, Cinefantastique, Starlog or a number of other film-related mags and judge something as being POTENTIALLY cool, interesting or bad based on what little morsels were being presented. Nobody gave a FUCK about how much money it would make. You just hoped you'd get to see the movie on a decent screen or at least be able to rent it on VHS eventually. You cunts are concerned with NOTHING but being first to call which way a movie is going to go box office-wise. Let's say you're right -- a movie fails after you said it would. You really think that makes you sound cool or in the know? Newsflash, cocklick: it makes you sound like a hateful, whiny asshole who managed to make a correct guess with 50-50 odds. Yeah, you're a real winner and no doubt a peerless pussy magnet. Come on, let's hear your usual bleating about how since Phantom Menace you've become inured to hype and are merely being healthily skeptical about a new release. You've been hiding behind that bullshit argument for fucking years. The fact is you're more concerned with some sort of imagined internet prestige, where you accrue points for calling it like it is, rather than movies themselves. You simply don't like movies anymore. Yeah, I went there.

  • from the Avatar shooting.heh.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 4:26 a.m. CST

    I so much want to love it but...

    by BEHEM Pascal

    I so much want to love it, but so much feels wrong in this report from the set, and in every frame I’ve seen so far. For once, THERE ARE NO STAIRS ON BARSOOM, there are ramps everywhere. John Carter in a later book had made stairs in his palace, but had to destroy them because Barsoomians almost broke their necks because of their lack of familiarity with stairs… Yes, it’s a tiny detail, unimportant for the vast majority, and I even agree with that. But it’s also revealing of the lack of care in describing the number one character of the novel: the setting. All Barsoom novels are about discovery of another part of the planet. Two words: planetary romance. The planet is just not here. Carter is not in Kansas anymore, nor in Utah, he’s on a completely alien planet unlike anything on earth: the soil is covered with an elastic soundproof moss, and one of the moons race into the sky at night, for instance. It’s not scientifically accurate, but anyway the Tharks and the flying ships are not, either. Historical fantasy? Warrior Princess? “Destiny brought you here”?Do they realize that THESE are the clichés nowadays? Every filmmaker does that ad nauseam! John Carter should be distinctive instead of generic, it should break new ground, or perhaps go back and resurrect old threads, which is basically the same today. It should stand out from the crowd, instead of looking like Prince of Persia meets Attack of the Clones meets Asylum’s Princess of Mars (really I’m convinced you can intercut parts of this turd with the official trailer seamlessly, and that’s a shame). You don’t have to put a sword in a woman’s hand to make her strong. There is no stronger character than Dejah Thoris in Princess of Mars, and she never touches a weapon in the whole novel. Every woman in a fantasy/historical movie nowadays wields a weapon (and is better at it than 90% of men), from Guinevere in King Arthur to Elisabeth Swan in Pirates to Nathalie Portman in Your Highness… Carter is no messiah, he’s not THE ONE, as in Matrix and the SW prequels, he just happens to be there and changes the world. There is no destiny involved, Burroughs is a materialistic soul, Barsoom is science-fiction, not fantasy. Every belief in the supernatural on Barsoom is a delusion that Carter eventually debunks, one by one. But in the end, all of it can be summed up in one thing: I’m willing to forgive the lack of Barsoom, or the contemporary clichés, if the romance is here, if it feels genuine and true. I will not have the planet, can I have the romance please? If the heart is here, all can be forgiven. If not, it will bomb because it will appeal to nobody, readers of the book or not. It would be a pity, because for once the money was there to achieve a perfect Princess of Mars rendition. Perhaps it will be the only time in movie history all the stars could have been aligned. I know my heart will be broken if the movie proves to be the déjà-vu flick I now dread.

  • He doesnt get it now,does he?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:30 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    How can you see there's no exploration of the planet in this movie from what's been seen so far? And as far as I recall, in the first book Carter wasn't in much of a position to explore anything since he basically started off just trying to stay alive and then got mixed up in battle on the Heliumite side. The exploration of Barsoom came later on and then usually because the heroes had to go to different places to rescue women who had been abducted. And how does Thoris' use of the word ´´destiny´´ have to do with anything? What do you want in the trailer -- both that word and Carter then heroically dismissing it as superstition? Why does EVERYTHING have to be in the trailer? Having the stairs thing in the movie would have been utterly retarded. Burroughs also talks about a color spectrum on Mars which doesn't exist on Earth, but that's simply impossible to visualize. Nobody loves the Barsoom books more than I do, and I was quite vocal about the dour tone I perceived in the original teaser. However, everything we've seen since is making it look a lot better. It might still suck, but evidence pointing in that direction is increasingly wanting. And seriously, which is more important to you -- that you get a movie that you like or a movie that fails at the box office because of the mouthbreathers who have no sense of genre history and think it looks like everything else?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:35 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    So you called it, chief. A ´´huge box office failure´´. Does it make you all tingly inside knowing that you might be right? And hey, if you're wrong, like a shitload of assholes in the Avatar pre-release talkbacks were, you can just dump the nick to hide the shame, come back as someone else and try again -- just like they did. Sooner or later you'll be right and the women will be falling over themselves for a chance to bask in the warm, manly glow of your internet-fu.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 6:56 a.m. CST


    by BEHEM Pascal

    First, I wasn’t writing about exploration, but discovery. Barsoom has characteristics that makes it unique, and if you read the book, you know it too. Please tell me that in your mind, Barsoom always looked like Utah, and we’re set on this question, and agree to disagree. Thoris’ use of the word “Destiny” is nowhere to be found in the book, in her dialog or in any other character’s. It’s not a theme taken from the book, nor of any Burroughs book. If I’m mistaken, please indicate me where it is. It’s a cliché the filmmakers could easily avoid and didn’t. If it’s unimportant and so easily dismissed by Carter, why put it into the trailer at all? We’ll see how important it is in the final film. The stairs I always said were unimportant in themselves. I’m aware you can’t invent a new color, but that doesn’t mean you have to make Barsoom look just like earth. As I wrote, none of this is important if the movie has heart. But what you’ve got wrong is that I really want to LOVE the movie, not merely like it. It’s f…ing “Princess of Mars” we’re talking about, a movie I wanted to see my whole life. I won’t be satisfied in just “liking” it, but that’s just me.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 6:58 a.m. CST

    This will be one of the biggest flops in Disney history...

    by Wes_Reviews_

    ..."believability" in fantasy... yeah, that's why most modern fantasy movies suck. This will be no different.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 6:58 a.m. CST


    by IronSkillet

    I'm hoping there's a lot which is not shown in the trailers. In the books, Mars is a savage place, but Dejah Thoris is a princess in a sophisticated and scientifically advanced culture, not a tribeswoman living in a hut. The Heliumites live in huge, soaring cities. I'm also not happy with dialogue about "destiny," and don't know where that comes from. In the books, the Tharks, red men, and Carter are all very pragmatic. Death is a fact of life. The Tharks in particular show no emotion, which is what Defoe is talking about. His character is an exception, but sentimentality is so impractical and unaccepted by the Tharks that he has to keep that side of himself private. There are no great rallying speeches, because there's no need as the various sides are simply fighting for survival. If they lose, they die. Pretty good motivation. I'm going to go, I'm going to eat a lot of popcorn and doubtless be disappointed that it's not exactly as I'd have wanted it, but still think there's plenty we haven't yet seen that will make the disappointments pale next to finally seeing this primordial sci fi on screen. And whoever said it above was right, if this had been 1977 and there'd been a few photos in Starlog so far, no one would've been talking about box office. The only reason I care about that now is I hope to see "Gods of Mars" next.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 7:01 a.m. CST

    Canned dirty ape, just to point out...

    by D.Vader

    You *did* speak in absolutes when talking about why this will fail. You didn't say it *might* fail bc of the reasons you listed; you out and out declared it a failure as a matter of prophecy.

  • My hopes for this movie just rised up.

  • Disney always wanted to have their own SW franchise.They tried with Tron,Black Hole and Tron Legacy but they failed.John Carter is their latest effort to achieve this.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 7:30 a.m. CST

    Not enough exposed penis or rape for a Willen Dafoe movie.

    by Scarecrow237

    Especially in a story where all the characters are supposed to be *naked* 100% of the time wearing only bits and pieces of metal that cover nothing.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 7:33 a.m. CST

    Edgar Rice Burroughs is public domain

    by Scarecrow237

    That's right, there are no copyright holders. Anyone, anywhere can film or animate or create a better version of Barsoom than what is being made here. That is, the stories are without copyright until Disney uses Congress to pull them out of public domain back in their own perpetual copyright hell.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 7:58 a.m. CST

    There is that possibility..

    by Logan_1973

    That the lame trailers we've seen so far don't do the end product justice. Think about how far off the trailers for DRIVE and THE GREY were.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 8:09 a.m. CST

    There was a set?

    by Rtobert

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 8:32 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    I see d.vader beat me to the punch in pointing out a certain item in your post so I won't belabor the matter. However, what I WILL reiterate is my disgust at how talk of box office and marketing has come to dominate more and more of talkback. People aren't interested in whether they themselves are going to like a movie anymore, they just want to be first in declaring its failure and are therefore more interested in talking about how a movie is going to be received by everyone else. Anyone here who's old enough to remember what things were like before the internet can recall how alien, uninteresting and, above all, irrelevant such discussions were. This place has turned into a cesspool of corrosive negativity. By making the statements you did, you've chosen to focus on box office and what other people are going to think about the movie rather than on what interests or bores you about the subject. That makes you a part of this particular talkback malaise. You can have whatever opinions you choose but that doesn't make you immune to criticism.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 8:38 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    I saw Barsoom as looking mostly like a reddish, arid world, with patches of lush areas. Utah doesn't bug me as much as the color scheme. Sadly, Carpenter's Mars (in GOM) looks more like I imagined Barsoom than this movie does -- although I'll reserve judgment on that matter until after I see the final color-corrected film. As for the destiny matter, how can you attach so much importance to that? Is she being literal? Is she using a figure of speech? Who knows? Is it worth griping about at this early stage? And let's be honest -- Burroughs' tales were fantasy masquerading as sci-fi, much like Star Wars. There is nothing scientific about how Carter got to Mars, for example.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 8:50 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    If it had been anyone else saying the things you did.... No, actually, they would have been twats, too. It's just that your posts are particularly weightless considering the inane drivel you've been posting in, among other things, the Prometheus talkbacks. You're an idiot and here's why: I'm not complaining about whether the film is shit or not, I'm complaining about cretins like you whose sole joy in talking about movies is based on jumping in and screaming about how something is going to fail. You really think anyone believes that you're truly disappointed that this film isn't going to appeal to you? You couldn't be happier, toolbox, and everyone knows it.

  • By bitching on an Internet message board, cussing people out, and by insulting others incessantly. Carry on the good work.

  • Maybe they should have phoned up the make-up artists who worked on Darth Maul, because those fuckers seem to know how to make red skin work on a character. "It didn't work." Bollocks. Even 'Farscape' had aliens of all colours - including the "impossible" red - that worked beautifully.

  • I should say though that Harry got screwed if he doesn't at least have a "thank you" credit on this film because if it weren't for him it wouldn't be on anyone's radar to be made. Of course, he could have blown up and said "FUCK ALL YOU GUYS" and rolled out of the room for all I know.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 8:55 a.m. CST

    Hey, killik

    by buggerbugger

    Thanks for the link to that 'Dredd' gif. It's the first thing I've seen that gives me just a tiny bit of hope for that movie. Now **that's** how you judge a perp!

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Box Office does matter though.

    by KilliK

    Not only for the studios but also for the artists and the audience as well. Box Office fuels the movie industry,it also creates or destroys careers ,it shapes,reshapes or kills cinematic trends,styles,genres and it affects the evolution or devolution of cinema itself.But its influence doesnt stop there,it extends to other mediums and industries,ie the music industry,the videogames industry,the electronics industry and so on.And all this influence happens in an interconnected,longterm way in multiple levels.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:18 a.m. CST


    by Rob


  • And she's the one thing Quint had a problem with!

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:29 a.m. CST

    The green 4 chan guy is in this?

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:31 a.m. CST

    The principal error here seems to be....

    by Orbots Commander

    ...that Andrew Stanton miscast both lead roles of Carter and Dejah Thoris. It doesn't matter how charming, funny or charismatic your leads are in real life, if that doesn't translate on-screen, it's pointless. And sometimes, the dullest most uncharismatic actors, in real life, end up being more effective and magnetic on screen. Easy example: Harrison Ford. Anyway, most of the footage I've seen of John Carter so far has been pretty dull and lifeless, which includes the 'action focused' trailer that Disney released during the Super Bowl.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:35 a.m. CST

    @scratchmonkey hey no problem man.

    by KilliK

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    It doesn't matter more now than it did 25 years ago. The only reason more focus is put on it today is because of the tasteless, bean counting fucktards who rule the studios. The point you seem to be missing is that there actually once was such a thing as a movie fan who would be happy if a film he or she thought was good made bank, but that interest and discussion of box office was of little or no interest to the overall interest in movies. I know, unbelievable, right?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:38 a.m. CST

    The lead

    by BEHEM Pascal

    Am I alone in thinking that James Purefoy (Kantos Kan in the movie) would have made a better John Carter?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 9:53 a.m. CST

    @docpazuzu i agree.

    by KilliK

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 10:06 a.m. CST

    I can't think of anything new to complain about


    I just need to check in to the daily JOHN CARTER talk-back to say that this movie looks shit! Look at those sets, nice location scouting you fucking dweebs.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 10:07 a.m. CST

    couldn't they spray-paint those grey mountains or something?!


  • People blindingly having faith in things that to everyone else, looks like shit. And they bitch and they bitch and they bitch about anyone saying anything negative about something they masturbate to on a regular basis. Look, it's not rocket science. If something looks like shit, 9 times out of 10 it will actually BE shit. Strangely enough, even after someone has seen a movie that turns out to be shit, they'll come back here and defend the mother fucker! It's like a bizarre defense mechanism. We've seen this pattern over and over again, and you're fitting right into it. I remember when I was on rotten tomatoes there was this little annoying pud-whacker who would put up a newe Superman Returns thread just about every day. He just couldn't shut up about how fucking awesome it was going to be. And I was right there poking him with a stick explaining how, no, it was most likely going to suck. All the signs were there. Brandon Routh chief among them, but also stuff like Singer saying he never read Superman comics and was basing it solely off the Donner movies, then we saw the retarded fucking costume, Kevin Spacey's Dick Tracy coat, finding out the suit was padded (which I had been saying for months because it was pretty obvious), finding out about Superbastard, etc. Singer even flat out fucking LIED about superbastard, I think it was at ComicCon. And a producer of the film said there was NO padding in the suit and that those pictures were =100% Routh=. So anyway, we all go see the movie, and it sucked even worse than I had feared. That jackass then comes back to tell us all how fucking wonderful the film was, even blowing away the Donner films!!!! The REST of us saw it for the turd pile that it was and of course, so did Warner Brothers, which is why we don't have a sequel to that mess. I'm not saying John Carter will be a disaster on that epic scale....but it does look like an unentertaining mass of horseshit. It's pretty stunningly obvious to the rest of us. Don't be that guy.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 10:20 a.m. CST

    I mean, it's an ALIEN FUCKING WORLD!

    by Jaster Mareel

    So why is it completely drained of color? Dull, lifeless terrain and even all the alien creatures not only have extremely boring, uninspired design, but all have the same grey, ugly-assed elephant skin! It doesn't take a genius to see this project has been severly mishandled. I don't know crap about the stories, but I know shit when I see it.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 10:34 a.m. CST


    by ThisBethesdaSea

    yeah....I mean, after seeing some extended trailers I'm a little more pumped...but these could have been pulled from the prequels and I would never know the difference. Here's hoping...and Taylor Kitsch can tap my straight man ass any day of the week. Jesus he's smokin.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:07 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    You still don't get it, do you? I'm not talking about whether a film will be shit or awesome. I'm talking about the culture of knee-jerk haterism and the race to be first to call a movie a failure before it's even opened and how that's to a large degree replaced simply talking about movies. It's not enough to think that a movie MAY fail based on what evidence there is. In order to be a talkback playa you have to declare on no uncertain terms EXACTLY what's going to happen to the film, box office-wise. Not only that, but marketing and final B.O. is rapidly becoming the only game worth playing in talkback. People even like to spice it up with obtuse remarks about, for example, how they've ´´never heard of´´ a certain property as if their own willful stupidity or ignorance is a badge of honor and a fully legitimate reason for a movie to tank. I don't think I'll be able to get through to you since you're one of the most notorious bean counters on these boards, constantly talking about what's going to work or fail at the box office.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:09 a.m. CST

    this reminds me

    by CT1

    where did nordling go?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:10 a.m. CST

    furthermore, fett...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...nobody defended Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull more rabidly in talkback than I did. At least until it came out and I saw it. I fucking loathe that movie and had no problem saying so right here. I am not ´´that guy´´.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:30 a.m. CST

    It's not a top secret that this movie is going to bomb


    It's already dead in the water. Here is all the proof you need: $94??? This trailer just came out and it DROPPED $.57 cents? BWAHAHAHAHAHAH For comparison: 300 million budget John Carter = $94 80 million budget Spider-man = $253 ( maybe over-priced, we'll see) The stock price is what the movie is projected to gross in it's US theatrical run. John Carter is tracking at around 50 million so that stock is a massive bargain to be quite honest.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:39 a.m. CST


    by DocPazuzu

    See, now who but a joyless, ghoulish fuck would think that was even remotely amusing? You asspickles actually get off on movies failing, even before you've seen them yourselves. Thanks for demonstrating exactly what's wrong with talkbackers these days.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:52 a.m. CST

    oooooh he called u an asspickle

    by CT1

    gonna take that

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:53 a.m. CST


    by Le Vicious Fishus

    In fact, I doubt the Professor knew who the hell Burroughs was and wouldn't have read his work even if he had. I'm not dissing Burroughs, btw -- but let's give credit where credit is due.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 12:21 p.m. CST



    I forgot to mention, I find the hollywood box office topic entertaining, obviously.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 12:22 p.m. CST

    open up a HSX account and buy all John Carter stock


  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:15 p.m. CST

    This is gonna bomb

    by gus

    reguardless of quailty i just dont see a big audience for this..but ill be there

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:17 p.m. CST

    hey mikethespike and themanwhojaped


    u r a pair of morons. this same story was on collider-/film-fangoria-ugo-comingsoon-superherohype-msn. i guess aicn should clear everything with u 1st from now on- dumbassholes

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    PASCALAHAD2, I completely agree. FURTHERMORE:

    by victor laszlo

    “To be honest, I never actually invested in Carter 100%… it was almost in spite of John Carter that I liked the books.” __Andrew Stanton, Director, ‘Disney John Carter’. That's the other problem, the guy doesn't even like the title character of the franchise to which he was entrusted, so he threw out everything about who the man was and copy/pasted the same boring 'reluctant'/damaged hero type we see all over nowadays. I dont' know about you, but reading these books growing up taught me a lot about what it meant to be a man. John Carter wasn't perfect or 'vanilla' the way Stanton whines -- but he was the ideal of a man with a firm moral compass and an inability to see injustice without taking action. He was decisive. He never wavered. He wouldn't know the meaning of the word reluctance. He was a well-spoken gentleman and the greatest swordsman on two worlds, but still romance made him nervous and perplexed. When he did finally fall, for the first time in his seemingly immortal life, he fell so hard that he was empowered/compelled to do anything, to change and save an entire world. For Her. Love for Dejah Thoris is what ultimately made Captain Jack Carter of Virginia into the Warlord of Mars. This new, brooding "Disney John Carter" with the disaffected attitude and put-on growly voice is someone I don't recognize, and nothing I've seen suggests the romance is going to be where it needs to be. To make matters worse, Kitsch's bad line delivery of invented bad lines seems so bad I couldn't get onboard even if I was cool with this completely inverted version of the character.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:23 p.m. CST

    Quint = Mike White teacher from Orange County

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Tolkien borrowed from Burroughs? REALLY? Really?!?! Just like that English playwrite who inspired a ton of Hollywood movies. And his name is William Shakespeare. And some great movies have been made based on his plays: Hamlet, West Side Story, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Waterworld, Gladiator, Chocolat... Its so easy, Quint, to throw out dumbass statements like that, but what about backing them up?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:25 p.m. CST

    Don't let Quint off the hook

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    I want to hear more about how LOTR borrowed elements from a book Tolkien most likely never read. Please Quint, enlighten me. Explain to me when and how a British linguistics professor, who sought to write a history of a mythical language, lifted elements for his work from an American Sci-Fi pulp fiction author. We are all waiting.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:29 p.m. CST

    Hey Quint was The Illiad also based off of John Carter?

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    What about the Odyssey, I see some similar elements there, ooohhh what about the Epic of Gilgamesh. Or the Bible, oh clearly there are concepts of Edgar's work that inspired Biblical stories. Wow this is all so fascinating, that man inspired every major epic tail in the pantheon of all great stories.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST

    Quint, is it true that Chaucer was a big fan of ERB?

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    He probably was so fascinated by Burrough's groundbreaking stories that he included elements in Canterbury Tales, right?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Did you know that the concept of Greedo Shooting First

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Was actually from an Edgar Rice Burrough's story? Not sure which one, but ask Quint, he'll know.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:49 p.m. CST

    Sons of Anarchy isn't a Hamlet story, it's a John Carter story

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    The rival biker gangs represent the Tharks. That's what Quint told me.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 1:59 p.m. CST

    I think Quint is referring to world-building...


    the painstaking detail in description of environments. Creating entire languages, histories, maps etc... that really hadn't been done before Burroughs. Whether ERB had any direct influence on JRRT is certainly debatable. In fact, JRRT himself wrote letters denying any direct influence Quint isn't the first to mention the two authors in the same breath

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 2:18 p.m. CST

    I think it's a lazy comment Wonkabar

    by Mel Gibsteinberg

    Folks hear things, and somehow it enters into the collective psyche and then gets regurgitated as fact. You hear people say "Lucas originally wrote 12 SW movies, he only filmed the middle section first!" Now that one is somewhat understandable because Lucas' own account of this seems to have changed over time in his own mind. But we all know that the reality is that he might have envisioned a 12 movie arc, but he never actually wrote that much, and he certainly didn't script it all out. To say that Tolkien was influenced by Burroughs is lazy because there is no direct evidence, other than you can find some elements that resemble each other. But even then, is it truly an influence, and which parts were influenced, how do you prove that?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Im under no illusions

    by shane peterson

    This movie looks fun. Burrough's was pulp and so this film looks to be following in its footsteps. But I do agree about it looking a bit too ordinary in some spots. Why would Stanton say Frazetta's work has been copied too many times but turn around and make something right out of the end of Attack of the Clones with the arena?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 2:57 p.m. CST

    I think when

    by dahveed1972

  • English majors in the house!!

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 3:23 p.m. CST

    ERB actually burrowed heavily from others, as well.

    by Orbots Commander

    If Tarzan isn't a direct lift of Kipling's The Jungle Book, I'm not sure what is. Also, world building with fantastic elements existed way before Burroughs, or are we conveniently forgetting the works of Jules Verne and L. Frank Baum's Oz books, among others?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    I understand your point mel...


    I hate when people just throw shit out there and it gets accepted as fact too. Funny you bring up Lucas in this type of conversation. I've been sick of all the bullshit about him for years. How every godamn thing in the world ripped off Star Wars... Hell, Siskel & Ebert actually accused The Dark Crystal of ripping off Star Wars. For years, people who've read the Barsoom books have to sit back and watch every sci-fi/fantasy movie be compared to fucking Star Wars (BSG actually got sued) when we knew all along that GL completely ripped off Burroughs. Not just "inspired", it's a wonder he wasn't the one getting sued. And the bullshit continues to this day, as demonstrated by tazzman above. The for the arena scene in the JC movie is because of the arena scene the book. The one that everyone who read it knew it had been ripped off the second they saw AOTC. Yeah, saying ERB influenced JRRT might be difficult to "prove"....but the tone of your last few posts seems indicate that you are attempting to use the LOTR point as a means of mocking and undervaluing Burroughs influence overall. Now is a time for Burroughs to get his due....lord knows Lucas has gotten it enough

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 3:28 p.m. CST

    But I do agree with dahveed1972 that....

    by Orbots Commander

    ...Liberal Arts degrees are pretty worthless. I should know, I have one. In the stressed economic environment such as the one we're living through, I frequently wish that I studied for an Engineering discipline instead. Nobody ever talks about Civil Engineers pouring coffee or stocking shelves for a living because they can't get a gig. /End of higher-education-scam rant.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST

    No doubt dahveed


    ...just wish I'd proof-read my last post

  • Seriously though, i agree that ERB deserves more love, given his influence on popular culture/art/lit.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 3:46 p.m. CST

    I wouldn't say Vern or Oz reach quite that same level


    ERB went pretty far in creating an alternate world for the time....and not really matched until Robert E. Howard. Then of course, Tolkien took it to a whole new level. I mean shit, Burroughs acually used a pen-name at first because he was seriously worried that people would think he was crazy.

  • ...on ERB's Pellucidar novels. There's no mistake about that, and I read somewhere that Burroughs conceded that Tarzan was his take on Kipling's Mowgli, the boy raised by wolves.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 4 p.m. CST

    Not saying that Burroughs didn't write....

    by Orbots Commander

    ....extremely entertaining pulp fiction, which set a standard for the fantasy for decades on, in fiction and film, but let's not pretend that he was working in a vacuum. He was directly influenced by stuff that came before him.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:05 p.m. CST

    Something I've often thought about...

    by victor laszlo

    The feeling I've always gotten from the books is best evoked by the film Lawrence of Arabia. There's even a plot hinging on the white, western outsider able to unite warring nomadic desert tribes together and lead them to victory against a common enemy. Now, this is something Avatar was [wrongly] criticized for exploiting [by the ignorant], as if it was some sort of cliche without historical example. The thing is, T.E. Lawrence did just that in WW1 when leading the Arab Revolt against the Turks. For real. But he did it in 1917, five years after the initial publishing of Under The Moons of Mars, and the same year 'A Princess of Mars' was collected as the novel we know. I've never seen anything to directly suggest T.E. Lawrence read any Burroughs, but I do find it interesting that the historical, real-world precedent for what we now consider a hollywood cliche' can be traced back to a fantasy novel that was in circulation at the very time in which it occurred. Just food for thought.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:28 p.m. CST


    by aceldama

    Quint, if you are going to wax poetically about how great you think something is, PLEASE read the damn books first. No one can have read any of the John Carter stories (I've given 3 of them a try) and have anything positive to say. They are literally the epitome of sci-fi crap, whose ONLY positive is that it laid such low groundwork that the only direction the genre could go was up. Couldn't get worse. This movie is going to bomb so hardcore, it's going to be funny. But if you've REALLY seen any footage from it, you know this already. Fucking pathetic, Quint.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:30 p.m. CST

    They were all influenced by George MacDonald and

    by Bedknobs and Boomsticks

    Lord Dunsany.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:41 p.m. CST

    Umm.. mentaldominance ....

    by aceldama

    while you sound like some high school freshman who just discovered some transcendence lifestyle after reading a Blake or Huxley piece in the back of your broken down VW bus, you say the following: "Only the worst of the worst movies play wide anymore." "If society had any balls then only good things would make money." "As if we should support garbage that destroys society." "Stop lying to yourselves. Shit really does suck and the only way it's gonna change is when people start ADMITTING" "As if we should support garbage that destroys society." Anyway... to get to my point without repeating every damn thing you said in slanted 3rd grade eglish: What good movies lately have NOT made money? What good movies lately have NOT had a wide release? You call people sheep time and time again, yet for all your whining, you give no example of your personal utopia even existing. No one will ever deny that shitty movies make obscene amounts of money (for example, of the top 10 movies of all time, only 2 of them - Star Wars 1 and 4 (get over your Phantom Menace baggage, people) - are worthless shit, and only 4 of the top 30 are good.) but that doesn't automatically mean that great movies don't make money. So again, while you rail against society like a pissed off teenager who just doesn't get it, you have any actual examples to show you're right?

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:42 p.m. CST

    victor laszlo, interesting. Good point.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:45 p.m. CST

    So what if it doesn't bomb?

    by Tom Fremgen

    Will all you guys admit you were wrong? Also no one is telling you to love the movie, just telling you it's there, and you 'might' like it.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 5:53 p.m. CST

    Lack of sets is not indicative of a movie's quality

    by D.Vader

    This much should be obvious.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 6:19 p.m. CST

    It will suck like the last Conan movie

    by chien_sale

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 7:27 p.m. CST



    Two keys- 1. Don't be so obvious. Try to convince others that you're either really intellectual or really retarded...but keep it real. - 2. Be funny. People should laugh when they read your comments. If you can't make them laugh then at least piss them off real bad i.e. follow rule-1. Otherwise, you're just wasting time. Nobody is gonna bite if you just say "this is gonna suck. FACT!" Unless of course, you keep pasting it over and over again... that might get you something.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 10:16 p.m. CST

    Lack of sets = by the numbers and shitty sensibilities?

    by D.Vader

    From an award winning director? That's news to me.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 10:46 p.m. CST

    I have to admit, the neon green space monster men look pretty cool

    by Inexplicable_Nuclear_Balls

    The four-wheeled hydraulic saddle cart ain't so bad either.

  • Feb. 10, 2012, 11:42 p.m. CST

    You have so much to say lurker

    by Tyson

    and make your points well. "wrong wrong wrong"

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 2 a.m. CST

    victor laszlo - very good points

    by BEHEM Pascal

    In fact, this John Carter adaptation is indeed many years too late to be faithful. It's not politically correct nowadays to feature a man as a warrior first and foremost, or a near-naked damsel in distress, or the Tharks as unhuman as they appear in the novels (they're hulking monsters, you're not supposed to relate to them, Sola and Tars Tharkas are the exceptions, not the rule). If only Ray Harryhausen did that adaptation many years ago, with Raquel Welsch as Dejah Thoris, and stop-motion martians... THE dream! Lawrence of Arabia was indeed a reference for Stanton (I heard that in a Michael Giacchino interview), maybe too much judging by the desert look. In fact, the only thing that gives me hope is what I heard from Giacchino's score. Great stuff.

  • No, I'm just poking holes in your argument. I guess I shouldn't be surprised you jumped to another ridiculous conclusion. Commmmmmmme on pal!

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 9:26 a.m. CST

    It may not BOMB but they'll never make the sequel(s)

    by performingmonkey

    No chance this is gonna make enough money to warrant Gods of Mars. Avatar worked because it had been hyped the world over for 4 years or so, with Cameron being so revered and the mere mention of a new movie by him sending tingles up anyone's spine. Titanic brought his name and his work to millions upon millions. Do you seriously think it was those visiting this place that broke that billion barrier twice over?? Only a specific area of fanboys know or care about Mars. I'm not one of them and what I've seen so far hasn't grabbed my interest like it should have. 99% of people considering this movie will think Avatar/SW ripoff. The name Andrew Stanton isn't a draw to those 99% either. If Disney are looking for this to make anything above $300m they may be in for an unpleasant surprise.

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 10:28 a.m. CST

    Oh, the Harryhausen version that might have been!

    by victor laszlo

    Lovely Raquel. I personally always imagined a young Charlton Heston [birthname John Carter] there, too. Everyone SAYS they reference Lawrence of Arabia, true, and still nothing ever quite feels like Aurens. Dead on about the Tharks, too. I saw a clip showing Stanton coach his animators on the scene that introduces Tars Tarkas. He was actively telling them to make the eyes more human, easier to read, and his body language more relate-able ----- in the very scene where he should be at his most alien, menacing, and unreadable. I don't think a version closer to the spirit of the novels is impossible in this day and age, though. It would just mean a willingness to be bold, and wear it's heart on it's sleeve. There's so much more to Dejah Thoris than a damsel-in-distress without taking the cheap, contemporary route of making her a 'warrior', for instance. ------ "Burroughs did not quite invent, but he refined and codified a robust popular masculine narrative, which, while celebrating heroic character, also promulgated the values of literate knowledge and philosophic inquiry. Burroughsian narrative also provides the locus for a non-systematic but incisive critique of the standing culture, as it became increasingly emasculated, regulated, and anti-intellectual in the middle decades of the Twentieth Century. This same masculine narrative entails, finally, a conception of the feminine that elevates the woman to the same level as the man and that – in such characters as Dian of the Pellucidar novels or Dejah Thoris of the Barsoom novels – figures forth a female type who corresponds neither to desperate housewife, full-lipped prom-date, middle-level careerist office-manager, nor frowning ideological feminist-professor, but who exceeds all these by bounds in her realized humanity and in so doing suggests their insipidity." __Thomas F. Bertonneau. “Burroughs and the Masculine Narrative”

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 10:33 a.m. CST

    I don't love the themes I've heard yet,

    by victor laszlo

    but there are some nice passages, especially in the action cue and the one they have looping on the official site. Despite the hideously pun-filled list of Track names, the Giacchino score is definitely the aspect of the film I have the most hope for.

  • Feb. 11, 2012, noon CST

    No wonder AICN has been pimping this movie...

    by Fritzlorrerains

    They got some PWESENTS

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 1:08 p.m. CST

    I still don't get how this Avatar...

    by Tom Fremgen

    Avatar is about a soldier going native and switching sides in a battle to protect the less technology advance indigenous people. That's not the plot of John Carter at all. John Carter is an earthman traveling (by himself) to another world and become the hero of that world. It's Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Adam Strange- hell even Tarzan has more in common with John Carter than Avatar. And I've never read a John Carter novel!

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST

    i wanna see it...

    by frank cotton

    here's the letter that cost frank his job, and eventually 6 months in jail. just in case anyone was wondering i have a story for you, Amy, a love story as it were, of a boy and a girl who were both close to falling off of the earth, some 5 or 6 years ago. they were not far from the same age, he being a little forward of her, as it were. he hadn't dated for quite a long time, in part to shyness, in part to fear of rejection, and in a very large part to his once having left a girl, his only, true love, who was, after his departure, taken against her will a short time later. he punished himself for what happened to her, for some 20 years . but then, when loneliness and despair were near to driving him to take his own life, he determined instead to change; to cease being shy, to cease being afraid, and to cease hurting himself, for what he had been blaming himself for, all those years. 'twas easier than he'd expected, save for the last part, but he managed even that, too, in time. he got over the shyness and fear (this is, a true story, dear), by going to 'gentlemen's clubs'. he'd been to them before, but had been scared to even look at the girls. but now, he forced himself not only to look (which wasn't, actually, all that difficult), but to actually talk with them. and not about their looks, or sex, but how he might have talked to any girl, say, on a date. and it worked. it only took a couple of months, and a fair amount of alcohol, but after that he could talk to any woman, anywhere, stone cold sober. not all of the girls at these clubs were 'bad girls'; some of them worked simply to put themselves thru school, and then left. some of them worked, like anyone else, just to pay the bills. but of course, there were some bad apples, and here's where the story takes a turn for the worse. but it gets better, eventually. he fell in love with Katt, who liked to draw, as he did. she had just left some jerk who had treated her like dirt, and was, supposedly, trying to better herself. the boy had this 'knight in shining armor rescuing the fair maiden' complex. an obsession, actually. she was really messed up - she had severe psychological/emotional issues, she was taking very strong anti-psychotics, living on a couch, and worst of all, hooked on crack. he didn't know about all this until after he'd fallen in love with her, but even once he had, all he could see was the lost little girl she was, and the woman she could be if she could only be salvaged from the one she'd become. and this blinded him to the truth. so, he got her a place to stay, and clothes and other things that girls especially like. he couldn't, or wouldn't, see that all she really wanted was only to keep smoking crack, just in a safer, more stable environment, because he loved her, dearly, and sincerely believed that she wanted to change. and he kept on believing this, despite the advice and opinions of friends and family that she was just using him. over the following 6 months, he ran thru about $2500, believing he was helping her to get better, to honestly change, when all he was really doing was just making it much easier for her to be, and remain, an addict. he bought her cell phones, to keep in touch with him, that she repeatedly 'lost'. he kept her well fed, and some of her girlfriends, others like herself, and even tried to get the former 'boyfriend' arrested, because he'd terrorized all these girls, who had lived before at the same rent house (he'd chased them around with a pitchfork, when they were unruly, or late with the rent, because he was a sort-of house manager/demon). he once called the police on the demon, when he'd seen, from a hotel a mile away, said demon in the front yard burning the possessions the girl had left behind in her haste to leave (she'd go back to him, time after time, when she finally had nowhere else to go - it had been like that for years). but, when he at last faced the truth (that she was using him, and would never, ever stop. not stop using, not stop using him, not stop burning her life, her soul, and him to the ground), when he finally saw it clearly, and his finances were nearly ruined, he fled. and in all that time, he had only ever kissed her, and that only once, because he wanted her to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it wasn't a sex thing, that he really cared for her, even after he found out the truth about the drugs, and her past, and even tho she was a dancer, what most everyone else considered trash. he'd figured out, over the months, that she secretly loathed men, in general, for the things they had done to her, or let her do to herself, over her life. like whore herself out for money, to support their habits. or letting her give them head for $5 rocks, and then reneging on the deal afterwards, and mainly, for treating her, for the most part of her life, like something no better than a sex toy, or a slave. like something you'd scrape off your shoe. it gets better, eventually. four months after he'd left, the boy had repaired his finances (they hadn't been totally ruined), and finally traded his wreck-magnet truck for a sweet little NEON 4-speed, which he named MIETE - french for 'little thing' - after a girl in a movie. (he was a romantic sort - he'd tried to fight the inclination for years, but it was in his blood). he had also, at long last, moved out of the $300 a month apartment he'd referred to as hell for 13 years, and into a two-bedroom, two bath, $1000 a-month paradise, that was actually only $600, due to its distance from town. he talked to women now (lots, actually), and there was an art gallery owner he liked, and a coffee shop girl he really liked, who he was currently dividing his attention between. so one night, after taking pictures for a show opening at the gallery (a women's only show), he thought about the girl, and about how maybe, just maybe, seeing this show, or something like it, might be good for her. he had been feeling, lately, that maybe he hadn't totally gone the distance for her, and that maybe all she needed was for someone to show her that, her life was worth something, even if only to someone else. and, silly boy, he goes out looking for her. he goes to the demon's old house, and talks to 'doc', who, surprise surprise, is letting her crash on his floor. seems that the demon has finally been busted over numerous outstanding restraining orders that some unnamed citizen had taken upon himself to see served (in the name of freeing said girl from her fallback). begin round two. this time, boy thinks, i'll go to the wall, i'll run myself entirely into the ground, without asking for anything in return (save a second kiss), if that it what it takes to show her that not all men are the scum she's dealt with all her life. he even offered to let her move in with him in his new place, with her own bedroom and bath, but she declined (too far from crackland). instead, he got her another place, at his own expense, and got her pictures and other things girls like to spruce it up with and, lastly, got her car some minor repairs, tires, and insurance, which he hadn't gotten around to the first time. he also started giving her, on and off, just enough money for a $5 rock here, or a $10 there, so he could see who she bought from, what they drove, where they lived or did business. this so he could, maybe, trade the info to the law in exchange for her getting put into rehab (she had unresolved charges that, due to her being off her meds, would wind her up in a hospital, rather than jail). and even tho he talked to some agents about it, and gave them all he had, she was just a little fish, and they threw her back. so the boy started wandering thru the cracklands, east, west, north, and south of her place, at all hours of the AM (he got off work at 11:PM, and was up half of most nights anyways), from midnite until dawn many nights, to make sure that, if she wouldn't stay home and behave, and insisted on trading her sex for dope, she might, at least, get home in one piece. some nights, when she would avoid him entirely, he would just walk the streets, calling her name, calling for her to please, just let him take her home (this happened so often it literally changed his voice). sometimes, if they were willing, he would hang out with her and her 'friends' while they smoked themselves up, and edged closer to hell, just to make sure that no one would fuck her over, or just plain fuck her, simply because they could get away with it. and still, he'd never so much as touched her, himself. around 3 months into round 2, boy's co-workers started having to wake him up when he fell asleep on the job. by then he was only sleeping about every other night, and they all tried their level best to talk him into leaving the girl be (everyone knew what he was doing), but, stubborn know-it-all, he kept at it anyways. then one night at work, tears just started pouring down his face. he didn't sob, and could still do the work (which was mostly over the phone), but the tears wouldn't stop. yet no one even noticed. but it started happening every night after that, and between the tears and the sleeping issues, it wasn't long until one night he came in, sat down, and they just flooded out immediately. he knew it wouldn't stop, and that he was likely cracking up, so he reported to his supervisor, and she sent him to his doctor, who signed him out for ten days, and put him on antidepressants. his mom, who was 60-some years old, and knew about all this, had a panic attack so severe she though it was a heart attack, and wound up in the ER. his brother, and his mom's boyfriend, told him in no uncertain terms, that he'd shut up, and, either stop what he was doing, get beat up, or get locked up, or maybe even both. so it was choice time; he could keep on, and literally lose everything, or throw in the towel while he might still come out slightly ahead. he lied, swore it was over, and for one last month, right up to the very edge of ruin, kept on trying. he'd seen the light, he knew he'd lost, but he had to be certain, in his soul, that he had done everything he possibly could have, just shy of destroying his, and his family's, lives. and he finally quit, dead on the brink (he had been trying to redeem his soul, for that long-gone girl's violation. because he had felt, since then, that maybe he didn't rate another girlfriend, after what had happened to the one). he had managed, the second go round, to run his credit into the dirt (partially due to his moving). he had also, due to the sleeping/breakdown thing and/or the fact that he'd screwed his checking account and bounced 30 checks in 90 days (old rule: bounce 2, lose job; lucky him, that rule had changed), drawn the evil-eye of his new workaholic boss. after the breakdown he'd been late (with an excuse) 3 days running. 1) doctor's appt. ran over. 2) dentist appt. ran over. 3) new car ran into truck, two blocks from work (new NEON #2 - new NEON #1 was totaled trying to find girl a new home). new mr. bossman puts boy (who he thinks is another crackhead) on probation for 90 days - no more lates, no more screwed up time cards, and must inform mr. man himself of any future lates on boy's part. after five months of no girl-related problems (sleeping, crying, etc.), idiot is late 2 days in a row, and the axe falls. bye-bye $40k-a-year, cushy, benefits-laden job (last - ha! - of the long-term damage/fallout from toxic relationship with poor, sad girl). bye-bye to new apartment, good credit, new car. but he couldn't lose the car, because without a car he would be SOL in the job market. so he gets brightest idea of all, makes a 'fool-proof' (ha-ha) plan, and robs an unnamed financial institution. so he could try to hang on until he found another job, and maybe, at the very least, not lose the car. long story short - idiot, big mouth, ratted out, jail. prison. half-way house (first offense, minimal time). not quite the end of the world, but a little too close to it. he got a new job, made a lot of new friends, and life, albeit of a different sort, went on. he found out that, while he was gone, the girl had found herself a real job, and a marginally better relationship with a man who had kids, and so she had a different, if not-quite new life herself. the end. not all that happy, maybe not forever after, but better than it might have been. but not quite really the end. but it gets better, eventually. on a day off from the new job, the boy sees this (another) girl, who looked just like Amy, the pretty, bright, happy-on-the-outside girl with the cool laugh, who he worked with at said new job. and really liked. he saw her, this couldn't-actually-be Amy, a stone's throw away from somewhere she, or anyone, really, shouldn't be. she was in the passenger seat of her own car, which looked just like Amy's car, with some dudes the boy was certain that she ought not to be hangin' with, considering the area. he got this instant, lightning-strike flashback to that lost girl, the poor sad girl, and a mental image of how, and maybe when, that lost girl first started down that wrong road herself, that lost highway, the one that goes straight to hell. the one she had just barely managed to get off of. and that mental image looked just like the real image of this girl who couldn't be Amy. he thought for some time about what, if anything, he should do. he could be mistaken, of course. they might just have been some fellow students of the, not-quite Amy, from her EMT class, or maybe just old friends from high school. but he knew the real story. he knew the actual Amy had been dropped from EMT class for failing a drug screen. he really, really wished that he could be wrong, because he knew that if he wasn't, he would have to do something. back when he'd tried to save the lost girl from herself, he had felt that he was GOD'S left-hand man. the one who got out in the field and did the dirty work, the real dirty work. the cleaner; the one who took out the garbage, the one who cleaned up after the party/massacre. that he was GOD'S go-to guy. and he still believed that, that he was GOD'S avenger, and His watcher over those who required protection, not just from others, but from themselves. and he knew, knew, he could not just stand idly by, and watch this girl, this angel who looked just like (but couldn't possibly be) Amy, just go blithely driving off, in that car that looked like Amy's, and just watch her drive right off a cliff. because he loved her. like GOD loves her. for even if it meant breaking his mother's heart, or going back to jail, again, he would go to WAR against all the heartless, consciousless, EVIL crack-dealing FILTH, and PERSONALLY, if it were necessary, even if only for this one girl, burn each and every one of them, and each and every one of their houses of hell, down to the ground. he loves this girl, who looks like Amy and, to be honest, he loves Amy, too. and this is what he would do for her, just because. yours, forever. GDL

  • Feb. 11, 2012, 8:23 p.m. CST

    by KilliK

    "Burroughs did not quite invent, but he refined and codified a robust popular masculine narrative, which, while celebrating heroic character, also promulgated the values of literate knowledge and philosophic inquiry. Burroughsian narrative also provides the locus for a non-systematic but incisive critique of the standing culture, as it became increasingly emasculated, regulated, and anti-intellectual in the middle decades of the Twentieth Century. This same masculine narrative entails, finally, a conception of the feminine that elevates the woman to the same level as the man and that – in such characters as Dian of the Pellucidar novels or Dejah Thoris of the Barsoom novels – figures forth a female type who corresponds neither to desperate housewife, full-lipped prom-date, middle-level careerist office-manager, nor frowning ideological feminist-professor, but who exceeds all these by bounds in her realized humanity and in so doing suggests their insipidity." __Thomas F. Bertonneau. “Burroughs and the Masculine Narrative” Yeah,and she also walks almost naked the whole time....

  • Feb. 12, 2012, 4:18 a.m. CST


    by John Baker

    4th pic. That's gotta be the biggest sybian in history.

  • Feb. 12, 2012, 3:43 p.m. CST


    by victor laszlo

    So does everyone else on Barsoom, male or female, not to mention real women in positions of power in tribes all over the world.

  • Feb. 13, 2012, 12:11 a.m. CST

    This looks like fun, I'll see it. Lynn Collins is HOT...

    by Hat Man

    ... as anyone who saw her in that Al Pacino Merchant of Venice will be able to attest to. I only saw it recently and she instantly made it to my laminated ten list (otherwise known as the Fucket List for those of you who only speak Swear). Mind you, she won't be a ranga in this one (sigh). I wish I had read this series when I was a boy, but the books weren't available and we didn't have Amazon or Book Suppository. Instead I read Haggard's King Solomon's Mines, yet another story that HAS NEVER BEEN FILMED PROPERLY. Similar kind of balls to the wall colonial Western white man deals with crazy foreign culture stuff, but awesome.

  • Feb. 13, 2012, 5:13 a.m. CST

    i have both hopes and skepticism for this movie.

    by AsimovLives

    Hopefully the movie will be good. But i'm also not holding my breath over it. Seeing is believing.

  • I'm sure it's a very tragic and moving story though. Can you precis it into a couple of lines for the ADD generation?

  • Feb. 13, 2012, 11:47 a.m. CST

    They should go back and redo "King Solomon's Mines" and "She"

    by cookylamoo

    Haggard is so much cooler than Boroughs.

  • Feb. 13, 2012, 1:13 p.m. CST

    Something I haven't seen criticised yet...

    by Kurgan

    You have to remember that Mars has a lower gravity than Earth -- hell, that's what is supposed to give John Carter his strength. That alone is a good reason for tall but quite spindly Tharks. Why would you need bulky frames and masses of muscle if the gravity is low? <br> But my disappointment in the trailers stems from this very fact. The swords. Oh my, the swords. They are far too bulky and heavy-looking for low gravity and creatures living in that low gravity. Sure, you can lift a heavy sword -- but inertia goes nowhere. The Tharks should have much longer and narrower blades, not unlike the rapiers of yore. The radium rifles and all that stuff should be *elegant*, not utilitarian. Still, having some hopes for this one.

  • Feb. 13, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Amen to a decent redo of King Solomon's Mines.

    by Hat Man

    There was a halfway decent B/W version with Paul Robeson as the all singing Umbopa, that total crap Stewart Grainger version, which kept at least the title, and that ghastly looking Richard Chamberlain version. There was also some pile of crap with Patrick Swayze (God rest him) in it. None of them have captured the total awesomeness ofthe book, outdated colonial attitudes aside.

  • Feb. 14, 2012, 6:56 a.m. CST

    I want a decent TARZAN

    by melonman

    The "brand" has probably been destroyed by shoddy TV movies etc but Christ, what a great ripping yarn they could make if done right. Cannibal pygmy hordes throwing Jane in a big cooking pot while dancing in a circle and rubbing themselves, rampaging apes, rampaging elephants, prowling tigers, human sacrifice on top of a big temple, exploding volcanoes, bad white men with big guns, over-friendly chimps… Hell, lets throw in some dinosaurs and crashed alien spaceships too…

  • Feb. 14, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Seconding the need for a new, faithfully adapted Tarzan

    by lprothro

    Although the books are surprisingly low on some of the cliches you've listed above, Melonman. They are more about sorcerors, lost kingdoms, African animal cults (The "leopard men"), evil opportunistic aristocrats, and Jules Vern-inspired science fiction than "cannibal pygmies" and all that other racist crap they piled into the films.

  • Although I'm damn sure one of the books I read as a kid had a lost tribe of pygmies (non-cannibalistic though). I want a Tarzan movie that works as a classic old style Boys Own adventure and still feel like a proper movie. I'd also like to see remakes/new adaptations of THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT and WARLORDS OF ATLANTIS. Otherwise I'll have to sigh, shake my head, and mutter "Dang! They don't make 'em like that anymore." Recent VERNE adaptations have been so bad it'll take a few years for the stink to wear off before they're tried again.

  • Feb. 14, 2012, 9:05 a.m. CST

    HAHA! Yeah those Verne adaptations they made

    by lprothro

    in the sixties and seventies were so unforgiveably cheesy, and have been redone and copied so much that they are pretty much irrelevant now. Seeing as there are about 23 Tarzan novels and I've only read about half of them, you probably came across one that I haven't read yet. I've never heard of Warlords of Atlantis but it sounds awesome! Gonna have to search that one on Amazon next payday...

  • Feb. 14, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Pellucidar would also make a great movie.

    by cookylamoo

    Or better yet, Tarzan at the Earth's Core.

  • DOUG McCLURE vs cheap monster puppets discovering a lost civillisation. Also AT THE EARTH'S CORE. I'm sure they're probably absolute crap to watch now, but at the time the 70s McCLURE/BURROUGHS ripping yarns were the most awesome movies I'd ever seen. CORE in particular was the first movie I ever saw in the cinema. We were meant to see BAMBI but my older sister was bored, and we switched screens. And my mind was blown, and has never been the same since… A true TARZAN movie should capture that kind of honest adventure excitement for a whole new generation. Hell, maybe JOHN CARTER will, but it does seem a little too manufactured. Maybe I just prefer my adventures to be a little on the creaky side. Like Tom Baker DOCTOR WHO's it just makes them a little bit more fun.

  • Feb. 16, 2012, 3:37 p.m. CST

    A pretty great Tarzan movie was...

    by Orbots Commander

    ...the Richard Harris, Bo Derrick flick from the early '80's, Tarzan the Ape Man. It wasn't exactly faithful to Burroughs, but it was pretty entertaining and had a nice villain fight at the end. The Christopher Lambert effort was pretty faithful for about half the film, then went off into bizarre Merchant-Ivory territory that had nothing to do with Burroughs' pulp adventure novels, at all.

  • Feb. 16, 2012, 3:41 p.m. CST

    The problem with Tarzan is...

    by Orbots Commander

    ...the concept is somewhat dated, so by definition any new film would need to be a period piece as well, thereby raising production costs. It would take an extremely talented screenwriter and director to pull off Tarzan 2012 or 2013 or whatever, and by necessity you'd only be taking the character and tossing the rest of Burroughs' novels out the window.

  • Feb. 20, 2012, 8:35 a.m. CST

    Big Screen, Baby!

    by Evil Chicken

    John Carter, Tars Tarkis, Dejah Thoris, Woola... Just take my money now. I'll be there opening night. No doubt. This property has legs and Stanton not only knows how to tell a story but he respects the source material. I'm really starting to get jazzed.