Despite the recent shakeups at the studio and after a delay, production on Walt Disney Pictures’ JOHN CARTER OF MARS began in London on January 15th with Academy Award®-winning Andrew Stanton at the helm. This sci-fi/fantasy epic marks Stanton’s first adventure in live-action films after his string of Disney•Pixar animated hits including WALL-E and FINDING NEMO.
JOHN CARTER OF MARS is based on the sci-fi pulp fiction landmark A Princess of Mars, the first novel in the noted Barsoom series by iconic Tarzan creator Edgar Rice Burroughs. Here is the early plot summary as released by Disney:
Set in the wounded planet of Mars, JOHN CARTER OF MARS chronicles the journey of Civil War veteran John Carter, who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants, including Tars Tarkas and Dejah Thoris.
The cast boasts a wide variety of noted and popular actors with X-MEN WOLVERINE’s Taylor Kitsch in the title role, joined by Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Daryl Sabara, Polly Walker, Bryan Cranston, with Thomas Hayden Church and Willem Dafoe.
FilmEdge.net will follow the production progress on the film as John Carter encounters the alien dangers and desert mysteries on this fantastic vision of the Red Planet. Below is the official Disney press release:
WALT DISNEY PICTURES’ “JOHN CARTER OF MARS” BEGINS PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY IN LONDON
BURBANK, Calif. (January 15, 2010) – Principal photography is underway in London for Walt Disney Pictures’ “JOHN CARTER OF MARS.” Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Andrew Stanton brings this captivating hero to the big screen in a stunning adventure epic set on the wounded planet of Mars, a world inhabited by warrior tribes and exotic desert beings. Based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “Barsoom Series,” the film chronicles the journey of Civil-War veteran John Carter, who finds himself battling a new and mysterious war amidst a host of strange Martian inhabitants.
Produced for Walt Disney Pictures by Jim Morris (“WALL•E,” “Ratatouille”) and Colin Wilson (“Avatar,” “War of the Worlds”), the live action/animation film marks Academy Award®-winning director/writer Andrew Stanton’s (“Finding Nemo,” “WALL•E”) first foray into live action. Stanton directed and co-wrote the screenplay for Disney•Pixar’s “WALL•E,” which earned the Academy Award and Golden Globe® for Best Animated Feature (2008); Stanton was nominated for an Oscar® for the screenplay. He made his directorial debut with Disney•Pixar’s “Finding Nemo,” garnering an Academy Award-nomination for Best Original Screenplay and winning the Oscar for Best Animated Feature (2003). He has worked as a screenwriter and/or executive producer on Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “A Bug’s Life” (which he also co-directed), “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Ratatouille” and “Up.”
“I have been waiting my whole life to see the characters and worlds of ‘John Carter of Mars’ realized on the big screen,” says Stanton. “It is just a wonderful bonus that I have anything to do with it.”
The stellar ensemble cast is led by Taylor Kitsch (NBC’S “Friday Night Lights”, “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) in the title role, Lynn Collins (“50 First Dates,” “X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) as the warrior princess Dejah Thoris and Oscar® nominee Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man 3,” “Shadow of a Vampire”) as Martian inhabitant Tars Tarkas. The cast also includes Thomas Haden Church (“Sideways,” Spider-Man 3), Polly Walker (upcoming “Clash of the Titans,” “Patriot Games”), Samantha Morton (“Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” “In America”), Mark Strong (“Sherlock Holmes,” “Body of Lies”), Ciaran Hinds (“Munich,” “There Will Be Blood”), British actor Dominic West (“300,” “Chicago”), James Purefoy (“Vanity Fair,” “Resident Evil”) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad”). Daryl Sabara (“Disney’s A Christmas Carol,” “Spy Kids”) takes the role of John Carter’s teenaged nephew, Edgar Rice Burroughs.
The creative team includes Oscar®-nominated production designer Nathan Crowley (“Public Enemies,” “The Dark Knight,” “Batman Begins”), costume designer Mayes Rubeo (“Avatar,” “Apocalypto”), cinematographer Daniel Mindel (“Star Trek,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Spygame”) and video effects supervisor Peter Chiang (“The Reader,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”).