Tag Archives: pixar

Happenings on SF Fandom and Elsewhere

Robert MelletteWe’re in the process of interviewing Robert Mellette, who was known as Xenastaff to many fans of Xena: Warrior Princess. He has a book coming out in a few days. We have not yet decided whether to publish the interview on Xenite.Org or SF-Fandom.com but I will share an update here when we get things sorted out.
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SF Fandom adds John Carter of Mars forum

Our moderation team wanted to launch a new forum dedicated to the “John Carter of Mars” movies, so now we’ve done that. I invite Edger Rice Burroughs fans to drop by and share their thoughts about the various John Carter of Mars movie projects (there have been four or five through the decades).

Here is our John Carter of Mars forum. You have to register to post but registration is free.

Unfortunately, we have had to block email accounts from Gmail.com because of abuse. If you are a Gmail user and you no longer have an alternative email address to register with please feel free to contact the SF-Fandom Administrators but understand that if you’re just wanting to drop links in the forum your posts will be deleted very quickly.

All the John Carter of Mars movie projects are welcome for discussion. This is not a Pixar/Disney-only forum.

John Carter of Mars cast updates, rumors

The confirmed cast for Disney/Pixar’s “John Carter of Mars” is growing. Andrew Stanton is producing/directing the (mostly) live action movie, for which principal photography should begin in a few more weeks.

According to The Hollywood Reporter and IMDB, we know the cast lineup so far is:

Taylor Kitsch starring as John Carter, Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris, Willem Dafoe as Tars Tarkus, Mark Strong as Matai Shang, Dominic West as Sab Than, Thomas Hayden Church as Tal Hajus, James Purefoy as Kantos Kan, Daryl Sabara as Edgar Rice Burroughs (yes, he DOES appear in the books), Samantha Morton as Sola, and Polly Walker as Sarkoja.

Some weird, bizarre, stupid Website that manufactures gossip alleges that Taylor Kitsch is doing cocaine on-set — which I think is pretty amazing since, as I noted above, principal photography has yet to begin. I suppose if Taylor is sitting alone out there in the fields of Utah he might be asking for companions to be brought to his studio but in Utah? If you’re going to make up stuff about people, you should get your timing right. Anyway, I only mention this in the event that people start to pick up on the rumor. It’s false, fake, not real, and totally bogus. Besides, it’s simply not true.

More reputable Web sites (like SciFi Wire), however, are starting to speculate (based on the character list) that the first three books may be compressed into one movie. Now, I have no inside information and I suppose there is every possibility that the first movie will depart from the literary canon in numerous ways — but, frankly, these characters could just be cameos intended to set up for the next two movies (that we’ve already heard are being considered). It’s too soon for people to be jumping up and down, putting on their Purist Panic hats.

Here is a quick breakdown of how A Princess of Mars, the first book in the series, goes:

John Carter is a U.S. Civil War veteran who fought on the losing side. He goes to Arizona to seek his fortune and runs afoul of some Apache warriors and a bear. Dying in a cave, he finds his spirit transported to a new body on Mars, where because of its lower gravity he has superhuman strength compared to the native humanoids. At first captured by the towering, four-armed Green Men, Carter is taught/befriended by Sola, the daughter of one of their princes. Sola confides to Carter that her birth was very unusual in that she knows who her parents are

While in captivity Carter meets Dejah Thoris, a princess of the Red Men (who but for their very red skin look like Earth’s humans). Carter falls in love with her. They are tormented by Tal Hajus, ruler of the tribe of Green Men who have captured them, but Carter gradually wins the friendship and respect of Tars Tarkus, Sola’s father, who becomes Carter’s greatest friend and ally on Barsoom (Mars). Sola herself is tormented by the evil Sarkoja, who was responsible for the death of Sola’s mother and who raised Sola as a slave.

Sab Than is a prince among the Red Men who wants to marry Dejah Thoris. Kantos Kan is an officer in the Navy of Helium, Dejah Thoris’ country, and he is very loyal to her family. Kantos Kan becomes one of Carter’s chief allies and closest friends on Barsoom.

Matia Shang is the Jeddak of the Therns, the White Men of Barsoom. They also serve as the planet’s priestly caste, protecting an ancient, deadly secret about the planet that they have abused for untold millennia to their own advantage. Shang eventually becomes an unwanted suitor for Dejah Thoris and one of John Carter’s most hated enemies.

So how will all this play out in Stanton’s movie(s)? I don’t know and I won’t pretend to know. I’m waiting for more information.

We have an ongoing John Carter of Mars discussion at SF-Fandom. Please feel free to join in.

Utah to be set for Disney/PIXAR Barsoom

News about the upcoming “John Carter of Mars” movie has been slow to trickle out to the general public. Carter is the first major adventure hero created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. He was the protagonist in ERB’s first serialized adventure story, “A Princess of Mars”, which was published in 1912.

Burroughs went on to write 9 more John Carter/Barsoom books and he had started an 11th book which was never finished. Burroughs’ son Coleman eventually wrote a John Carter story called “The Giant of Mars” and released that with the unpublished 1st quarter of the last ERB story for John Carter, “The Skeleton Men of Jupiter”.

You can read up on the whole Barsoom & John Carter series in a WorldFAQ I wrote many years ago.

So enough about ERB and me. The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that at least part of the upcoming “John Carter of Mars” movie will be filmed in Utah’s desert region.

To be honest, I don’t remember any deserts on Barsoom but given that PIXAR and Disney are collaborating on this film it stands to reason there will be considerable animation mixed in with live action. Maybe they’ll do something like they did with “WALL-E”. Or maybe they’ll do something entirely different.

The article says that filming will last 45 days and the production has committed to spending over $27 million, including hiring several hundred locals for the production. That sounds like good news for Utah’s economy and great news for Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter, and Disney/PIXAR fans who have been waiting a long, long time for this movie.

We have been following developments on the John Carter of Mars movie closely at SF-Fandom. There is more than one John Carter of Mars movie discussion in our Pulp Authors Forum.

Here are a few of our discussions so you don’t have to search too hard to find them:


SF-Fandom is a fan-run moderated Web discussion community devoted to science fiction, fantasy, history, and mythology. Founded in 2001, SF-Fandom is part of the Xenite.Org Network of science fiction and fantasy Web sites.

Pixar talking to actors for John Carter of Mars

SciFi Wire reports that Andrew Stanton is very involved in developing the 2012-scheduled “John Carter of Mars” movie for Pixar and that they are now talking with actors for the roles.

Based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ A Princess of Mars (which you can download for free), Pixar’s movie is rumored to be taking the storyline in a new direction. Stanton has reportedly said he wants to get away from the Frazetta-style artwork that has been closely associated with ERB’s Barsoom stories for several decades.

Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the story as a serial in 1912 and it was published in book form in 1917. He went on to publish 9 more John Carter of Mars books and his son published an 11th book after ERB died in 1950.

The John Carter universe was eventually tied to many of ERB’s other classic pulp worlds including Tarzan, Pellucidar, and Carson Napier of Venus. Philip Jose Farmer went on to include ERB’s expanded universe in the Wold Newton Universe (the term was actually coined by Win Scott Eckert, who wrote the introductory essay on that site).

All of which is to say that ERB fans have some very well-formed expectations so I think Pixar (and Stanton in particular) may be risking the kind of fan backlash that can topple a movie. For example, Robert E. Howard fans failed to embrace the “Kull the Conqueror” movie (starring Kevin Sorbo). The movie, which also failed to draw many of Sorbo’s fans into its circle, blew a gasket at the box office.

Mr. Stanton and his associates will have to bring a fresh perspective to the material that treats the concept with respect. I’m a big fan of Brad Bird’s “The Incredibles”, which I feel treated the superhero genre with a lot of respect while paying homage to classic 1960s superhero cartoon shows. Pixar definitely has experience at developing new interpretations of classic themes. I’m not too worried but some of my old friends in the core ERB audience may be about to go through the same anguish many of my hard-core Tolkien fans experienced when Peter Jackson developed the “Lord of the Rings” movies (which were very successful).

If you have never read the John Carter books, at least read them up through The Chessmen of Mars. That was the fourth book in the series and, in my opinion, it was the absolute best (it’s actually not about Carter but about his daughter and the prince who gives up everything to protect her even though she doesn’t — well, just read the book).

SF-Fandom is a fan-run moderated Web discussion community devoted to science fiction, fantasy, history, and mythology. Founded in 2001, SF-Fandom is part of the Xenite.Org Network of science fiction and fantasy Web sites.