John Carter of Mars

I grew up with the Edgar Rice Burroughs John Carter of Mars books and was a huge fan. Frank Frazetta’s illustrations of the stories manifested a synergy with the words in a powerful iconic manner.

When the John Carter film finally came out earlier this year it received some harsh criticism and was considered a box office flop. Truth of the matter is, it has made a profit with worldwide distribution and DVD sales. I saw it recently on BluRay and was pleasantly surprised that it was well done. It is not a great film but did not deserve the bum rap it received with early reviews. In spite of uneven story telling and pacing challenges it was still fun and entertaining. The script deviates from the original Princess of Mars story but it all works. Some of the CG was a bit rough, but most of it was well done with some parts looking stellar. It’s worth seeing and the extras on the BluRay are insightful.

I really wanted to work on this film. I was almost called in to Pixar for some post production work art directing EFX sequences, but alas it did not happen.

The trailer does not do the movie justice but check it out. The poster (above) was created by JC Richard for Mondo and not connected with the promotional campaign.  To bad, this type of image would have been much more interesting to look at than the silhouetted John Carter image they ended up using.

Addendum- After I posted this piece I was contacted by one of the fans of the film (in the comments below) about a group called, Take Me Back To Barsoom.  They have started a grassroots campaign that is committed to seeing a sequel made.

They have a petition started for Alan Horn, Chairman, Walt Disney/Pixar Studios to bring back John Carter, here.

They even rented a theater in Santa Monica to view the film! Buy tickets here.

Fans rule! This is a big part of what I teach in my Artist As Brand workshops. Fans make things happen.


About Spalenka

I am committed to empowering truth and the art spirit within all.
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4 Responses to John Carter of Mars

  1. Hey ….Nice post. I want to invite you to join our Back to Barsoom Facebook Group — 11,000 plus who feel pretty much the way you do. Lots of artists among us.

    • spalenka says:

      Hey Michael,

      Cool I will check it out. After seeing this film I realized the subsequent episodes that followed could be done by different directors (like the Alien series) bringing new voices and perspectives to the stories. There is so much imagination to be mined in the ERB books. The potential is big.

  2. Darin Hilton says:

    Hi Greg, I read the first three books before seeing the movie and despite the obvious issues people might have today with the portrayal of women, they are amazingly imaginative considering what little SciFi there was around back then. The work in the film was beautiful but honestly I was very disappointed with the interpretation of the story, trying to mix several of the themes from all the different books did not work well for me turning what could have been a simple enjoyable action film into a bit of a disjointed mess. I agree that it did not deserve to be assaulted as badly as it was (it was at least as good at Thor! :)) and hopefully it could be Resurrected again at a different studio.

    • spalenka says:

      Hi Darin, good to hear from you, it has been a while. I hope all is well my friend, we should catch up. Good points on the movie all the way around. Definitely has a strong fan base so new versions will already have an audience and if its really well done could bring in a new crowd.

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