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.

Here’s what Kitsch said while I was interviewing him about the film (look out for the full, 10 minute video interview next week). I asked what he was most looking forward to if the sequel does get made:

It’s such an origin story for JC, this one, and you’re always trying to ground yourself, in the first weeks of any film, of the tone, the character, of all that stuff. But now we have it. This sequel, we’re landing and we’re going full tilt. So that’s what I’m excited to do. You guys will know where John is so there’s no explaining the back story anymore. And I know where Stanton’s going with it and it’s pretty great.

Asked if he thinks Stanton will come back to direct the sequel, Kitsch said,

Him? Yeah. Yeah I won’t do it unless it’s him.

As I hinted at above, Kitsch is likely contracted to do at least two more films. So whether or not Stanton decides to direct the film, or just serve as a producer, the actor likely won’t have a choice about reprising his role. He’s John Carter, for better or worse.

Later that day, I asked Stanton (look for that full video interview soon, too) when he might make his mind up as to what his role in the potential sequel would be. Previously, he was hesitant to commit to the job and, once again while speaking to me, he did not say anything definite. Here’s Stanton:

I fell so in love with the cast and the crew and how the results were coming together the way I wanted to, I started investing in writing the second one more seriously. Economics will be the reason why it goes forward or doesn’t go forward. That’s the biggest reason. And we’ve been very practical since day one, our first conversation six years ago in 2006, we’ll see how this goes and if it goes well, we’ll be primed and ready to do the next one. and if not, I’ve got plenty of other ideas.

I then mentioned that Kitsch said he wouldn’t do it unless Stanton did it.

Well, he’s a sweetheart and I’d like to say the same.

Purposely vague but hopeful none the less.

Stanton has been living in this world for a long, long time so it would make sense for him to move along. He must be exhausted. On the flip side, it would make equal sense for him to stay and keep his vision alive. All of these questions will be answered on March 9, however, when the first box office numbers for John Carter come rolling in.

In the coming weeks check back for one on one video interviews with Kitsch, Stanton and producer Jim Morris too.

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