One of the major obstacles Disney is currently facing with their massive blockbuster John Carter is explaining how and why this movie, which looks so similar to so many others, was made at all. It’s based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, first published in 1917, that has become so engrained in the popular conscious it has almost lost its identity. Burroughs’ vision was so ahead of its time and influenced so many things that came after, those properties have long since taken ownership. But the fact of the matter is, without John Carter, there’s no Star Wars, no Avatar, no Blade Runner, almost no sci-fi in general.

Aiming to fix some of that, Disney has released a 90-second featurette reintroducing the world to John Carter. They’ve also thrown in a bunch of new footage to sweeten the pot. But not too much. The Andrew Stanton-directed film starring Taylor KitschWillem DafoeMark Strong and others will be released March 9. Check it out after the jump.

Thanks to First Showing for the heads up on this featurette and the UK Disney YouTube for the video.

While the first teaser trailer for John Carter left many underwhelmed, each subsequent trailer, commercial and snippet of footage has gotten bigger and better. That’s because Stanton was still working on the movie when the first footage hit. It’s done now, though, and the early buzz is it lives up to the incredible expectations of a project that costs hundreds of millions of dollars and took almost two times as long as a traditional film to complete. Case in point, Peter was on the set of the film back in 2010 and that was already well in to production.

Because of Andrew Stanton, I have very high hopes for John Carter. And without giving away too much, you’ll be getting much more exclusive info on the film in the coming weeks.

What do you think of this featurette? Do you think audiences care about John Carter‘s cultural context?

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