Recently we found out that Disney’s project, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs’s novel, had changed its name again from John Carter of Mars to simply John Carter.
Seems like a particularly uninspired title, which says nothing of the content of the film.
That’s not their worst decision, however.
Just look at this poster. It’s like this is some sort of joke on Burroughs’s fans.
When I first heard that meathead actor Taylor Kitsch had been cast as John Carter, I felt that it was pretty dumb, but perhaps, they just really liked the way he auditioned, and so took him on with the expectation that he could bulk down a little for the role.
We can see from this first image of the film, this is not what happened. He’s just as buff-looking as he has been in every role.
To make a comparison, this is like when Warner Bros. decided to put Arnold Schwarzenegger in the role of Mister Freeze.
John Carter, in the novels, is being perpetually described as a scrawny man. His strength on mars comes only from the decreased gravity. This is an integral facet to his character: At home he is slight and weak; on Mars he is strong and heroic. Without that element, there is very little to John Carter.
In A Princess of Mars, John Carter, an American Civil War veteran turned prospector, is set upon by natives in the wilderness of the American West. Left for dead in the brush, John is whisked off to Mars Dorothy-style.
There he meets the Martians, who are vying for control over the scarce resources of the dying planet.
One of the factions is the city of Helium, the princess of which Carter falls in love with instantly, and whose frequent need for rescuing is the driving force in much of the story.
It’s Disney and Pixar, so we can be pretty sure that it’s going to look good, and the acting can be sort-of bad, and the movie will still work. Hopefully, the uncharacteristic Carter wont ruin it for fans of the novel, as few as they may be.