John Carter (2012) Poster



The movie's lead couple, Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins, both starred in X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009), Kitsch as Gambit and Collins as Kayla Silverfox.
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Spoilers (2)
While filming at Big Water in Utah, the crew accidentally discovered a 60 foot long sauropod skeleton. The state's land management bureau took over.
The film probably holds the record for the longest time in "development hell": 79 years. Preproduction first started in 1931, when Robert Clampett, director of 'Looney Tunes', approached author Edgar Rice Burroughs to make an animated feature out of the first book in the series, "A Princess of Mars." Had plans gone through, 'John Carter' could have become America's first animated feature, beating Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937). It finally left development hell in January 2010, when filming officially started in London.
Financially, the film was considered one of the largest box office losses in Disney history. Even though the film performed stronger than expected outside the US, it contributed to Disney's Studio Entertainment division reporting an $84 million loss in the first quarter of 2012. Such a large loss was attributed to issues with marketing, management changes at the studio, and a lack of merchandising normally associated with such a large budget film. As a result, any plans for the two sequels that were already in development prior to the film's release were scrapped.
Willem Dafoe accepted the role of Tars Tarkas because he thought it was interesting for him to act while wearing pajamas and walking on stilts.
HIDDEN MICKEY: One of Dejah's red tattoos on her right arm.
"A Princess of Mars" was originally published as "Under the Moons of Mars" by Norman Bean (Edgar Rice Burroughs' pseudonym) in The All-Story (six pulp magazine issues February - July, 1912). Burroughs was originally afraid that he might be ridiculed for writing such a tale, so he decided to use a pen name. The pseudonym was supposed to be a pun "Normal Bean" (as in "I'm a normal being") to reassure people, but the man who typeset the text thought it was a mistake, so he changed it to "Norman". However, Burroughs' fears turned out to be unfounded: the story and its sequels, collectively known as the "Barsoom series", were almost as popular (and arguably more influential) as those of his most famous creation, Tarzan.
Robert Zemeckis turned down the chance to direct, quipping "George already pillaged all of that" with the "Star Wars" films. In other words, most of the best elements of Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars fantasies had already been "borrowed" for George Lucas' space operas.
The rights to the novels have since reverted back to the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate, who are still game to try and turn the books into a successful movie franchise.
For each of the super jumps that Taylor Kitsch performed, he was attached to a harness that allowed him to free-fall at a speed of 80 mph. Kitsch apparently found it unpleasant.
The film's final budget was some $20 million more than James Cameron spent on Avatar (2009).
Andrew Stanton has already confessed that he isn't too satisfied with how the movie turned out. He confessed that part of the problems came from a first-time live action director being "drunk with power" after receiving too much money and creative control.
The first "John Carter" story by Edgar Rice Burroughs made its debut in 1912 in a magazine serial. Thus, the 2012 feature film marks the centenary (100th anniversary) of the character's first appearance.
The book was written in Utah and much of the film was shot in Utah, almost 100 years apart.
In the make-believe culture in the movie, the two moons orbiting Mars/Barsoom are called Thuria and Cluros. In serious astronomy they are called Phobos and Deimos (Greek words for Fear and Terror).
In the book, Carter and the natives were nude.
In the arena, Carter fights a pair of white apes. Tarzan - the most famous creation of the same author Edgar Rice Burroughs - is sometimes nicknamed "white ape" in the book (although the name "Tarzan" itself means "white-skin", not "white ape," in a fictitious language).
About 1,800 costumes were designed--383 yards of cloth material were used to design the Thern costumes, while Dejah's wedding dress, cuffs and crown had 120,000 Swarovski crystals attached by hand.
The film was originally titled and marketed as "John Carter of Mars", but director Andrew Stanton removed "of Mars" from the opening credits and promotional material to make it more appealing to a broader audience, stating that the film is an "origin story... It's about a guy becoming John Carter of Mars." The entire title "John Carter of Mars" is displayed during the end credits.
Charlton Heston's real name is John Carter.
The change in title from "A Princess of Mars" to "John Carter of Mars," and later simply to "John Carter" is the subject of some controversy. Conflicting reasons given include that the Disney marketing department or director Andrew Stanton wanted to appeal to a broader audience, or that the studio had hoped to create a film series with the "John Carter" banner title. Industry lore also suggests that films with "Mars" in the title tend to under perform financially, most notably Mars Needs Moms (2011) which was also distributed by Disney and proved a colossal flop for the studio. Ironically, "John Carter" would prove to be the biggest financial disappointment for Disney since "Mars Needs Moms."
In the arena John Carter is chained to a rock. The top of the spike that is in the rock is the shape of the D in the Walt Disney logo.
Andrew Stanton often rejected marketing ideas from the studio, according to those who worked on the film, and used his own ideas instead. For example, he ignored criticism that using Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", a song recorded in 1974, in the trailer would make it seem less current to the contemporary younger audiences that the film was seeking. He also chose billboard imagery that failed to resonate with prospective audiences, did not include the name of writer Edgar Rice Burroughs in advertisement, left out most of the romantic subplot from the trailer that might have attracted female moviegoers, and put together a preview reel that did not get a strong reception from a convention audience.
When Jon Favreau learned that Andrew Stanton had picked up the film, he gave him a call congratulating him and requesting that he could play a Thark. Favreau voices a "Thark Bookie".
Upon getting the director's position, Andrew Stanton told Disney, "I'm not gonna get it right the first time, I'll tell you that right now."
Disney was sceptical about Andrew Stanton directing. He had never directed a live-action film before, and wanted to make the film without any major stars whose names could guarantee an audience, at least on opening weekend. The screenplay was seen as confusing and difficult to follow. But since Stanton had overcome similar preproduction doubts to make Finding Nemo (2003) and WALL·E (2008) into hits, the studio approved him as director.
Dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs.
Ray Harryhausen was planning a stop-motion adaptation in the 1950s.
In Arizona, John Carter's bad behavior lands him in a jail operated by the United States Army's 7th Cavalry. This was the same regiment that George Armstrong Custer served in.
This is the third live-action franchise under the Walt Disney banner to earn a PG-13 rating in the United States. The first was Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) and its sequels. The second was Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010).
Andrew Stanton lobbied the Walt Disney Studios to reacquire the rights from Burroughs' estate. "Since I'd read the books as a kid, I wanted to see somebody put it on the screen," he explained. He then lobbied Disney heavily for the chance to direct the film, pitching it as "Indiana Jones on Mars."
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The music in the first theatrical trailer uses two instrumental arrangements of "Kashmir" by Led Zeppelin. The first (starting at 0:53) was performed by Australian/British string quartet Bond, the second (starting at 1:25) was performed by Corner Stone Cues (this arrangement is called "Ten Years Kashmir Mvt II (Orch, Choir & Perc Mix))".
Studio executive Rich Ross resigned his position as Disney Studios leader weeks after Disney predicted they'd lose $200 million on the project. Although Ross had become head of the studio while the movie was already in development, he took the blame because he could have stopped the movie or limited its budget, but instead, he approved the 260 million dollar budget that director Andrew Stanton had requested.
It is generally believed that inadequate marketing of the film was the main factor responsible for its commercial failure. Director Andrew Stanton had been given full creative control over the movie as well as its marketing campaign, but according to insiders, he greatly overestimated the universal appeal and popularity of the character John Carter with a contemporary audience. Due to Stanton's inexperience with life action movies and slow pace of filming, there were simply no big special effects shots available when it was time to create the first teaser trailer. Stanton purposely left out references to his earlier work at Pixar (not wanting people to think that it was a children's film) and to the works of author Edgar Rice Burroughs from the teaser. As a big fan of the book series, he wanted to stay as true to the source material as possible; to avoid marketing the film as purely an action blockbuster, he focused on its origin story rather than the action and special effects, much against the wishes of studio executives. When the teaser left audiences unimpressed, the studio was set to create a second trailer that would focus on both the action and the story, in order to appeal to a large audience. However, due to Stanton using his veto on many shots, the resulting trailer contained mostly action and special effects shot that were felt to be too reminiscent of the Star Wars saga. As the awareness of the movie among prospective audiences was shown to increase prior to its release, their interest declined, resulting in a disappointing 30 million gross in the first weekend. With altered trailers, the film ultimately fared much better overseas, and enjoyed a major success in Russia.
Mario Kassar had the project at Disney in the 1980s, but it was also listed under his development projects during his deal at Paramount in the mid-'90s. In 2004--when the project was still known as "A Princess of Mars" after the book on which it's based--Robert Rodriguez had originally been signed and announced as director and had begun pre-production early that year (it would have been his largest project to date, with starting budget reported at $100 million). Rodriguez' most notable contribution was to hire fantasy painter Frank Frazetta (whose most acclaimed works have included striking illustrations of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, most notably the "John Carter on Mars" books) as production designer. However, when Rodriguez resigned from the Directors' Guild of America (DGA) the same year (due to a dispute over his film Sin City (2005)), Paramount was forced to replace him. The studio has a long-standing arrangement with the DGA in which only the organization's members may direct Paramount films. He was replaced with Kerry Conran, who had just finished Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004). In 2005 Conran left the project and was replaced by Jon Favreau just before the release of Favreau's movie Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005); Favreau was on-board to direct until around August 2006. At that time Paramount chose not to renew the film rights, preferring to focus on Star Trek (2009), and Favreau left to work on Iron Man (2008). In January 2007 Disney regained the rights (it had rights to film the story previously: in the 1980s with director John McTiernan), and enlisted Andrew Stanton from Pixar to direct.
Ciarán Hinds, James Purefoy, Polly Walker and Nicholas Woodeson also played together in the TV series Rome (2005).
Tom Cruise was going to star as John Carter in the 1980s when John McTiernan was going to direct.
In September 2014, studio president Alan Bergman was asked at a conference if Disney had been able to partially recoup its losses on this and The Lone Ranger (2013) through subsequent release windows or other monetization methods, and he responded: "I'm going to answer that question honestly and tell you no, it didn't get that much better. We did lose that much money on those movies."
The voice actors for the two Thark candidates for chief have played lead villains in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man movies. Willem Dafoe (Tars Tarkas) played the Green Goblin in Spider-Man (2002) and Thomas Haden Church (Tal Hajus) played the Sandman in Spider-Man 3 (2007).
Andrew Stanton often sought advice from people he had worked with at Pixar on animated films (known as the Braintrust) instead of those with live-action experience working with him. also was quoted as saying, "I said to my producers, 'Is it just me, or do we actually know how to do this better than live-action crews do?'"
8 of 11 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Director Andrew Stanton's live-action directorial debut.
Jon Hamm and Josh Duhamel were considered for the role of John Carter.
Andrew Stanton denied assertions that he had gone over budget and stated that he had been allowed a longer reshoot because he had stayed on budget and on time. However, he did admit to reshooting much of the movie twice, far more than is usually common in live action filmmaking. He attributed that to his animation background.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Following the completion of WALL·E (2008), Andrew Stanton visited the archives of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc., in Tarzana, California, as part of his research.
6 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
For decades, many people, fans and the general public alike, associated the Tarzan series of novels with writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, with the name of the city of Tarzana, California being named after the character. Ironically, some fan readers of the Princess of Mars series often ignored the idea that he wrote the Tarzan series. It as even been noted that Burroughs writing dozens upon dozens of novels and hundreds of articles as being a lifetime accomplishment in productivity.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Jim Morris noted that although he had less time for pre-production than for any of his usual animated projects, the task was nevertheless relatively easy since he had read Burroughs' novels as a child and had already visualized many of their scenes.
4 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The Teaser features the song "My Body is a Cage", originally written by Arcade Fire. The version used in the teaser is by Peter Gabriel, released on his 2011 album of cover versions, "Scratch My Back".
9 of 20 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Although being based on the first book of the series, A Princess of Mars, the film was originally titled John Carter of Mars, but Andrew Stanton removed "of Mars" to make it more appealing to a broader audience, stating that the film is an "origin story. It's about a guy becoming John Carter of Mars." Stanton planned to keep "Mars" in the title for future films in the series.
4 of 8 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
3 of the main characters were in the tv series Rome.
4 of 10 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Rich Ross, Disney's chairman, successor to Dick Cook, who had originally approved the film for production, came from a television background and had no experience with feature films. The studio's new top marketing and production executives had little more.
2 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Disney's head of marketing during the production was MT Carney, an industry outsider who previously ran a marketing boutique in New York.
1 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
John Carter is in top 20 George Price's favourite movies.
0 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink


David Schwimmer: voice of a Thark.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Carter advises his nephew Ned to go and write a book at the end. Ned's full name is Edgar Rice Burroughs, the source novel's author.
The inscription over Carter's crypt - "Inter Mundos" - is Latin for "Between Worlds". Appropriate, since Carter uses the crypt to cross over to Mars and travel between worlds.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page