Pixar's 'John Carter of Mars'
This is awesome!
The disclosure came at the end of the short, but extremely enjoyable, discussion (excerpts of which will be published here soon), when a writer from Suite101.com asked about Stanton’s next project, to which Stanton mentioned (not too loudly) ‘John Carter of Mars’.
Doubting what I’m hearing, I interject, “What is that?” “John Carter of Mars, Stanton replies.” “You’re confirming John Carter? Are you serious?” At this point, I turn my tape recorder back on, “...say that on tape!”, I tell him. Stanton: “I am writing John Carter of Mars right now.” “Oh man, you just doubled my page views!”, I say. Everybody laughs. #
It’s long been rumored, but that’s word straight from the fish’s mouth.
For those of you not in the know, John Carter of Mars is a series of ultra-pulp sci-fi books by Edgar Rice Burroughs (yes, he with the Tarzan) which strictly speaking is the the foundation upon which Star Wars is built. Yes, Star Wars was very much inspired by and conceived from, Flash Gordon. But Flash Gordon is pretty much a re-thinking of John Carter.
And I love it!
And I love Andrew Stanton. He seems like such a likable guy, and his work at Pixar, I think, pretty much proves he knows his way around storytelling.
But the question is whether or not John Carter is meant to be developed in the traditional Pixar family-friendly style (which I love), or whether it will, as I hope, lean more on the pulp genre’s roots. I mean, love Pixar; I really do. I’m so psyched about WallÂ·E that I’m willing to go so far as to use the word ‘psyched’. But in the strictest sense, John Carter should probably be done by some maniac like John Milius or Sergio Leone (was he still alive).
I mean, the women on Mars are NAKED! As in, they do not wear clothes!
And the sight which met my eyes was that of a slender, girlish figure, similar in every detail to the earthly women of my past life…. Her face was oval and beautiful in the extreme, her every feature was finely chiseled and exquisite, her eyes large and lustrous and her head surmounted by a mass of coal black, waving hair, caught loosely into a strange yet becoming coiffure. Her skin was of a light reddish copper color, against which the crimson glow of her cheeks and the ruby of her beautifully molded lips shone with a strangely enhancing effect.
She was as destitute of clothes as the green Martians who accompanied her; indeed, save for her highly wrought ornaments she was entirely naked, nor could any apparel have enhanced the beauty of her perfect and symmetrical figure. #
But most of all, I’m just so relieved and overjoyed that this project doesn’t fall to the dozens of other guys out there who were overzealously grabbing for it as it’s been making the rounds in Hollywood, because as with everything else, this needs more than fan-love; this needs a great script at its heart. And if that means giving up naked women for this:
Then I can live with that. You hear Andrew? (Yeah, this would be from Tarzan, but in the world of Frazetta, it’s all the same; in the good way).
No, but seriously, it would be a shame if this movie didn’t live up to the larger-than-life sexuality and violence that these books embody; though since this is Disney, one fears that it probably won’t.
Now having grown old and bitter, I find myself ranting and raving more and more against Hollywood and their creative bankruptcy of piss-poor sequels and remakes (we don’t need a new Highlander or Robocop FFS!), but I’ll go so far as to say that the John Carter novels really deserve to be up there on the silver screen. I just hope that as they go into pre-production, they pay homage to Frazetta and his awesome work on this series, which I’ve fallen head over heels in love with since I first laid my eyes on it.
Anyway, the book series has a long and very interesting history, from which this is a small nugget of gold: