John Carter of Mars

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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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 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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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly entertainment news compendium that rounds up all the best links from here, there and everywhere in between. It usually isn’t quite so obsessed with lists ordered numerically, but today is Friday and Friday is fun day. We so excited for the weekend, so lets read some lists! We open tonight with Tom Cruise looking ridiculous in the first image from Rock of Ages. The Adam Shankman directed film will see Cruise play Stacee Jaxx, a famous rocker who falls for a fresh-off-the-bus country bumpkin. It’s another one of those 80s nostalgia trips, star filled and ready to remind us that anyone whose name is Stacee with two e’s is not to be trusted.

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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 seemed only natural that John Carter of Mars would become John Carter – since most Americans hate things from Mars and need to be tricked into seeing movies – but there’s nothing natural about the teaser poster for the film. It’s a red letter attempt at building buzz, but it’s unclear exactly how it will achieve it with only the bare chest of Taylor Kitsch and enough photoshopping to turn him into Michael Shannon. A brand new property is emerging, and another is seeing its final curtain. On the other end of the poster spectrum is this bold new look at the children from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. All grown up and ready to battle. Click on the posters to make them far, far larger:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the only nightly movie news column to be cast in both The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games. It will play the same character in both: a movie news column that, after delivering the news unto the people, rides off into the sunset on a badass motorcycle. It will make sense in context in both films, we promise. We begin tonight with an image of Jack Black in Richard Linklater’s black comedy Bernie, about a small-town mortician who makes friends with an elderly woman (played by Shirley MacLaine). The mustache looks creepy, but the last time Black and Linklater teamed up (School of Rock), Black was at his best. Here’s hoping that happens again when the film opens next month’s LA Film Festival.

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What happens when a greatly talented actor finds himself wearing the black hat in every film? Jeremy Kirk makes a strong case for a leading role.

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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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BanksLiTherouxMortonCasting

Casting announcements shoot across the net almost every day, but not every announcement, rumor, or speculation deserves its own post. Of course we’d be remiss in our duties as the web’s premier source of movie news, reviews, and snark if we didn’t cover them in some fashion… so welcome to the Casting Net!

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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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John Carter of Mars gets some help from Pixar

After dominating the animated film realm over the last decade and then some, Pixar might be in a position to turn their incredible filmmaking prowess to the regular mainstream market.

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