All hail Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter and Tarzan

Last night I sat in a darkened theatre in the West End of London, preparing to watch a new movie due for release in September.  Usually, at press screenings, there are no trailers so when the lights dimmed and we were shown something that looked Victorian London I was surprised.  This definitely didn’t look like the movie we were here to see at all…

Then, as the trailer and voice-over unfolded, I gripped my seat and did a tiny geeky squeal.  The trailer was for the new Disney/Pixar live action John Carter movie, due for release in 2012.  And it looks amazing.  Taylor Kitsch plays the titular role of John Carter.  The screenplay is written by the superb Andrew Stanton and Michael Chabon, working from the original text by Edgar Rice Burroughs.  I’ve popped over to IMDB and this is what they have to say about John Carter:

Civil War vet John Carter is transplanted to Mars, where he discovers a lush, wildly diverse planet whose main inhabitants are 12-foot tall green barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium, who is in desperate need of a savior.

Then, when I googled some more, I found this from iO9

From Academy Award–winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton comes “John Carter” — a sweeping action — adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). “John Carter” is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.  

Next year, 2012 is a big year for Edgar Rice Burroughs as it is the Tarzan centenary and I fully expect quite a bit of fuss to be made of the author as well as his prolific works.  In fact, Andy Briggs, tv script writer and writer of novels for younger readers, has just released his take on the Tarzan, having worked closely with the ERB Estate to update the Lord of the Jungle and to make the story relevant to our time and to younger modern readers. 

I read and reviewed the book and today I’m offering an interview with Andy over at my main review site, and I can say, hand on heart, from an Edgar Rice Burroughs fan-girl perspective, Andy does the writing and the story justice. 

But back to John Carter, the trailer – the sets look incredible, the CGI was impressive and the costuming was lush.  It looks and feels like a big major production and Taylor Kitsch does look mighty fine in a swanky Western duster, cher.  (If you don’t get that Gambit reference, I may cry.)

And as far as I can tell, there is no official trailer online for John Carter as yet, so in the meantime we’ll have to look at the poster and wait for that trailer to materialise along with other snippets to feed the mad fans.

GS Reporter: Liz

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