I’m seriously starting to worry about the marketing approach for Andrew Stanton’s John Carter. The film was originally titled John Carter of Mars, which is its hook: Normal name, other planet. Then, presumably because a focus group told them to, Disney cut off the interesting part and we’re left with the completely bland “John Carter“. Now they’ve released the first teaser poster. Does it hint at the majestic weirdness of the alien planet Carter finds himself transported to? Nope, just lead actor Taylor Kitsch not wearing a shirt and the initials “JCM”. The “M” is meaningless because “of Mars” has been removed from the title, but more importantly, if you pass this poster in your local multiplex and have no idea about the movie, what will think about it? You could easily mistake it for an ad for men’s body spray.
None of this is a reflection of the actual quality of the film, but Disney is doing a poor job of selling what I’m certain was not a cheap movie. Hit the jump to check out the poster. The film also stars Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Hayden Church, and Willem Dafoe. John Carter opens March 9th.
[Update: We’ve been provided with the high-resolution version of the poster, which we’ve now included after the jump]
Here’s the official synopsis for John Carter:
From Academy Award(R)-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter”–a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). “John Carter” is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.