PG-13 | | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Transported to Barsoom, a Civil War vet discovers a barren planet seemingly inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Woola and a princess in desperate need of a savior.
Mario Kassar had the project at Disney in the 1980s, but it was also listed under his development projects during his deal at Paramount in the mid-'90s. In 2004--when the project was still known as "A Princess of Mars" after the book on which it's based--Robert Rodriguez had originally been signed and announced as director and had begun pre-production early that year (it would have been his largest project to date, with starting budget reported at $100 million). Rodriguez' most notable contribution was to hire fantasy painter Frank Frazetta (whose most acclaimed works have included striking illustrations of Edgar Rice Burroughs novels, most notably the "John Carter on Mars" books) as production designer. However, when Rodriguez resigned from the Directors' Guild of America (DGA) the same year (due to a dispute over his film Sin City (2005)), Paramount was forced to replace him. The studio has a long-standing arrangement with the DGA in which only the organization's members may direct Paramount films. He was replaced with Kerry Conran, who had just finished Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004). In 2005 Conran left the project and was replaced by Jon Favreau just before the release of Favreau's movie Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005); Favreau was on-board to direct until around August 2006. At that time Paramount chose not to renew the film rights, preferring to focus on Star Trek (2009), and Favreau left to work on Iron Man (2008). In January 2007 Disney regained the rights (it had rights to film the story previously: in the 1980s with director John McTiernan), and enlisted Andrew Stanton from Pixar to direct.
The Jeddak of Zodanga means to quash Helium this very night, and if Helium falls, so does Barsoom. We must throw out the thought of old hatreds. Tharks did not cause this, but by Issus, Tharks will end it! We ride for Zodanga!
At the beginning Powell tells Carter that the U.S. Army needs his help in dealing with the Apaches and recites his assorted achievements while serving in the Confederate Army. Under the 14th Amendment, anyone who participated in the Rebellion was ineligible to later serve in any position of honor under the U.S. government. Not even a Presidential pardon could change this. However, the disability could have been lifted by a two-thirds vote by both Houses of Congress, something not likely in Carter's case.
At the end of the movie, a title card comes up that says John Carter of Mars.
$30,180,188 11 March 2012
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