Studios launch potential franchise-starters every year in the hopes of spawning numerous sequels, spinoffs, and of course, plenty of merchandise. More often than not, these things fail to take off, but the ones that don’t and are actually good tend to sting. An adaptation of author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ fantasy series John Carter of Mars had been in development for a very, very long time before Wall-E director Andrew Stanton finally brought the film to fruition, and while Stanton crafted a grand adventure movie that wholly transported audiences to its vast world, the box office numbers just weren’t strong enough to warrant follow-ups.
In the event that John Carter did take off, Stanton had big plans for the series, and the filmmaker recently took to Twitter to share the title treatments for the sequels Gods of Mars and Warlord of Mars. More after the jump.
Though John Carter was an easy target for detractors given its production troubles and massive budget, I count myself as one of the film’s fans. Stanton did an excellent job of enveloping audiences in the John Carter universe with a genuine sense of wonder, and the pic showed great promise for what could have transpired in the sequels. Stanton planned on rounding out the adaptation as a trilogy with his co-writers Mark Andrews and Michael Chabon, and they had even begun initial work on the script for the direct follow-up Gods of Mars when the disappointing box office made it clear the sequel wasn’t going to happen.
While John Carter pulled in $284 million worldwide, that made for a major loss for Disney given that the budget had ballooned to $250 million before taking into account the extensive (and misguided) marketing campaign. Whatever the film’s faults and whatever disappointments may still exist about not seeing the trilogy come to fruition, I take comfort in the fact that Stanton’s John Carter still stands as a fun and unique sci-fi adventure, and it holds up pretty well on repeat viewings.
Spurred by a retrospective piece on John Carter over at RogerEbert.com, Stanton recently took to Twitter and shared his title treatments for the follow-ups. It’s not much, and it definitely doesn’t come close to satiating the appetite for the Stanton-helmed sequels, but fans of the film will surely find them of interest. For his part, Stanton is currently back at Pixar directing the Finding Nemo sequel Finding Dory, but he plans on tackling another live-action film after completion.
Could have been cool. Had big plans… pic.twitter.com/xtL0KuLyAf
— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) June 7, 2014