Disney's John Carter and the Princess of Mars

Posted by CB Droege

We finally get to see what the new Princess of Mars adaptation will be like, and it looks really, really great.

I was previously concerned about the casting. I thought Taylor Kitsch, specifically, would be too buff, too jock-like to pull off the part of John Carter, or perhaps that they would have changed John carter as a character to an unrecognizably buff point.

In this trailer, however, he looks the part well.

They also managed to make Lynn Collins as Dejah, sufficiently orange for my tastes.

I wasn’t really worried about that, but it’s interesting to see how they decided to decorate her skin with dark orange or red tattoos. It’s an interesting interpretation of the Barsoom Princess.

The scenery is the most impressive thing here, and I think that’s the point. It’s more trailer than teaser, but still, the focus is on the look of the film. We only get a brief glance at the more alien-looking Martians, but if animated well, they’ll be convincing enough. With it being Pixar, I’m not concerned about this point.

In the original 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. 

The official synopsis of the film is thus:

"John Carter is a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). John Carter is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present.

"The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands."

So, it looks like they haven’t really changed the plot all that much, which makes one wonder why they didn’t keep the original title.

I’ve been quite wearing regarding this title in the past, mostly because Burroughs’ works are so important to me personally and I didn’t want to see them screwed up. This trailer has finally convinced me that I have very little to worry about.

John Carter has not yet been scheduled for release.