Jan 13 2009Pixar's 'John Carter of Mars' is Second Most Perfect Definition of Hybrid Movie


WALL-E writer/director Andrew Stanton's next project is set to be John Carter of Mars, a CGI/live-action adaptation of the story of a Civil War veteran's adventures on Earth's most enemy planet: Mars. He recently spoke to MTV about the film, divulging some scoopz (they aren't huge scoopz):

“It’s real,” Stanton assured us. “We’re full bore on it right now. We’re over the hump of the writing phase, and we’re certainly far from rewrites.”

“The key was putting a story into it and creating characters that had to grow and real basic stuff that we all know a movie needs,” he explained.

Messing with a classic of the fantasy genre is always risky, but Stanton believes the passage of time is on his side. “Fortunately it’s an old enough story,” he said. “There isn’t such huge allegiance to it that people won’t mind that we muck with it a bit to hopefully amplify the essence of what made me interested in it as a young kid and hopefully will keep me interested in it as an adult.”

Andrew, you are so wrong that there isn't a big enough allegiance for people to get angry at divergences from the original text. I care about everything. Even if it was written in 1912 and had practically no story to speak of, and even if I've never read any of it and never will, the movie had better be exactly like my confused, entirely fantasy art-based impressions or someone will be making an anti-Pixar's John Carter of Mars Facebook group so fast it will knock several prestigious awards off your mantel.

I also take issue with this statement:

“There’s so much in it that can’t be real,” he said. “It’s the perfect definition of a hybrid movie,” utilizing both live actors and computer-based animation.

Perfect definition of a hybrid movie? That was called Alvin and the Chipmunks, buddy.

You can read the full interview here.

Reader Comments


Does this remind anyone else of John Carpenter's GHOST OF MARS?!?!

No? Ok then.

I hope not. That was a terrible movie.

I really think he's lying, Pixar's upcoming lineup was released months ago and according to that Stanton should already have his hands full.

oh shit.
has anyone actually read these books? i don't think you can visually portray the narration to its full effect. an exert from the warlords of mars reads, “with a snarl he sprang toward me with naked sword, but whether Salensus Oll was a good swordsmen or a poor I never learned; for with Dejah Thoris at my back I was no longer human- I was a superman, and no man could have withstood me then.”

hmmmmm.... yes, that's very interesting. But how come, in the illustration the woman, (who, judging by her regalia, is from nobility) has pale breasts? Does she go sun-bathing in a bikini top, then put on arabesque pasties for formal occasions? She just gives the impression that she can't bear to let her boobs be covered. So why isn't she evenly tanned?

god damnit!

can't w8.

This movie's best possible outcome is something my imagination can't put together right now.

Right now, I would hope to see some kind of stylistic fusion offff...

Willow, Star Wars, Krull, The Last Samurai, Quest for Fire, Raiders of the Lost Ark,
a movie about pirates, and KRULL.

If there isn't a fanbase than why would anyone see it?

@7, I hope you don't mean "Cut Throat Island" when you speak of a movie about pirates... that movie was awful

After seeing Iain McCaig's design work for John Carter I'm pretty excited. As for the strict translation presented before from "Warlord of Mars", well, the entire quote actually has no bearing on the action but what's in John Carter's head as he launches his attack on an another swordsman. He's not saying anything. The books, for anyone who bothered to read them before making such poor context defying comparisons, are not even necessarily the words of the man. They are "translated" by way of a form of telepathy. In this a lot of the cornier stuff could be the inflections added by Carter's biographer. This is where I hope Stanton provides some changes. Still, we're not likely to be privvy to John Carter's thoughts. the reason this film will work is the meat of the tales. It's a visually dynamic sword and science potboiler epic.
Think old, beautiful but dilapidated cities from the best turn of the century ideals coupled with a failing environment and people living on the edge with all their wits intact but also pragmatically inclined to survive the best way they can at the end of their civilization. The heroic overtones are going to be exaggerated by those people but if the scanty garb looks great on the actors, and cool, surviving tech (airships with gravity negating "rays" in their tanks, run by propellors, and guns with combustable projectiles and brain replacing surgical techniques, etc...) are all intact and married to dangerous, globe spanning adventure, fighting 4 armed, 15 green men, and 8 legged lions with mouths like gaping manholes are any indication of what a visual feast this will be, I'm excited at the prospect. So long as the dialogue is decent and actors are appealing in their roles as well as look convincing in their setting, seriously, this could beat the snot out of any film ever made purely on its visual delivery.
If that sounds shallow, so be it. This film is being made more for how it will look than it's story structure. Those of us who love the books are not comparing it to high literature. It's a fun read in a wonderfully exotic setting with lot's of monsterous creatures and treacherous villains to keep things moving. We can't live on a diet of this stuff but it sure is fun to consume from time to time.


I have been waiting for someone to do a good rendering of these books into film, especially with today's special effects. These have been favorites of mine for 40+ years. The stories are action packed, exciting, with various creatures and cultures to encounter. The first three volumes are the finest, with an additional 9 books following after. I had hoped that Lucas or Speilberg would have done these.
Hopefully, they will reprint all the series with a film coming out. They have been out of print too long.

This is the kind of stuff I really hate, when someone (Andrew Stanton) in his ignorance, can assume that he’s the only one who ever read the story, so it’s ok to “muck with it”.

Man I will so burn all my Pixar DVD if they mess this one up. He doesn’t seen to realize that it’s not a matter that it’s old, it’s a matter of the many people who have been waiting almost a 100 years to see this story come to life.

IF he can’t make the story as it is written, then don’t call it a ERB John Carter story, call it a Avatar on Mars wana-be.
Man they better not mess it up or I’ll be protesting Pixar at there front gate in Emeryville till they close down. Then he’ll see how “huge an allegiance” it really has.
It is so naïve, if he didn’t think it has a large following, why does he think they been trying to make the movie for so long. They haven’t make it before, not because it wasn’t desired by the many, but because the technology wasn’t there to portrait it in any decent form on the big screen.

I don’t know but a person that can say this stuff doesn’t seen to have the vision to portrait the essence of a classic Novel, only the makings of his own imagination which make it his own story, so again, don’t use another author’s title, use your own.
Why doesn’t he just call it Wall-e on Mars or something if he can’t help but “muck with it”.

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