Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Oh yeah, an actually talented writer wrote John Carter!

So io9 has a new interview with John Carter writer Michael Chabon. With all the hub-bub about Disney-is-flubbing-the-marketing and it's-too-darn-expensive there's one glaring fact that people have lost: this movie is made by awesomely talented creatives. Andrew Stanton made two of the most successful Pixar films and Michael Chabon is a superb storyteller in his own right, telling personal stories in a variety of sci-fi settings.

There's been quite a bit written about how John Carter will be "just like Avatar" or Dancing With Wolves, essentially becoming a retread of itself (since those and many other stories have borrowed from the Barsoom tales) all while cries from purists have said it won't do justice to its creator's work

So how about a peek at what they're goals for the film have actually been:
If anything, Chabon and Stanton wanted to show John Carter as a catalyst, who allows the Martians to liberate themselves. "Dejah Thoris and Tars Tarkis are already seeking change. They are already actively working for change, and the appearance of Carter is a catalyst that makes it possible for the Martian characters to continue to act on their own behalf... It is not so much, hopefully, that he's the savior or that he knows things they don't know."

And they were keen to show that Mars saves Carter, even more than Carter saves Mars. Carter is a "lost soul" who is clueless, and just wants to get home to Earth. But when the Martians see what he can do — including his ability to jump really high, in the weak Martian gravity, they're keen to enlist him on their behalf. It's not so much that Carter sees the Martians are doing it all wrong — instead, we see the caginess and "opportunism" of the Martians, who seize on him as a tool for their liberation.
It sounds like they had a tough job, trying to balance the Burroughs voice with something that would be compelling for modern audiences. It also sounds like it's not just a dressed up, B-grade special effects flick.

It's sounding like a movie that I'd really enjoy. I suppose we'll know for sure in a little over a week.

UPDATE: Here's another io9 blurb that popped up this morning about art and production design from director Andrew Stanton.

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