Monday, February 20, 2012

Barsoom Bound

The film, “John Carter” is about to be released and I, as a huge fan of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books, am waiting with baited breath.  I voraciously read the Barsoom (Mars) novels.  I’m due to read them again as a refresher; still the voices of Mars call to me.  The mighty Tars Tarkas, the beautiful & dangerous Princes of Mars – Dejah Thoris, and the noble Woola all still hold a place in my imagination.  And I was not alone in discovering that world of wonder.  I could tell you how influential the Mars books are; how far reaching the scope & imagination or how there would not be a “Star Wars” or “Avatar” without their first being, “A Princess of Mars” (the book in the Mars stories that the film is based on).  I could tell you all that and more but all that has already been done by Jesse Schedeen in the article, “Without John Carter There Would be No Star Wars”, which can be found right here:  It is a great piece that illustrates just how important the Mars books have been to the tradition of storytelling.  And, Gentle Reader, furthering the tradition of storytelling is what it’s all about.

John Carter was in, ‘development hell’ for decades.  There were a host of very talented people wanting to bring Barsoom to the big screen but for whatever reason(s) the plans fell through.  The rights for the project came to Disney and they eventually hired Mr. Andrew Stanton, director of Pixar’s, “WALL-E” to bring the world of John Carter to life.  The man knows how to tell a story but it wasn’t until this article by Quint from Ain’t It Cool News entitled, “Quint travels to Barsoom and visits the John Carter Set!!!” that I discovered how much of a fan Stanton really is.  There are spoilers but I encourage you to read it right here:  It is a wonderful visit loaded with interviews and some great behind the scenes shots that you will not see anywhere else.  Case in point?  Willem Defoe had to learn to speak Thark to play the part effectively while standing on stilts.  I love the shot of Defoe in the motion capture suit on stilts with the guy in the green-suit next to him.  I guess green-suit guy is his spotter.  Whatever the case read it!  It’s a great on-set article from Lake Mead, Utah; otherwise known as Barsoom.

The cast looks the part and it sounds like they are all very much so into their roles and have a sense of the source material – Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books.  It is my sincere hope that the cast and crew are successful in bringing Barsoom to the masses.  Further, I hope that the masses respond well to Barsoom.  This could be the flashpoint of a great, epic story and an amazing franchise.  With Stanton at the helm I believe that Mars is closer than I have ever imagined.

I have a date with a Princes of Mars on March 9th!  I’ll be there opening night ~ Guaranteed.  How do I know this?  I am a fan of furthering the tradition of storytelling and John Carter deserves his due.    

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