Monday, July 11, 2011

John Carter Update: io9 goes behind the scenes with Dir. Andrew Stanton

Concept Art of Barsoom's City of Helium
There'a a really wonderful article on io9 right now detailing a good long look at next year's John Carter film (formerly titled John Carter of Mars--yes, he addresses the title change) directed by Pixar virtuoso Andrew Stanton. I have to say they're doing everything right. Lots of little things to imbue a sense of authenticity, including getting Tars Tarkus voice actor Willem Dafoe to do his lines on stilts in 100 degree desert heat so Taylor Kitsch's Carter can have a real person to interact with (the Tharks will be all CG in the film).

He worked with production designers to create something that he hopes will truly feel like a real place in a real era--and not be derivative of every other movie sci-fi/fantasy land. From io9:
I want to feel like I'm really there. I want to feel like it's really happening." This is not what somebody wished for; this is what really happened. This is the source of the book. Then I realized that's what it is: It's a period film, of a period we just don't know about. It's as if somebody has done their research really, really well and called in all the authorities. I thought that's the way to approach this. I don't want it to seem like this is images of creatures that people have been drawing on their notebooks their whole life and just want to selfishly see realized on the screen; I want you to go, "No, sorry, this is actually how people dressed in Aztec times" or "This is how people bargained in Japanese feudal times." Can we capture that faux authenticity? Breaking that down was making things weathered, aged, having limitations, a sense of deep-seeded culture that you don't really ever get to explore to the depths you'd like to, a sense that much has gone on in the world long before the times that we're present to. Setting the time period on earth to match the books helped.
Sounds like he's really pouring his heart into this one. And really, as a movie lover and lover of Burrough's work, that's all I ask! :)

Here's to crossing all 20 fingers.

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