July 25th, 2011, by Rob

John Carter - Movie2k Movie PosterMovie2k Movie – John Carter Synopsis

John Carter is a 2012 American science fiction action adventure film about John Carter, the lead character in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 11-volume Barsoom series.

In John Carter, former Civil War military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) is transported to Mars where he becomes part of a conflict between the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), and it is now his job to save Barsoom and its people. John Carter is directed by Andrew Stanton, written by Stanton, Mark Andrews, and Michael Chabon, produced byJim Morris, Colin Wilson, and Lindsey Collins, and scored by Michael Giacchino.

John Carter is being distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and will be released in the United States on March 9, 2012. Filming began in November 2009 and principal photography spanned from January 2010 to July 2010.

Movie2k Movie – John Carter Plot

The film is based on the first story to feature John Carter, a character from A Princess of Mars, which was first serialized in 1912 and first published as a novel in 1917. John Carter is an American Civil War veteran who is transplanted to Mars (Barsoom) where he discovers a diverse planet whose inhabitants include 12-foot tall green barbarians.

Formerly an Earthlike world, Barsoom became less hospitable to life due to its advanced age: as the oceans evaporated, and the atmosphere thinned, the planet devolved into partial barbarism with the inhabitants hardened and warlike, fighting one another to survive.

Along his journey John Carter meets Tars Tarkas and rescues a humanoid Red Martian princess, Dejah Thoris, from the belligerent four-armed Green Martians, whose respect he gains for his superior strength and fighting ability. He enlists the Green Martians’ assistance in winning a civil war, and saves Mars from destruction when its atmosphere plant malfunctions.

Movie2k Movie – John Carter Cast

  • Taylor Kitsch as John Carter
  • Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris
  • Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas, a Barsoomian warrior and ally of John Carter
  • Thomas Haden Church as Hajus, a vicious Thark warrior
  • Samantha Morton as Sola, daughter of Tars Tarkas
  • Dominic West as Sab Than, prince of the Zodangans
  • Polly Walker as Sarkoja, a merciless, tyrannical Thark
  • James Purefoy as Kantos Kan, Captain of the ship Xavarian
  • Mark Strong as Matai Shang, ruler of the godlike Therns
  • Ciarán Hinds as Tardos Mors
  • Bryan Cranston as a Civil War colonel who comes into conflict with Carter

Movie2k Movies – John Carter Production Notes

In 1931, Looney Tunes director Bob Clampett approached Edgar Rice Burroughs to adapt A Princess of Mars into a feature length animated film. Burroughs responded enthusiastically to the idea, recognizing live action would have limits to where an adaptation could go visually, but advised Clampett to write an original adventure for Carter.

Working with Burroughs’ son John Coleman in 1935, Clampett used rotoscope and hand-drawn techniques to capture the action, tracing over the motions of an athlete who performed John Carter‘s powerful movements in the reduced Martian gravity. Clampett designed Tharks, the Green Martians of Barsoom, which he attempted to give a believable appearance, and produced footage of them riding eight-legged thoats at a gallop, which showed all eight legs in coordinated motion. He also produced footage of a fleet of rocket ships emerging from a Martian volcano. MGM was to release the cartoons, and studio heads were enthusiastic about the series.

The test footage produced by 1936 received negative reactions from exhibitors across the US, especially in small towns, many of whom opined that the concept of an Earthman on Mars was too outlandish for Midwest American audiences. The series was not given the go-ahead, and Clampett was instead encouraged to produce an animated Tarzan series, an offer which he later declined. Clampett mused that there was irony in MGM’s decision, as the Flash Gordon series released in the same year by Universal Studios was highly successful, and speculated that MGM thought that serials were only played to children during Saturday Matinees, and the John Carter tales would be seen by adults during the evening. The footage Clampett produced was for many years believed lost until Burroughs’ grandson, Danton Burroughs, found some of the film tests in the Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. archives in the early 1970s. Had A Princess of Mars been released, it may have beaten Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to become the first American feature-length animated film.

Producer James Jacks was reading Harry Knowles’ autobiography, which lavished praise on the unfilmed John Carter of Mars series, and Jacks remembered he had read those novels as a child. He convinced Paramount Pictures to acquire the film rights, only to enter a bidding war with Columbia Pictures. After Paramount and Jacks won the rights, Jacks contacted Knowles to advise on the project and hired Mark Protosevich to write the script. In 2003, Robert Rodriguez signed on to direct after his friend Knowles gave him the script. Recognizing Knowles had always been an advisor to many filmmakers, Rodriguez asked him to officially be credited as a producer.

Filming was set to begin in 2005, with Rodriguez planning to use the digital sets he was using on Sin City. Rodriguez planned to have Frank Frazetta, a popular John Carter illustrator, serve as a designer on the film. However, Rodriguez had created controversy over his decision to credit Frank Miller as co-director on the film adaptation of his comics, and chose to leave the Directors Guild of America. Unable to hire a non-DGA filmmaker, Paramount assigned Kerry Conran to direct and Ehren Kruger to rewrite the script in October 2004. The Australian Outback was scouted as a location. Conran left the film for unknown reasons, and was replaced by Jon Favreau in October 2005.

Favreau and screenwriter Mark Fergus wanted to make their script faithful to the novels, keeping John Carter‘s American Civil War past and making the Martian Tharks fifteen feet tall (whereas other scripts made them human sized). Favreau explained a modern soldier would not know how to fence or ride a horse like Carter. The first film would have adapted the first three novels, A Princess of MarsThe Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars. Unlike Rodriguez and Conran, Favreau preferred using practical effects for the film and cited Planet of the Apes as his inspiration, wanting to use make-up as well as CGI to create the Martian Tharks. However, Favreau’s official affiliation with the project was not strong, and in August 2006 Paramount chose not to renew the film rights, preferring to focus on Star Trek. Favreau and Fergus moved on to Iron Man.

John Carter also marks the first time Andrew Stanton will work on a live-action film, following his work on the Pixar animated films Finding Nemo and Wall-E.


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