Earlier this year, Disney released John Carter, a movie based on a well known series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and despite the resounding indifference that met its release it seems that more of Burroughs’ work will soon be coming to the big screen. The Man known as The King of the Jungle to be precise.
David Yates, director of the last half of the Harry Potter series, has signed up to make a new version of Tarzan, the story of a man raised in the wild, which is being set-up at Warner Bros. But who’s going to play the man in the loincloth? According to Vulture, Henry Cavill (Man of Steel), Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) and Alexander Skarsgard (True Blood) are all in contention. But who will play Jane? Can I put a plug in for Emily Blunt?
But wait, wasn’t Yates supposed to be working on something else of the nerdy variety? A Doctor Who movie? Well, we’ll just keep that between us then.
What do you Bastards think? Ready to see a Tarzan movie?
I’ve spent the last several weeks following and writing about the negative buzz surrounding John Carterwith a kind of fascinated dismay. The things that make or break a film – especially when they seem to have very little to do with what’s actually on the screen – fascinate me, but because it was this film that seemed to be breaking before it was even released, I found myself once again overwhelmed with cynical passive-aggression toward Hollywood. See, I believe in Andrew Stanton, the genius who brought us Finding Nemo and Wall-E and who has been an integral part of Pixar since it began. I believe in Michael Chabon, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay who champions genre fiction and bashes critical pretensions from inside the literary establishment. I believe in Edgar Rice Burroughs and his timeless, now 100-year-old story of a man who landed on a red world called Barsoom. I believe in all of that, and so I wanted to be vindicated. I tried for weeks to give John Carter the exposure I felt it deserved. I wanted to prove to everyone that the pundits were wrong, that it was worth seeing despite the convoluted and often obnoxiously bland marketing machine. And so I went to see John Carter hoping to be vindicated and worried that I would be both disappointed and embarrassed. What if it wasn’t good? What if it was terrible? Would I leave the theater still believing in John Carter?
Contrary to popular belief, the ideas for science fiction stories are not placed randomly into writers’ heads via alien transmissions. The origins of sci-fi are long, using concepts that go back thousands of years. It is only during the last 200 years or so that what can be considered “modern” science fiction began to form and take the shape that it has today.
During the 19th century, religion had been mostly replaced with science as the chief explanation for why things in the physical world behave as they do. Writers everywhere heard the call and used their minds to craft new worlds, inventions and concepts. Some of these were more successful than others, which gives birth to this list.
From the mountains of conjecture arose many concepts which would go on to form the basis of popular science fiction for more than a hundred years. Robots, time travel and planetary exploration are just a few of these. Here are 10 writers of the past (in chronological order) who have impacted the genre so much that they literally formed what the world now thinks of as science fiction.
I’ve watched every piece of John Carter footage with a healthy amount of skepticism. I haven’t seen much evidence of a gripping, action adventure story that will hold my interest, even though most of the visual effects look spectacular. Let’s just say no trailer or sneak peak has really wowed me. So of course I’m pleasantly surprised to hear early reviews are giving the movie some positive buzz. I want the movie to be good, I’m just not convinced it will be.
One of the first reviews comes from The John Carter Files. Theirs is a really in depth review so here’s a quick sample,
Movie was really excellent and well worth watching. The audience reacted positively to the entire thing. All around me were pleasantly surprised, as most, like me, hadn’t even heard of the film. Many people took a long time to fill out their surveys and felt a responsibility to accurately convey their opinions. I felt the audience was emotionally engaged. we were rooting for JC all the way. We wanted him to marry the princess. we wanted her to love him. I would definitely recommend it.
Okay, so it’s not the most elegant review but they obviously enjoyed themselves. Which is all one’s really looking for in this kind of flick, right?
Next comes from Ayelet Waldman, though I would like to point out she’s married to one of the screenwriters so her opinion might be biased. These are just a few quotes from Twitter, where she was raving about the film after a screening at Pixar,
Just saw John Carter. It was AWESOME. Seriously. Best action movie I’ve seen … maybe ever? Lush and gorgeous. Great love story. FAB!!!! The thing about #johncarter is that the female lead is smart, & kicks ASS. It’s so female friendly!
Okay, female friendly. Obviously I like how that sounds, but being the jaded, science fiction fan I am, I really hope this female lead doesn’t come off as a token. But still, I want to try and think positively. Maybe if the film had been called Princess of Mars, which is the title of Edgar Rice Burroughs first book in the series, but anyway, I digress. I’m glad to hear the princess kicks ass.
This last bit of positive early buzz is from Ain’t It Cool News‘ Nick Soapdish. He hasn’t seen the whole film but he was given the chance to see quite a few scenes, and you can read his descriptions of each at their site. Here’s his overall opinion,
So all in all, the Film looks great. Much better then I was expecting. I have two reservations. The first is Disney’s track record with live action films of late, especially Sci-fi. Admittedly, John Carter is just as much a Fantasy film as it is Sci-Fi. But I am worried it will end up like Tron Legacy. A great film that doesn’t do as well at the box office as it deserves. The fact there has been no merchandise and poor promotion thus far means I am worried it to will not do so well.
The second is the claims of copying other films. The book is about 100 years old and nearly every sci-fi film has drawn inspiration from (or stolen) themes and ideas from these stories and like I mentioned in my review of the last clip that when people see that scene they will think Star Wars. I hope that audiences are able to realise that John Carter was the original, and is not trying to copy other famous sci-fi films.
John Carter, under the Direction of Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, could be a big Disney franchise, something that it could really do with. The planned John Carter to be a trilogy and the success of this first film will determine the future of the series. I hope it finds its audience and I for one will definitely be there opening weekend to see the final film.
Are you excited for John Carter? Was it something you saw or read recently that got you interested?
Adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ classic Barsoom novels about American Civil War soldier, John Carter who’s transported to Mars and must become a hero when’s he thrust between two warring Martian clans was almost unthinkable years ago. Nowadays such interplanetary odysseys are a dime a dozen. So will John Carter, the new film from Disney based on the books that practically began the sci-fi genre, be any good?
It’s tough to tell. Most of what we’ve seen in promotional stills and the few trailers they’ve released don’t reveal too much about the film’s plot. What they’re showing off are the fantastic creatures and Martain landscapes, so at least we’re guaranteed John Carter will look amazing. Personally, I have faith in director Andrew Stanton. This is the man who gave us Wall-E, one the greatest films of recent years, but can he work the same magic with living actors? I’ve seen so many films that look incredible but are a real pain in the ass to watch because their story, acting, editing, etc. are simply awful. I hope John Carter doesn’t fall into this same trap.
Check out this new featurette which gives us a closer look at some of Mar’s wonders. It’s obviously marketed for the younger Disney crowd, but it could be worse. Have you watched the new Episode I 3D trailer?
In addition to this clip some new concept images have hit the web. Again, they show off the film’s marvelous designs.
What’s your verdict on John Carter? I know we really never know until we see the film, but with movies becoming pricier and pricier if a flick doesn’t grab me, drag me into the theatre, sit me down, hold my eyes open Clockwork Orange style, I normally don’t buy a ticket.
I’m not thrilled about Andrew Stanton‘s 3D mega-budget fantasy John Carter. When I think of John Carter, I think of Frank Frazetta paintings, fuzzy dramatic oil illustrations depicting muscular warriors and scantily-clad woman often locked in combat with deadly beasts. The dark Sword & Sorcery tone/style is lost in this Disney-fied adaptation. In fact, every photo and snippet of footage I see gives me Attack of the Clones flashbacks *shivers*. I’m sure it will be fun and filled with adventure, but it bares little resemblance to the world created by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
Anyway, two new TV spots have hit featuring some new battle/actions scenes. Maybe you’ll dig it? If you’re like me, however, you’ll be saying “That’s not moody and dirty at all. It’s so fucking Disney! Fuck this shit!”. Woola -dog-like creature- is pretty cute though….
Get ready to be drowned in red with the poster release of Walt Disney Pictures alien adventure John Carter, opening March 9th 2012. The Andrew Stanton directed film newly released poster gives movie goers and cynics of the Disney franchise something interesting to mull over. This live-action adaptation Edgar Rice Burrough‘s classic novel is definitely gonna make you give Disney a double take. If you want to check out more on the film watch the trailer on iTunes.
Click the jump for a look at the full sized poster. (more…)
To help generate hype, Walt Disney Pictures is purposely leaking images from it’s production of John Carter, the live action film based on Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ 11-volume Barsoom series. Their terrified this is gonna be their Waterworld, so they think a few nifty shots will spark interest. Well, I think they’re doing it right. 6 new images have been released – featuring John Carter (played by Taylor Kitsch), a new creature called Woola, and the first look at Willem Dafoe‘s motion captured character Tars Tarkas. CGI looks a bit shifty, but I’m intrigued.
After months of scratching our heads and trying to wrap our minds around what a movie based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Princess of Mars might look like, we have our answer. The first trailer for Andrew Stanton‘s (wait, didn’t he direct Wall-E? Sweet!) John Cart of Mars hits the web. Or is it simply, John Carter? The jury seems to still be out on that one. Give it a watch, below.
Honestly, this looks pretty fuckin’ awesome. John Carter of Mars is a project has been a long time coming, with many, many roadblocks along the way. But it looks like the 1912 novel is getting itself a proper adaptation. Well, hopefully. I know jack shit about the book so be sure to tell if this trailer looks awful from an adaptation’s standpoint, I understand how book to movie adaptations can go awry. Knowing nothing about the series though, I would sure as hell watch this. What do you guys think?
From Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E), John Carter of Mars brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings. Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins).
World renowned fantasy artist Frank Frazetta has passed away this afternoon at a hospital near his home in Boca Grande, Florida. He was 82. At this time there is no official report on the cause of death but he had been in poor health for quite some time, suffering several strokes in recent years.
Frazetta was famous for his works on paperback covers, movie posters and other commercial works, including those of the Conan the Barbarian series. He was also know for his illustrations of Edgar Rice Burroughs characters such as Tarzan and John Carter of Mars.
His style, which depicted muscular warriors and scantily-clad woman often lock in combat with deadly beasts, became the definition of fantasy and science fiction.
On a personal note, while some had national geographic as their first glimpse of a naked lady. I had Frank Frazetta’s art. Because of this man I am and will forever will be a pervert. Mr. Frazetta you will be missed.
Click after the jump to view a small collection of his incredible art.