Friday, July 15, 2011

Is that you Tars Tarkas?

Here's a screen-grab from the new John Carter trailer of a thark warrior who just might be our green Barsoomian hero. According to a behind the scenes look that io9 writer Meredith Woerner published earlier this week:
Stanton and team figured out a way to humanize the aliens, thus giving this alien species the ability to emote. As you can see in this little hint of a picture here, the creatures are slender but they're rocking the leather strap costume that is the uniform of Barsoom.

But, as a result of making them a bit lankier, the whole world feels a lot less like something you'd paint on the side of your van, and much more tangible. And even though they have four arms, green skin and giant tusks (on closer inspection I noticed that a few of the Tharks had carved their tusks, etching out interesting patterns barely visible to the eye) the most striking thing about this alien race were their eyes. Stanton had literally overlaid Willem Dafoe's eyes over the flat face of this warrior, and lightened the iris with a striking ice blue. Why blue?

"Because they arrest you," Stanton explained. "We had all these eye colors. Fortunately, Defoe is getting so defined and wrinklely so there is a lot of Defoe in that face so it translates really well."
So the question is, is that Willem Dafoe behind those tusks? I'll tell you what I think, but you go first in the comments...

Here's a bunch more over at io9.


  1. I'm still processing it. It always seemed like this would be a property doomed never to happen.

  2. Why is there a need to "humanize" the Tharks?! Those tusks don't cut it either. This whole project is going downhill fast...

  3. @phf, I'm not sure I agree. The danger of CG aliens coming off as phoney is pretty high in my estimation. At least Stanton is looking to preserve a little more of his actors' performances by making them easier to relate to. It's a lot harder to sell on screen what's easily rendered in a few words in a book.