Edgar Rice Burroughs

johncarter-truth1

Mars has been the source of fascination for writers of science fiction for more than a century. Even today, after decades of knowledge about the Martian landscape, which has included orbiting probes and rovers that have landed to collect samples. However, before humans even came close to red planet, writers have set their sights on our closest planetary neighbor. Ray Bradbury wrote The Martian Chronicles stories in the 1940s, but thirty years before that, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the John Carter of Mars series. It took a hundred years to make that book series into a big-budget feature film, but Disney achieved that last year when Pixar director Andrew Stanton helmed what might be the biggest financial disappointment for the Mouse House (at least until Gore Verbinski gave us The Lone Ranger this past summer). Still, many have heralded John Carter for its scope and vision, including staying as true to the original source material as possible in today’s world of blockbuster cinema. Some have said that John Carter was the first action hero and possibly the first superhero. After all, he certainly acted like one, leaping across the Martian desert. These feats of leg strength began when he first arrives on Mars, learning to walk on a new planet. Once he gets his Mars legs, John Carter is able to jump like the athletic love child of Superman and Michael Jordan. It starts with long bounds, but soon he is able to vertically leap over people, Martians, and even […]

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In a roundabout spiral of movie news from Cinema Blend via The Playlist via Deadline Barsoom, we are seeing another explosion of development frenzy. This time, instead of competing movies about Snow White or The Wizard of Oz, there are now multiple Tarzan movies getting put through the development wringer. According to the story, screenwriter Adam Cozad (Untitled Jack Ryan Reboot/Remake/Redo/Rehash) talks about his script for Tarzan generating interest from some major directors, including David “Four Harry Potters” Yates and Gary “Only One Hunger Games” Ross. Suzanne White, who is most known for her work on television but recently directed Nanny McPhee Returns, has also expressed interest. This film would be the second one in development, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ famous novels about a boy stranded in the African jungle, raised by great apes. Craig Brewer (Footloose and Hustle & Flow) is already developing his own version of the story based on his own script and starring Twilight beefcake Kellan Lutz. No word yet whether Lutz as the title character will rap or sparkle in this film, but it is hard out here for a pimp ape man.

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John Carter is Visually Spectacular

As far as we know on Reject Mars, Andrew Stanton‘s John Carter is “full of action,” and that’s exactly how we like it. The Disney epic from Edgar Rice Burroughs‘s classic Barsoom series was so many years in development that, for awhile there, it felt like it would never get made. But get made it did! And, in the case of a film like John Carter, one that relies so much on world-building, alien creatures, and massive battles to tell its story, it’s perhaps best that the film was crafted in a time rife with the kind of cinematic technology that could bring Barsoom to life. Next month, Disney will release John Carter on home video, and they’re cramming the release full of all sorts of goodies that center on the making of the film, including a bonus scene that focuses on the work that went into one of the film’s most impressive scenes. In our exclusive first look clip below, a very excited Mark Andrews (who penned the screenplay with Andrew Stanton and also served as 2nd Unit Director on the film) explains to us how one of John Carter‘s biggest and flashiest stunts was accomplished, using green screens, skill, and some good old-fashioned ingenuity. Check it out after the break!

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Kevin Carr

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr heads to the desert to hide in a cave, hoping against hope that some mystical bald alien will beam him to Mars so he can make a pass at the ridiculously gorgeous Lynn Collins in a brass bikini. Unfortunately, no one came to his rescue, so he snuck into an abandoned house in upstate New York to terrorize some people. Again, no one came. That left Kevin to skip his movies this week so he could go to the library and find a book that would allow him to curse Eddie Murphy into not speaking. He hasn’t been heard from since.

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John Carter

This weekend presents you with the opportunity to do many things. If you’re in the Central Texas area, you’re probably hitting up SXSW 2012 alongside the intrepid staff at Film School Rejects and many other fine publications. But if you’re note falling down drunk on the streets of Austin, trying to punch-kick everyone following a screening of The Raid, you may want to escape to another wild wonderland: Mars. Beginning today, Disney is releasing John Carter into theaters. Based on the century-old book “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs, Carter follows a Civil War veteran who is transported magically to Earth’s red neighbor, where unknowable danger, a classic hero journey and the love of a gorgeous, tough princess await him. Also, he encounters 9-foot tall, four-armed green aliens who sound like Willem Dafoe, vengeful war mongers played by the likes of Dominic West and a CGI-enhanced landscape created by a team led by Pixar alum Andrew Stanton. All-in-all, it’s quite a ride. And to give you an idea of why you should just ignore the poor early buzz and simply enjoy the ride, we’ve compile a list of 7 Very Good Reasons to See John Carter This Weekend. Join us on this magical journey…

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Willem Dafoe on John Carter

John Carter hits theaters today. And whether you’re buying into the hype that it’s a big-budget film that is destined to fail or you’re listening to the great number of film critics — including our own Robert Levin — who are saying that despite its faults, it’s the first legitimate event film of the year, it’s still going to be hitting theaters. For those seeking more information before a decision is made, we’ve got you covered. Over the next several days we’ll be rolling out conversations with John Carter‘s creative team, including the likes of director Andrew Stanton, producers Lindsey Collins and John Morris, as well as some of the film’s stars. We begin today with an intimate chat held with veteran actor Willem Dafoe, who plays Tars Tarkas, the leader of a Martian species of 9-foot tall, four-armed green aliens who live in the harsh deserts of Earth’s red neighbor. Over the course of our chat, we talk about being a veteran actor who can still perform in physically demanding roles, Andrew Stanton’s directing style and what Dafoe has to say about performance capture and its place in awards season.

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John Carter Mondo Poster

John Carter arrives in theaters today consumed by terrible buzz and reduced expectations, with prognosticators of all stripes predicting a monumental flop for Disney. It’s a 3D, $250m affair that’s tracking worse than the second weekend of The Lorax, they say, and it’s a ridiculously expensive gamble for a first-time live-action director (Andrew Stanton, of Finding Nemo and WALL-E fame). In the press, the narrative has been written: You don’t want to see this movie. And that’s a shame, because it’s actually quite good. It’s sad that we’ve reached a cultural place where a bold, imaginative science-fiction effort like this, a film with beautiful imagery and a well-founded allegiance to gloriously pulpy source material, is so easily dismissed. Not to get all Armond White here, but the contemptible gleeful scorn being heaped on the film by Nikki Finke and others just reemphasizes how little so many people who write about movies actually care about movies. If they gave a damn about, you know, art, they’d have to acknowledge that at the very least this adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s century-old novel “A Princess of Mars” harkens back to the grand mid-century Disney tradition of films like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which took great pleasure in immersive production design. You could take or leave the plot, though I’d mostly take it, but there’s no disputing the fact that Stanton has rendered Mars as a complete universe unto itself, full of zooming spaceships and cluttered, towering cities, a weird and altogether […]

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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 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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Craig Brewer isn’t exactly a household name yet, but he’s directed a few films that people know and like. He was behind Samuel L. Jackson chaining up a scantily clad Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan, he helped Terrence Howard go from pimping to rapping in Hustle & Flow, and he’s even done a couple episodes of cable series like The Shield and Terriers. But it’s his upcoming remake of Footloose that has him in demand and fielding new opportunities left and right. That’s right, he remade Footloose, and industry people are loving it and throwing offers his way. That’s gotta be some good Footloose. So, given that Brewer now has a modicum of control over what his next project is going to be, what will he choose? He’s going to go after his dream of course, his passion project; he’s going to make a Tarzan movie. Warner Bros has been trying to get a new version of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s vine swinging, monkey loving, battle cry yelling hero together for quite a while. Probably because Tarzan is a name of something that people have heard, so clearly it’s a concept rife for another film treatment. While several attempts haven’t worked out, it now looks like they may have found their man. Brewer has come up with a treatment for the character that will tell the story of Tarzan over not just one, but three films. And he’s hoping to not only write the scripts, but make these movies his […]

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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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