Disney’s John Carter opens this coming Friday, and in order to further the efforts in letting audiences get a handle on the story in Andrew Stanton‘s massive adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ early novel, the studio has released a ten-minute clip that helps set up the movie.

What you’ll see below is the film’s version of Burroughs arriving at a palatial estate, where he reads a book in which John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) narrates his experience. We see Carter in Arizona and the events that lead to his transport to Mars, where the Civil War vet is caught up in a new civil war.

The clip features a blend of action, comedy and early character setup, and suggests that the film has a lot of promise. I haven’t had a chance to see the final cut of John Carter at this point, so I can’t comment too much on how things pay off as the film moves forward, but this clip made me want to see where things go next. It also makes me want to see Stanton shoot a straight western. Read More »


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Taylor Kitsch made fun of me. That look you see above is the star of John Carter playing to you, the audience, as I ask him questions at the recent press junket for his Disney sci-fi epic. I had no idea it was happening but, I have to admit, it’s pretty great.

The actor, who got his start playing the excellent Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights, is about to have a coming out party on March 9 when John Carter is unleashed upon the world. The super-expensive, super-massive sci-fi fantasy based on the influental work of Edgar Rice Burroughs comes with almost insurmountable expectations and anticipation placed squarely on the actor’s shoulders. Directed by Andrew Stanton, a two-time Oscar winner for Finding Nemo and WALL-E, Kitsch is the lynch-pin in a possible franchise that plays to moviegoers of all ages.

Below, you can watch the interview I conducted with Kitsch in which we discussed the role, his rise to fame, insane Super Bowl Sunday, relationship with his director and expectations for a sequel. Check it out. Read More »

How confident is Disney that fans are going to love the world and story director Andrew Stanton has created with his sci-fi, fantasy epic John Carter? They want to send Los Angeles area /Film readers to see it, in IMAX 3D, for free.

The screening takes place 7:30 p.m. Monday March 5 at the AMC Universal CityWalk Stadium 19, which is one of only two true IMAX screens in Los Angeles. How can you go? Simple. You RSVP after the jump. Read More »

With exactly ten days left until the opening of John Carter, Disney has released what I’m assuming is the final trailer for the film. And while I haven’t loved all of the previous marketing, it appears the team has learned from its mistakes because this is probably the best one they’ve released so far. The new trailer is heavier on menacing Mark Strong, eye-popping action, and plot, and lighter on Taylor Kitsch‘s stilted readings of generic dialogue. Watch the video after the jump.

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When Steve Jobs died in October of last year, it was a blow to us all. The loss was felt especially hard at Pixar, the successful film company he helped not only create, but isolate from the Hollywood machine. John Carter, directed by one of Pixar’s most prolific directors, Andrew Stanton, comes out next week and though it’s not Pixar, the film is dedicated to the memory of the legendary businessman and inventor. During the credits, a card says:

Dedicated to the Memory of Steve Jobs, an Inspiration to Us All

At a recent press junket, Stanton was asked why he decided to dedicated Carter to Jobs and his answer was both logisically sound and beautifully poignant. Read it after the jump. Read More »

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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We’ve seen what seems like a fair amount of footage from John Carter already, between its various teasers, trailers and TV spots, but today we’ve got a somewhat longer two-and-a-half minute clip to show you — plus another two minutes from a new sizzle reel. The scene sees the titular hero (Taylor Kitsch) and Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) battling white apes in a huge arena, while the reel that includes some new bits we haven’t seen yet. Check it out after the jump.

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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 »

John Carter hasn’t even been released yet, but a lot of early talk has already focused on potential sequels. Which makes a certain sort of sense. The film, directed by Andrew Stanton, is based on the first in a huge series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. While this film serves as an origin, once that’s established the real fun can begin. (See Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, etc.)

However, Stanton and his team have been working on this film for almost six years and though he’s started outlining the potential sequel, nothing is set in stone. Will Stanton direct? Does he want to? Will Disney pony up the cash? Can John Carter make enough money to warrant such an expenditure?

In a recent interview I conducted with Taylor Kitsch, aka John Carter on screen, he flat-out said he wouldn’t do a sequel unless Stanton directs. I’m sure the Disney lawyers might say otherwise but you can read his quote, and Stanton’s response, after the jump. Read More »

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