Almost a hundred years in the making, the theatrical adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs classic sci-fi novel is due to hit theaters March 9. Originally penned by Burroughs in 1913; when the public obsessed over the planet mars as if it were a sparkling bloodsucker and many pieces of fiction churned out as much life on mars paraphernalia as possible; the Barsoom series which it was originally called, has been retold and remade many times over.
When I first saw the trailer for John Carter in theaters, my mind immediately went to the graphic novel, “Warlord of Mars” from Dynamite comics, which I saw similarities in costume; for the men because they actually wore clothes unlike the women. I thought this was a theatrical adaptation of the comic book and wondered why they would go to the trouble of changing the name.
As it turns out, after nearly a hundred years in print, the copyright for this story has since expired and is considered public domain. So both the movie and the comic book can be treated as separate entities, which is a good thing since the comic book version is rather risqué; strippers tend to wear more then the females depicted in the graphic novel.
The movie version which is directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton is still a Walt Disney Pictures venture and will abide by the very safe standards set by Princesses Jasmine and Ariel. The film will feature a cast staring Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkas and Lynn Collins as the Princess Dejah Thoris.
The movie John Carter is an action-adventure that tells the story of a war-weary, former military captain John Carter who is inexplicably transported to the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom; which we know as Mars. This is where Carter finds himself dragged into another war zone, only to discover that as the alien from another planet; Earth; he has superpowers here on Mars. The power set is thanks to the 62% less gravity that he’s used to; pretend that you’ve had weights and restraints you’ve been wearing all your life taken off. We’d get to keep our milk money for once.
Caught in the world wide war with the inhabitants of the planet who are almost at the brink of collapse; which includes four armed green martian Tars Tarkas and the captivating Prince Dejah Thoris; Carter must rediscover his humanity and realize that the survival of Mars and it’s people rests in his hands.
The setting is a war torn and dying Mars, based on now-outdated scientific ideas made popular by Astronomers in the early 20th century. While the story describes many outlandish inventions, and advanced technology, it is a savage world. Like the Wild West or Medieval times, there is a skewed romantic vision of honor, noble sacrifice and a constant struggle, where might makes right. On this planet all the many races fight over dwindling resources. Yes, it sounds very much like present day Earth. Now excuse me while I go back to hoarding chocolate resources.
Here are some early looks at some of the characters and costumes for the upcoming movie.