At a recent press event, Andrew Stanton, director of the upcoming John Carter, an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’s A Princess of Mars, confirmed that he’s already planning a second and third film.
"We bought the rights to the first three books when we first started. I thought, ‘let’s set it off right because you never get time back’. The worst case scenario is that you’ll plan for more but only make one. But what I’d hate is that you’d plan for one with no preparation for the others, because it’ll show. It’ll really bite you in the back end.
"I never expected anyone to say we’d definitely do more than one. It’s a huge risk for them… and It’s a huge chunk of change to make any of these movies, something this big. So it made complete sense to me, from their side of the fence, to wait until the movie’s out.
"So if the worst is that it was just a writing exercise for me to plan the others and then I never get to do them, I don’t think I’ll have any regrets. So we’ve been planning out all three all along, just on the chance that they do go ahead."
Stanton went on to say that he could see himself making a film for each of the eleven John Carter of Mars books, and even beyond that, if asked.
He also explained why he chose the plot he did, as the film doesn’t follow the book precisely (as if they ever do).
"There was no main villain in Princess of Mars, and the villain would change every few chapters. There’s that axiom ‘You’re only as good as your villain’ and I don’t know if that’s true but I didn’t want to find out the hard way. I went to later books and found a villain that did scope over multiple stories, and I brought him in earlier," said Stanton.
"He had an agenda that was equal to the scope of Carter, and that’s how I’d want to balance it out anyway with any antagonistic situation even if I was making an original film. We were just using good old-school storytelling techniques."
Frankly, I would be pretty happy if Stanton made more than one movie, as John Carter is one of my favorite classic science fiction stories, although it has received very little attention in films over the years.
John Carter hits theaters March 9, 2012.