Earlier this week I got to fulfill my geek dreams, and drive through the Pixar gate in Emeryville to interview WALL-E/Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton on the Pixar campus. That interview will be posted in it’s entirety next week, but I wanted to share with you my discussion with Stanton over his upcoming adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars. I was able to confirm off the bat that he is working on a screenplay based on the first novel in series, titled A Princess of Mars.
The story of the book follows John Carter, an American Civil War veteran, who is mysteriously transported to Mars, where the gravitational difference has endowed him with the strength that he will need to survive on this hostile planet. John Carter battles ferocious Martian creatures, but gains the respect and friendship of a species called the Barsoomians. He is sent on a mission to rescue the beautiful Princess of Helium.
I asked Andrew if Pixar/Disney are planning to release the film, considering the violence and more-adult nature of the book would be a departure from what Pixar has produced in the past.
“Yeah… There has has been no discussion on exactly how it will be distributed , what moniker it will be under…. Everything is going to be derived based on what we have script-wise,” Stanton said. “So this whole year is just about the script. In 2009 we’ll be a lot more involved in ‘Okay, how are we going to present it’. Nobodies worried about that until there is a script.”
In previous interviews, Andrew has revealed that he is writing the project with the director of Pixar’s One Man Band short film, Mark Andrews, who also headed the story team on Ratatouille and The Incredibles. The director explained to ComingSoon, “I always like to say I’m a little bit country and he’s a little bit rock and roll and together we sort of cover the bases of what we feel that story should be.” We asked Andrew if he had any interest in directing a live action film. Andrew of course instantly knew were grilling for more John Carter of Mars details.
“I certainly have to keep [directing live action] an option because that’s one of the avenues on the table that exists,” Stanton told /Film. “And I certainly enjoyed doing it, for the little that I did, on WALL-E. It’s a breath of fresh air to be able to shoot something and it be done. I know there is a lot of planning an aggravation, and there is a whole other kind of hell to it… but I definitely got the bug. It’s definitely one of the options.”
Stanton told our friends at FirstShowing that “it’s clearly got to be a hybrid of some sort.” Stanton’s WALL-E hits theaters on June 27th 2008.