Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Mystery of John Carter

Great story from the creator of Tarzan. Great director who made Finding Nemo. Up-and-coming heart-throb star (from Friday Night Lights) heading a strong cast. A new big-budget fantasy film from Disney.

What could possibly go wrong?

Well, one of the big stories out of Hollywood this year, in case you have been asleep, is the dismal thud heard across the land when the film "John Carter" arrived in theaters.

Not that it was a bad piece of work. Far from it! John Carter actually is a very good flick!

A good space opera story, well told, with action, surprises, humor, and love. A good cast with a lot of strong talent, some of it hidden under CGI such as Willem Dafoe in a lead role as a Green Martian.

So why did this movie fail to find a raving audience the way that Star Wars once did?

As I have argued to anyone who will listen, I think the studio dropped the ball and failed to market the crap out of this film the way they should have. Though the director says he is steeped in this story, very few others living today are. So you have to create an audience!

Also I think there was a failure of vision for what John Carter could be as a franchise. Look at how Peter Jackson has turned the Hobbit into three films, for goodness sake!

The Barsoom Mythology of Edgar Rice Burroughs is truly an extraordinary epic sci fi fantasy! Surely there were three films crammed into one in John Carter that could have been planned and rolled out as a trilogy.

Film 1 would have introduced John Carter on Earth leading to his transport to Mars and meeting the Tharks and saving Dejah.

Film 2 would have basically matched this movie, minus the last big battle, ending with the Thern sending him back to Earth.

Film 3 would show more of his ten year search for a medallion on Earth, culminating in his return to Mars and climactic battle with the baddies.

It could have been the start of a huge franchise.

Sadly, it looks like there won't be a sequel. And John Carter will become a footnote in the history of movie making.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Saturday September 15, 2012