On a movie like John Carter, where so much has been – or can be – made of the budget, the effects and the first time director, the best source of information is the person who handles all that. The producer. One of the the producers on John Carter is Jim Morris, who produced Andrew Stanton‘s last film WALL-E . Before that, Morris was in special effects and worked on everything from Jurassic Park, Terminator 2: Judgement Day and Forrest Gump to Backdraft, Starship Troopers, Mission: Impossible and much, much more. So he’s worked on a Hollywood blockbuster or two. Or 52.
We spoke with Morris at a recent press junket and asked him why now was the time for John Carter to come to the big screen, how its effects compared to some of those films, its place in history, the budget controversey and where Stanton stands compared to some of the great directors Morris has worked with in the past. Check out the full interview below. Read More »
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John Carter‘s journey to the big screen is, quite possibly, even more interesting than the actual journey the character takes in the story. And that’s saying something when you’re talking about a Civil War hero transported to Mars to fight with nine-foot-tall aliens. The property has gone though dozens of different versions with various stars, filmmakers and even studios hellbent on adapting the influential Edgar Rice Burroughs property for the big screen. Consequently, because it took so long, films that draw heavily on the material, like Star Wars, Blade Runner and Avatar, are all considered to be slightly more innovative than they actually are. (I said “slightly”!)
And while it’s fairly well-documented that filmmakers such as Jon Favreau, Guillermo Del Toro and Robert Rodriguez all tried to tackle John Carter at one point, a pairing that isn’t so well-known is Die Hard director John McTiernan and star Tom Cruise. Yup. They were both interested in the material in the late eighties/early nineties.
After the jump, read what the current film’s producer, Jim Morris, revealed about the pairing and an account of what might have gone wrong. Read More »
No one ever thought Disney’s John Carter was going to be a cheap movie. To create a world worthy not only of author Edgar Rice Burroughs but director Andrew Stanton and the studio behind the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, lots and lots of money was going to have to be spent on the effects, the sets and much more. But as production rolled on over several years, reports pegged John Carter as an almost runaway train with an out-of-control budget. One article even said the film would have to make $700 million to be considered for a sequel.
According to the film’s director and producer, those rumors are false.
At the film’s press junket, Stanton and producer Jim Morris both emphatically denied these allegations and, in fact, said the film came in on time and under budget in some places. Read more after the jump. Read More »
Over the years, we’ve learned a lot about how Pixar develops and produces their feature animated films, but we’ve learned very little about how the beloved short films get created. So I decided it was time we find out. I shot a message over to Enrico Casarosa, the director of Pixar’s next short film La Luna, who was happy to shed some light on the process. “How Does A Pixar Short Film Get Made?” Find out, after the jump.
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In June, I visited the editing room of John Carter, the big screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic sci-fi novel A Princess of Mars (you can watch my video blog here). At the event, director Andrew Stanton and producer Jim Morris gave a presentation explaining how they came to be involved with the project, and described the unique process they took to “shoot” the adaptation. After the jump you will find a complete transcript of the presentation and question and answer session, along with some concept art from the film and photos from the event.
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The guys at Pixar have apparently made a trip to Edgar Rice Burroughs archives, doing research for a trilogy of John Carter of Mars films. That’s right, they are planning not one, but three films based on Burroughs work. In attendance for the trip: director Andrew Stanton, the director, Mark Andrews, screenwriter and producer of Wall-E / Pixar executive Jim Morris. So it appears that is the creative team on John Carter.
The Pixar team also confirmed to EBZine that the first John Carter film would hit theaters before 2012 (presumably because the world is supposed to end in 2012, or maybe there was just an opening on the schedule, which is probably more likely).
As of right now, this is what Pixar’s future looks something like:
- June 27, 2008: WALL-E, Andrew Stanton (writer/director of Finding Nemo)
- 2009: Up, Pete Docter
- 2010: Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich (co-driector of Toy Story 2 and Finding Nemo).
- 2011-2012: Which leaves John Carter of Mars and possibly Brad Bird’s adaptation of 1906 (unannounced).
A Princess of Mars was first published in 1917. The movie will follow Civil War vet John Carter, who is transplanted to Mars, where he discovers a lush, wildly diverse planet whose main inhabitants are 12-foot tall green barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, who is in desperate need of a savior.
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