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?
Earlier this year, the adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter world, John Carter of Mars, hit theaters in the wake of great expectations. Unfortunately, it was met with disappointment from both sci-fi fans and Burroughs enthusiasts alike. Even before the official release, the early reviews made it out to be mediocre at best, dooming it failure. The huge losses that the movie took at the box office cemented the deal.
As it turns out, Jon Favreau was originally attached to the direct the film, but swapped the project out in favor of Iron Man, which, of course, got loads of praise. Andrew Stanton stepped in to take over, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So, to take some time for a “What If?” moment, what would Favreau have done differently if he had been in the director’s chair? In an interview with Crave Online, he had this to say about his own take on the film:
I probably wouldn’t have been as ambitious. I think both of us really appreciated the source material. Stanton started to weave in elements from the later books. I probably would’ve told a smaller story.
As we were developing the script it was much more the experience of John Carter being found in this new world and him coming up in a Man Called Horse kind of way among the Tharks and then opening up the world slowly.
Sounds like it could have been the best bet. After all, one good movie means the potential for sequels and more storytelling in the future. One bad movie means the death of the franchise.
Every day the internet produces an astounding amount of goodies and gems. Most hilarious, some amusing, but all worth at least a few seconds of your time. We here at Nerd Bastards try to bring you the best bits of news and nerdery the webz has to offer, with a bit of snark thrown in. But sometimes not everything makes the cut. Monday through Friday we’ll be bringing you our inbox leftovers, our forgotten bookmarks, the nerdy bits that simply slipped through the cracks. You can submit items to Nerdy Bits by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOVE: That’s right, our President’s a Trekkie. Either that or this photo was taken at a secret White House meeting with the very first Vulcan ambassadors. And then of course, Obama calls in his top extra-terrestrial expert, Nichelle Nichols. (Laughing Squid)
There are certain pop culture creations that people shouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole, such as: The Nightmare Before Christmas, Super Mario, Star Wars, and so on; it seems that not everyone got the memo when it came The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. While some may see the last few antics of changing the Turtles into Aliens as a great “marketing tool”, a consensus of angry nerds would happily tell you that “marketing” is a bunch of malarcky. When Bay announced that the turtles we all know and love would be “from an alien race,” in his film adaptation of the TMNT franchise due to release in a year, made all involved across the board chime in.
From TMNT creators Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and various actors involved in the franchise in the past managed to get Bay and Liebesman feathers all ruffled with their immediate response being “take a breath, and chill.” Well, I guess you all should take his advice ’cause there is another set of rumors ready to be validated that are gonna make you made in every type of way. You ready?
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film adaptation, will supposedly be called Ninja Turtles, which means that the characters will not be teens and (blasphemy in 3…2..1) may not be pizza hungry fiends! Bleeding Cool has this to say on the title change:
“We haven’t been able to get a definite statement as to why this title change is occurring, and our sources are not 100% clear on whether or not the Turtles will indeed be adolescents. One of our sources has said: “It seems to be driven by marketing. Think of John Carter and how Disney wouldn’t allow for a title with either “Princess” or “Mars.”
Just to cast a friendly reminder, John Carter bombed in the box-office because of all the changes it made to a well known and iconic story line, so why is Michael Bay choosing to repeat an obviously proven mistake? Maybe ’cause he’s a fool, look at how long it took to get a decent Transformers movie out of that guy. Here is a simple and well proven saying that should be used in all situation like this: “If it ain’t broke. Don’t fix it.”
Disney has officially fucked itself over with John Carter.
The film has not done well at all at the box office; it brought in $30 million its first weekend and $13 million its second. For such a high budget film, it’s definitely not bringing in enough funds to break even with all the production costs with a global box office total of $138 million.
According to the statement issued by the studio:
In light of the theatrical performance of John Carter ($184 million global box office), we expect the film to generate an operating loss of approximately $200 million during our second fiscal quarter ending March 31. As a result, our current expectation is that the Studio segment will have an operating loss of between $80 and $120 million for the second quarter. As we look forward to the second half of the year, we are excited about the upcoming releases of The Avengers and Brave, which we believe have tremendous potential to drive value for the Studio and the rest of the company.
Let’s break it down, here: it cost about $250 million to make and $100 to market… and apparently Disney needed at least $600 million to break even after everything. Apparently they’re operating at a loss of $200 million. What the hell.
In this equation, the clear answer is that Disney is fucked.
This NerdBastard just finished watching the new trailer for “Battleship” and it’s got me thinking.
Yeah, Yeah, YOU thinking?
I thought I smelled smoke.
If this movie was not tied to the game Battleship then maybe people might take it more seriously and give it a chance. Those marketing geniuses might have realized that if they bothered to talk to people NOT walking around at the local mall.
Taylor Kitsch is gonna take a beating over the debacle that is John Carter, and it’s too bad. It’s really more of a marketing problem and less of an acting, plot, or production problem. The movie itself is not that bad. Now Taylor is starring in Peter Berg‘s Battleship. Another movie that has been plagued by poor marketing.
Inspired by the Hasbro game, the film stars Kitsch, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, and Liam Neeson as naval officers dealing with an otherwordly force that threatens to destroy our planet.
Watch this trailer and try to forget that it was ever tied to the Hasbro game and see if it changes your mind.
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.
John Carter opens this coming Friday and despite all it’s bad press, Disney is still doing all it can to put asses in seats. The studio has now released a ten-minute clip that helps set up the movie.
What you’ll see below is the film’s version of Edgar Rice Burrough’s arriving at a palatial estate, where he reads a book in which John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) narrates his experience. We see Carter in Arizona and the events that lead to his transport to Mars, where the Civil War vet is caught up in a new civil war.
I’ve been hatin’ on John Carter since day one, but I will admit those 10 minutes drew me in entirely. I dig the Indiana Jones feel to it – fun action and what not. If the original trailer didn’t have me hooked… this excerpt certainly has.
John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Daryl Sabara, Polly Walker, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Hayden Church, and Willem Dafoe. It is directed by Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) and opens on March 9th.
From Academy Award(R)-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”–a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). “John Carter” is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.
Valentine’s may be over and the rejection may have worn off for some, but John Carter is not getting a break. Disney execs are scurrying around in panic this afternoon after the results of John Carter’s tracking numbers were leaked to the press. Deadline reported the results as follows:
“2 unaided, 53 aware, 27 definitely interested, 3 first choice….Women of all ages have flat out rejected the film.”
Now the most interesting part of the quote, seems to be the last. John Carter was not the official title of the film. This film initially went by the original title “Princess of Mars” due to the film being based on the first book of Edgar Rice Burroughs Barsom series. When books are being made into film it is custom to keep the title so as to attract the fan base that the book has and add to the fan base. Disney did not seem to go in that direction, which is odd seeing as they’ve made book based films such as: The Chronicles of Narnia, Alice in Wonderland, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Little Mermaid, and so on.
When asked on the reason for the changed title Writer/Director Andrew Stanton said in an interview:
“Here’s the real truth of it, I’d already changed it from A Princess Of Mars to John Carter Of Mars. I don’t like to get fixated on it, but I changed Princess Of Mars…because not a single boy would go,” he said. “And then the other truth is, no girl would go to see John Carter Of Mars. So I said, ‘I don’t won’t to do anything out of fear, I hate doing things out of fear, but I can’t ignore that truth.”
Stanton and the Disney may be gritting their teeth because this minor mistake in titling could cost them more money than they expected. Due to the tracking study, the film is estimated to gain only $100 million even though the film cost about $250 million to produce. With a loss this great and the film’s release coming up; there really isn’t much to do, but wait and see what the final results are.
John Carter, while being initially appealing last year seems to be losing steam and after taking from it the one thing that made it unique due to gender preference and, from what the company has divulged, is the sloppy seconds of someone else’s project. A representative from Disney was quoted as saying:
“We’re not running away from the movie. Our job is to sell it.”
They will have to come up with a new strategy to sell this film, and that will be a hard thing to do in three weeks. But hey, this is the company of dreamers and the imaginative types so this could work out. John Carter, starring Taylor Kitsch, Bryan Cranston, Lynn Collins, and Mark Strong, hits theaters March 9.