Andrew Stanton Briefly Updates John Carter of Mars Adaptation
by Alex Billington
June 19, 2008
Early last week we first reported that Pixar's Andrew Stanton is officially writing an adaptation of the classic John Carter of Mars sci-fi series of novels written by Edgar Rice Burroughs. We followed up with Stanton in our interview with him at Pixar Studios in San Francisco earlier this week and got a very brief update. He doesn't add too much that we don't already know and that's because they're only working on fleshing out the story at the moment. Stanton did add that Pixar's One Man Band director Mark Andrews is adapting the novel with him and that they're specifically adapting the first book in the series, titled The Princess of Mars. Stanton also talks briefly about the development of the project.
One of the biggest questions surrounding the project is whether they're planning on staying CGI or integrating live action. Stanton starts off by saying that "we honestly don't know," but adds that "it's clearly got to be a hybrid of some sort." As for what to expect, I suggest you don't even begin to start guessing what that might mean. Pixar always tends to push the limits of our imagination and I think that's what we can expect here. He explains that this first year is all spent "worrying about the story" and asserts that thinking about the visuals and figuring out how the film will look is a distraction from the actual writing. Instead, "this year is just about writing the script to make it as good as it can possibly be."
Before we wrapped up our brief discussion on John Carter of Mars, Stanton assured us that he's not worried about any of the violence in the books. "We'll find the proper venue to put the movie out." Additionally, he adds that decisions surrounding ratings, distribution, and visuals "should all be decided based on the story." As much as we wanted to get more out of him, I admire his belief that the focus should be the story and once they've got that figured out, then they can work on the rest. The basis for every great movie is a great story and I think it's best to leave Stanton and Andrews to their work.
As a reminder, the first novel in series, titled The Princess of Mars, was originally published in 1917 and is about an American civil war hero who suddenly gets transported to Mars. Unfortunately it sounds like we won't be hearing any updates on this at least until next year, as Stanton and Andrews will be working on finalizing the story until then. Stanton is an absolutely brilliant filmmaker and I've got high hopes for his adaptation of John Carter of Mars as well. With the prospect of the film being a hybrid of CGI and live action, I'm even more anxious to see this come together. If we hear any more about this in the meantime, we'll be sure to update you! Make sure to read our full interview with Andrew tomorrow!