Director Andrew Stanton Talks JOHN CARTER; Reveals Why the Film Isn’t Coming to Comic-Con Plus Concept Art

     June 16, 2011

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An adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic sci-fi novel John Carter of Mars has lingered in development for a really really long time, with a number of directors attempting to tackle the material but ultimately walking away. Well, Pixar staple Andrew Stanton (Wall-E) is the man to finally bring the story to the screen. After shooting principal photography last year, Stanton has been deep into animation on the film since last summer. The end is in sight though, as Stanton recently sat down to talk a bit about the flick.

Hit the jump to see what he had to say, including his answer as to why John Carter won’t be present at Comic-Con this summer, as well as our first look at some concept art from the film.

Andrew-Stanton-imageDuring an interview with Hero Complex, Stanton was asked why the film is skipping out on Comic-Con and he responded thusly:

“I think what it was is the perception that it’s getting harder and harder to stand out amid the din. We’re going to do our special event to get some focus and separation. I know some people will read that as a sign that we’re unsure of our property. It’s just the opposite. We want to control how and what is being seen and the way it is presented. So much stuff now is just spit out so fast and the churn of it all. You almost gain nothing by talking about things really early in this day and age. I think in the future we might see things arrive the way Prince announces a concert where a few days before the show he announces it and tickets just go up. You might see that with movies and other things. That seems like the only way to get people interested and then capitalize off that interest.”

I understand the need to control the marketing of your film and how soon you want to reveal things, but Comic-Con seems like a no-brainer, even if it’s just the cast talking about the film. Especially now that Disney’s initial marketing for the flick has fans a little uneasy about the now-titled John Carter.

john-carter-movie-poster-01Stanton also talked about how they approached the extremely sci-fi premise of the film involving a Civil War veteran traveling to Mars, dealing with low-gravity and battling giant aliens:

“I looked at things like Apocaplyto and Rome and even things like Shogun and Lawrence of Arabia, things that as a viewer I could accept as having a level of historical research. They give me a sense of what it would be like in that land and in that age. So then you ask, ‘Well, what if we just did our Martian research really, really well and treated it as a period film?’ There are so many times and places in history in our world that I just don’t know anything about, and when I learn about them they’re always fascinating. I don’t need a predisposed interest in them if they are presented well. So we said, ‘We’ll treat it this way, we won’t treat it like some fantasy being fulfilled by a fan.’ We tried to make it feel like we’re going with the story of what really happened.”

This is certainly an interesting approach, and coming from the guy who did Wall-E, I really like it. The story of John Carter is so preposterous that there’s a fine line between amazing and cheesy.

Here’s the concept art from the flick. Head over to Hero Complex to check out the rest of what Stanton had to say. John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Hayden Church, and Willem Dafoe. It opens on March 9th.

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