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Stanton talks John Carter of Mars

JohnCarterofMars.jpgAndrew Stanton has been talking about John Carter of Mars, another film that we haven't heard much from of late but we've been dying to hear about, and a project he is both writing and directing for the big screen.

The story comes from Edgar Rice Burroughs way back in 1912, and is about a civil war veteran who is uprooted to Mars and discovers a planet teeming with life, mainly of the twelve foot tall barbarian kind who take him prisoner. However John Carter does escape and becomes the saviour of a Princess called Dejah Thomas.

Sounds an epic adventure, and Andrew Stanton seems very passionate about the project, and he has some updates for all those waiting to hear from the project, although maybe not what you'd want to hear.

The first good news is that John Carter of Mars is definitely under way, and that they have been writing for sometime, although there's still quite a way to go. The big problem appears to have been the fact that the stories were serialised, but that also seems to be a bonus. Through MTV he says:

“...it almost had an absence of a story for a feature film because it was very episodic...it was really just about the next fight, the next adventure, the next romance...The key was putting a story into it and creating characters that had to grow and real basic stuff that we all know a movie needs...”

That means that they've had to work on that story line, but it's what he says next that might upset fans the most, with the suggestion that they are going to really go for the original story.

“Fortunately it’s an old enough story...There isn’t such huge allegiance to it that people won’t mind that we muck with it a bit to hopefully amplify the essence of what made me interested in it as a young kid and hopefully will keep me interested in it as an adult.”

I can understand that because the film story often has to be different from what is read, after all it's limited in time for the main part, but it's also limited by what can be brought to life on screen, whereas the written stories are limited by your own imagination. That's a lot to get passed to make a decent film adaptation.

However I am sure that some will be a little concerned that they are messing around with the original storyline, but then who read the original works and would feel so against that?

He does say a rather amusing comment about it all though:

“In its day it was a comic book. I mean, this book was written in 1912. It was the comic book you got in the time before there was such thing as comic books...”

I love that comment, in the past books were the modern day comic books. I almost don't know what to make of that!

Back to the serious bits though, and the big thing that has been up and down about this project is the question of animation or live-action, what will it be?

“There’s so much in it that can’t be real...It’s the perfect definition of a hybrid movie...”

What does he mean by that? Well the article goes on to say that he's talking about mixing live action with CGI, the Peter Jackson school of filming fantasy one could say, something he's not really been used to up to this point with all his full CGI films.

Finally he reveals that he's talking to actors and that he's looking for a relative unknown to play the lead, something that will keep costs down I'm sure!

So it's great news that John Carter of Mars is moving forward, but I wonder how many people will be truly concerned that the original story appears to be undergoing some big changes for the big screen. Really, is it a problem?



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