Sci-Fi John Carter Of Mars (2012)


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Pixar Plans for John Carter of Mars

Jim Hill Media ~ March 17, 2008
Pixar Animation Studios may be preparing its first live-action movie: Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton may direct, sources are claiming. Disney/Pixar grabbed up a raft of domain names last Friday, including,, and Last August, Disney registered and some variants, plus in November. "Insiders" claim Ratatouille screenwriter Mark Andrews has completed his first draft of a John Carter script. And both Disney and Pixar insiders are excited by the draft, and eager to put it into production. The movie could come out as soon as 2011 or 2012. Part of the urgency for a John Carter franchise comes from the fact that Disney is losing enthusiasm for the Narnia movies.
I'm currently rereading the series right now but my eyes don't work the way they used to. Even with my reading glasses I get headaches. Its taking me longer and longer with each book.
This is excellent news. Along with the Elric chronicles, and a proper Victorian version of War of the Worlds , John Carter, Warlord of Mars is up there with the films I most want to see made.

Oh, and the Valentine Chronicles, natch! ;)
I remember enjoying those - over 40 years ago!

It would be nice to see a well-made film but IIRC some of the attitudes in ERB's books tend to be a little non-PC for these days - racist and sexist. No doubt Hollywood will modify them accordingly...
When I was a kid, over half a century ago, in the attic of our house at the edge of the world. (Actually New Haven's Harbor) there was a whole collection of John Carter books along with Tom Swift that my uncles read as boys. I was too young at the time for them and so I missed that early train and, strangely, have never gone searching for it. Maybe I will now.

I certainly enjoyed the Narnia books growing up and looked forward to the movie versions of which the first movie was okay. I hope the series gets some steam built up but Disney has become such a commercial giant that it's all a matter of profit and loss. Oh well!
John Carter is chased by American Indians into cave in 1866. Trapped, he looks upon Mars and finds himself transported there. He meets and befriends Tars Tarkas, who with Carter's help rises to become Jeddak of Thark, and Carter falls in love with Dejah Thoris, princess of Helium. Carter and Dejah Thoris settle in Helium for almost ten years, where they have an egg (in which a son forms), but just before the five-year incubation period ends someone assassinates the keeper of the atmosphere plant and his assistant. Carter helps the Barsoomians open and restart the plant, but he passes out from lack of air and awakes to find himself again on Earth (in approximately 1876).

THE GODS OF MARS, 1912-1913.
In 1886 John Carter returned to Barsoom, having figured out how to send himself back. (Burroughs maintains that Carter returned to Earth in 1898 to tell him this story.) On Barsoom John Carter learns that Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkas have undertaken the final pilgrimage down Iss. He is himself trapped in the valley of Dor, where hideous green plant creatures and white apes attack and eat all the pilgrims who succeed in finishing the arduous journey. Carter learns that the Therns have been preying upon the pilgrims, and in turn the First Born have been preying on the Therns. After discovering (and meeting) his son Carthoris in the pits of the First Born, John Carter overthrows their corrupt religion and Issus is killed by her own people as the forces of Helium and the Green Hordes devastate the Therns and First Born. Dejah Thoris and Thuvia, a princess befriended by John Carter, are trapped in an underground dungeon with Phaidor, daughter of Matai Shang, for one year.

Matai Shang secretly frees Dejah Thoris, Thuvia, and Phaidor from their prison but does so only for his own purposes. John Crater pursues Matai Shang and Thurid, a rebel Dator (prince) of the First Born, across Barsoom, eventually finding himself in Okar, the northern polar nation of the Yellow men. There he discovers that a powerful magnet has destroyed every fleet and ship which has attempted to explore the north, and kept the Okarians' secret refuge safe for countless ages. Carter also finds his father- in-law, Mors Kajak, a prisoner. With the aid of Thuvan Dihn, Thuvia's father, as well as Talu (a rebel prince of Okar), they overthrow the last vestiges of Thern power and rescue Dejah Thoris. But they call upon the nations which have befriended Carter through the years, who send a vast armada northward to rescue him. Carter thus has to destroy the great magnet as well as Matai Shang's plans. The Jeddaks of Barsoom's greatest nations proclaim John Carter Warlord of Mars.

Carthoris falls in love with Thuvia, princess of Ptarth, who was rescued by John Carter from the Therns (in THE GODS OF MARS and THE WARLORD OF MARS). Thuvia is stolen away by Astok, Prince of Dusar, Ptarth's rival. Carthoris follows her across Barsoom and rescues her, encountering some strange and fascinating creatures. Thuvia, unfortunately, is already betrothed to Kulan Tith, Jeddak of Kaol, ally of Helium.

John Carter, it seems, has a daughter: Tara of Helium, a petulant, spoiled princess. Nonetheless, Gahan, Jed (Prince) of Gathol, declares his love for her and asks for her hand. Tara rejects him and goes foolishly flying in a great storm. Gahan goes after her. By the time he finally catches up to Tara, she has forgotten who he is, and he assumes the name Turjun, pretending to be a panthan mercenary. Together they challenge the power of O-Tar, Jeddak of Manator, whose barbaric nation of Red Men have preyed upon Gathol for centuries. The Manatorians have elevated Jetan, the chess-like game played throughout Barsoom, to an unprecedented level of skill and excitement: they use live chessmen who fight for live princesses. Gahan finds himself fighting for Tara on the chessboard of Manator, and haunting O-Tar's palace.

Ulysses Paxton, a Captain in the United States infantry during World War I, is mortally wounded but finds himself on Barsoom, given a reprieve. He is taken in by Ras Thavas, an evil (or perhaps wayward) scientist who places the brains of criminals into young bodies as well as resurrects the dead (he buys their bodies for parts and slaves). Paxton falls in love with Valla Dia, whose young body Ras Thavas has sold to Xaxa, aged Jeddara (Queen) of Phundahl. The intrigues and mixed identities Burroughs tosses at the reader make the book pass quickly.

Tan Hadron, a padwar in Helium's navy is poor but of noble blood (his mother being a princess of Gathol). He seeks the hand of Sanoma Tora, daughter of Tor Hatan, an odwar in Helium's navy. Sanoma Tora is interested only in men of wealth and power, but when she is abducted by agents of Tul Axtar, Jeddak of the distant nation of Jahar, Tan Hadron follows her in hopes of freeing her and winning her love. Hadron encounters and befriends Tavia, a slave-girl who escaped from Tul Axtar's harem by disguising herself as a panthan. Together with Nur An and Phao, Jaharians opposed to Tul Axtar's vicious rule, Tan Hadron and Tavia stumble onto Tul Axtar's fiendish plot to conquer all of Barsoom with the inventions of Phor Tak, an aged inventor who can destroy entire navies. It becomes a race against time as Jahar slowly destroys itself from the massive breeding program Tul Axtar has implemented and as Helium's navy approaches unaware of the incredible weapons of destruction the cowardly Tul Axtar possesses. Only his reluctance has prevented Tul Axtar from launching the war against Barsoom, but John Carter's arrival forces the issue and Tan Hadron must save Helium's navy, himself, Tavia, and Sanoma Tora.

SWORDS OF MARS, 1934-1935.
John Carter takes on the Assassins of Barsoom, a powerful guild who have for ages profited from the petty feuds and great rivalries of Barsoom's wealthy families. Along the way, he visits Thuria, one of the moons of Mars.

When Dejah Thoris is critically injured, John Carter goes to find Ras Thavas, Barsoom's greatest surgeon, to save her life. He takes Vor Daj, an officer in his service, with him. They find Ras Thavas a prisoner on Morbus, an island in the Toonolian Marshes (last remnant of Barsoom's oceans outside the polar areas). Morbus is the home of Ras Thavas' hormads, synthetic men who have rebelled against him and made him their slave. Vor Daj lets Ras Thavas transfer his brain to the body of a hormad so that he may move freely among the monsters. In this guise Vor Daj falls in love with Janai of Amhor, a young woman who is pursued by her Jed against her will or desire. But the worst horror arises when a culture vat goes out of control.

LLANA OF GATHOL, 1941/1948.
John Carter sets out to explore the ruined city of Horz, thought to be the most ancient of Barsoom's cities. He helps an Orovar escape from some green men but is taken prisoner and condemned to death to protect the city's secret: that Orovars continue to live in Horz. John Carter escapes with Pan Dan Chee, an Orovar warrior who befriends him. They discover Llana of Gathol, Carter's grand-daughter, in the pits of Horz and escape with her. Llana reveals that she is fleeing from Hin Abtol, a northern Jeddak who has hatched an insane scheme to conquer all of Barsoom. John Carter inevitibly confronts Hin Abtol in a battle for Barsoom.

This book combines two unrelated novellets: "The Giant of Mars" and "The Skeleton Men of Jupiter". "Giant" was actually written by ERB's son, John Coleman Burroughs, who admitted this on at least two occasions. "The Skeleton Men of Jupiter", sadly, is only the first of an otherwise incomplete series of novelettes (thought to be four). ERB never wrote any of the remaining stories, so John Carter's adventures end on Jupiter, although he is reunited at the end of this story with the incomparable Dejah Thoris.
Thanks for the book reviews. I wonder if my local library has the Burroughs books? If not I'm sure they're in paperback at my used book store.
John Carter of Mars (Pixar)

Andrew Stanton, who directed lonely garbage robot movie Wall-E (hitting theaters next week), is already hard at work on his next Pixar flick. The movie is John Carter of Mars, and now Stanton has confirmed to /Film that the script will be based on one book from the beloved early-20th century series, A Princess of Mars. Currently he's just working on the script. Now you can try to figure out the plot of the movie by reading the entire book online. Since it was published in 1917, it's in the public domain and available at Google Books. Lots of violence and princess-rescuing! [A Princess of Mars via Google Books]

(Via IO9)
Re: Get the Story Blueprint for Pixar's John Carter of Mars -- Free Online! [John Car

A "John Carter" movie... from Pixar? That doesn't seem to be their usual type of movie.
Re: Story Blueprint for Pixar's John Carter of Mars

OK, fair enough, not sorry, but still LOL at myself
Re: Story Blueprint for Pixar's John Carter of Mars

So, now that that's over with... :P

What type of movie will it be? Are they going for a comedy like most of Pixar stuff or will this be one of the few Pixar movies that really is intended for adult viewers? (aka: Are they going to dumb it down to make it a kids viewable movie or are they sticking directly to the original material?)
Re: Story Blueprint for Pixar's John Carter of Mars

I just reread and listened to the librovox recordings of The Princess of Mars. I really wonder how much of the action could possibly be shown on screen in live action.


One of the biggest questions surrounding the project is whether they're planning on staying CGI or integrating live action. Stanton starts off by saying that "we honestly don't know," but adds that "it's clearly got to be a hybrid of some sort." As for what to expect, I suggest you don't even begin to start guessing what that might mean. Pixar always tends to push the limits of our imagination and I think that's what we can expect here. He explains that this first year is all spent "worrying about the story" and asserts that thinking about the visuals and figuring out how the film will look is a distraction from the actual writing. Instead, "this year is just about writing the script to make it as good as it can possibly be."


Pixar Making John Carter of Mars Trilogy
Part 1 landing before 2012
Various people have been trying to bring John Carter to the screen. The John Carter saga was first published in 1917, with Princess of Mars, and told of a Civil War veteran who travelled to the red planet and found a race of huge barbaric green creatures, who know Mars as Barsoom. Ray Harryhausen once wanted to adapt it and recently Robert Rodriguez had a bash. Then Jon Favreau came very close to realising it at Paramount, until it proved very expensive and the option expired and he went on to make Iron Man. But, who better to finally bring it to screens than Pixar?


These books have been previously deemed impossible to adapt for the screen, due to the heavy workload of special effects. Nowadays, of course, only the imagination is the limit in any movie genre.
John Carter Of Mars (2012)

Although Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950) is justifiably famous as the creator of Tarzan of the Apes, that uprooted Englishman was not his only popular hero. Burroughs's first sale (in 1912) was A Princess of Mars, opening the floodgates to one of the must successful -and prolific - literary careers in history. This is a wonderful scientific romance that perhaps can be best described as early science fiction melded with an epic dose of romantic adventure. A Princess of Mars is the first adventure of John Carter, a Civil War veteran who unexpectedly find himself transplanted to the planet Mars. Yet this red planet is far more than a dusty, barren place; it's a fantasy world populated with giant green barbarians, beautiful maidens in distress, and weird flora and monstrous fauna the likes of which could only exist in the author's boundless imagination. Sheer escapism of the tallest order, the Martian novels are perfect entertainment for those who find Tarzan's fantastic adventures aren't, well, fantastic enough.

This project has been bouncing around a while now in Hollywood before landing up at Pixar. It began life as A Princess of Mars (named after the first book in the series), a $100 million Robert Rodriguez project at Paramount. (Interestingly Rodriguez hired famous fantasy painter Frank Frazetta to do some designs for the flick.) Then it moved on to Kerry Conran, who had just finished Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004). In 2005, Conran left and was replaced by Jon Favreau, the Zathura and Iron Man director. Paramount however got cold feet and sold the rights to Pixar.

If all goes according to plan it will be Pixar’s second live-action movie. Yup, Pixar is venturing into the scary waters of live action film-making. We will see how it all turns out. Their first such film will be Brad (The Incredibles, Ratatouille) Bird’s 1906, a crime drama set in that year on the eve of the huge fire that practically destroyed San Francisco.

Andrew Stanton, fresh from his WALL-E triumph, will direct John Carter of Mars.

In January 2009 Stanton told Sci-Fi wire that "[I'm] deep into it... I'm on my next draft of it. We're in preproduction art-wise, and we're starting to talk to actors. So it's full bore."
He also confirmed that it will be live-action: "I think that's the only way. I mean, there are so many creatures and characters that half of it's going to be CG whether you want it to be [or not], just to realize some of these images that are in the book. But it will feel real. The whole thing will feel very, very believable."

Will John Carter of Mars actually happen? After all, costs will be prohibitive (especially those four-armed Martian warriors!) and Pixar won’t be the first studio get cold feet at first sight of the bill. Personally we believe that it will make for an excellent Saturday matinee adventure flick for boys, the sort of thing that Ray Harryhausen did with his Sinbad flicks. It’s a pity that 2D animation is out of favor because then Disney can give it the same treatment that it gave Burroughs’ Tarzan. And save on costs in the process. We’ll see . . .

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