Andrew Stanton

Disney’s latest would-be-blockbuster, John Carter, has had a hell of a time making it to the screen – with live-action feature film development interest first kicking off back in the 1950s (from Ray Harryhausen, no less), though the rights to Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ novels weren’t bought until the 1980s, when Disney picked them up. From there, the project seemed ready to go (with cast and crew falling into place), until its own would-be director John McTiernan himself noted that technology was not yet advanced enough to create the write cinematic vision. Then Paramount got the rights for Robert Rodriguez to direct, then it was Kerry Conran, then it was Jon Favreau, and then Paramount didn’t renew the rights, and then Disney got them back, and then I fell asleep. The film is finally hitting screens next year, thanks to Disney and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton (making his live action debut), with John Carter himself being played by rising star Taylor Kitsch. And while this is all well and good, John Carter has one huge obstacle to overcome – it is a huge, multimillion dollar production that comes from a beloved and deep source material that has an obviously epic scale, and awareness by the general public for the property is negligible. And I can’t quite believe that the film’s first full-length trailer will do much to alleviate that. Check it out, along with more of my concerns, after the break.

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It’s wholly unfair that we compare a forthcoming John Carter movie to Return of the Jedi (considering how much older the Carter books are), but there’s definitely something going on in this new picture that should take fans back to the Rancor pit. The image comes from the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly (which explains the crease). After all these years, it’s great to see the film finally ready to get launched into theaters. Take into consideration that Carter might have been the first character done animation style for Disney, and it offers some context into how long Edgar Rice Burroughs‘s character has been waiting on deck. Ironically, it’s Andrew Stanton, a director known for animation, that’s chosen this to be his first live-action project. It sees theaters March 2012.

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The first teaser for John Carter isn’t the astonishing first peek it should be. Instead, it’s oddly underwhelming. Where’s the sense of a grand-scale adventure film? First of all, John Carter seems to be hanging out in any Earth bound desert, not Mars. There’s nothing in this trailer that’ll tell a filmgoer who is unfamiliar with the books that they’re on frickin’ Mars. Besides the quick glimpse of a green martian, very little is here that gives off the vibe that they’re on an alien inhabited planet.

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The universe of “John Carter,” created by Edgar Rice Burroughs is expansive and detailed. It’s gorgeously detailed, and the character will be celebrating his 100th birthday with a movie (finally). Yesterday, a teaser poster highlighting someone’s favorite new font was released – doing nothing to share the rich world of the film with fans or potential fans. That’s a shame, but Disney has released two pieces of concept art via a fantastic interview with director Andrew Stanton over at the LA Times. In case you were wondering what the Monty Python/Carter connection was. What do you think of this concept art?

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It’s an impossible task, but it’s high time that Bill Watterson got the right talent together and delivered a Calvin and Hobbes movie to the masses.

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If there is one thing that Thomas Hayden Church is known for, it’s the playfulness of his many roles. He’s been acting for 21 years, and in those 21 years, Church has established himself as one of Hollywood’s great underused talents. But that’s not for a lack of trying on Hollywood’s part…

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johncarterdafoe

Willem Dafoe will need to paint himself green and add two more arms for his upcoming role in John Carter of Mars. Or maybe the make-up department can handle that for him.

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johncarter-cast

It was less than 48 hours ago that we reported that Disney had found a location for John Carter of Mars. Now they’ve found not one, not two, but possibly three names to add to the top of the cast list.

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John Carter of Mars

Wall-E director Andrew Stanton and the folks at Disney don’t know who their John Carter of Mars is going to be yet, but they do know where he will be filmed.

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johncarter-concept-5

This may or may not be new to all of you, but as of this morning when reader Christopher M. sent it over it was new to me — so it wins the Officially Cool stamp of approval.

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John Carter of Mars

Time to geek out about John Carter of Mars moving forward in a big way. Plus, Andrew Stanton promises it won’t be a film for the kiddies.

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The 2008 Honor Roll

Forget the Best and the Worst of 2008. These are the actors, directors and producers that made the biggest impact on the world of film and how they might impact us in 2009.

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The Blu-ray Report

This week’s Blu-ray Report takes us all over the world, from the deepest parts of the universe to the jungles of Vietnam. It is fantasy and fun, silliness and absurdity — it is Pixar’s WALL-E and the ridiculous ride that is Tropic Thunder.

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BURN-E

One of the great things about Pixar DVDs is that they always include an additional short film that is somehow related to main film. And with the WALL-E DVD, we get a very funny little short about a repair bot named BURN-E. Check it out inside.

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Wall-E Sound Designer Ben Burtt

While it is easy to get caught up in the beautiful visuals of a movie like Wall-E, it is also important to recognize the importance of the sound design — it is what truly gives the character life. And for that, director Andrew Stanton turned to the best possible man for the job… Ben Burtt.

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Wall-E on DVD

Pixar’s latest gem WALL-E doesn’t hit DVD shelves until November 18th, but it showed up at my house yesterday. And though I was excited about the movie, the packaging really caught my eye.

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Wall-E

Before you nail me to the cross, it should be said that I liked the movie. Keyword: liked. While many will have the joy of discovering what they will think is one of the great animated features of all time, WALL-E just didn’t feel special to me by the time the credits rolled.

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WALL-E Is Best Film of the Year Material

Pixar has done it again by giving us the best possible film. It’s a movie for all ages, touching on the very basic elements of human emotion and tenderness.

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Wall-E

Just as Disney’s early animated films seem to have something magical about them, Pixar has ushered in a new era of delighting audiences. And with WALL-E, they seem to have found the magic once again.

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Wall-E

Thankfully, there is little time left before WALL-E will be unleashed upon the masses, ready to knock the world on its collective ass with curiosity, cuteness and creativity. But it won’t hurt to have one more look…

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