Motherload – Conran John Carter art and reel.

OMG. I’d posted an image from the never public John Carter website ( Paramount Conran Era ) the other day. A few comments came in – and then Wade posts “Found something a lot more interesting here:” and I’m thinking ” pshaw, what could possible be more interesting than this ? !” Maybe the pitch reel for Conran’s John Carter perhaps ? I’d say so. I’ve ravaged it for images as you can see. I’ve known for a long time that Conran’s version was a very ‘fantasy’ version. That is why there are so many planets in the sky. I really like that about it. And many of the designs are Chesley Bonestell and old Analog covers, domed cities and all. There is footage of Carter walking through a wonderfully spacey nightscape, the kind of look  I’ve been kicking around for an upcoming project. You’ll see elements of Avatar in this work ( floating gardens and such, but that really comes from Roger Dean’s YES album covers ) and even one version of a thoat is like the Avatar giant dragon thingy. You will see some carry over in ideas to Stanton’s version and that’s because a lot of the same people moved from Conran to Favreau to Stanton. So a good idea is a good idea. I don’t know what I would have thought of Conran’s version. I like the look of what I’m seeing here more than some previous work that I’ve seen, but I was always worried about the emotional  impact. I really like Sky Captain, and I can see Conran’s version being entertaining and looking great. What I was unsure about ( having read the screen play ) was if it could hit any form of emotional urgency, any sense of ‘how can they ever get out of this ?”. It would be entertaining but not gripping. That was my concern. Anyways, look at the all the cool art, go to the link above and you can download the movie if you want. I had been on that site a year or ago – I am so thrilled that Wade returned. – Jeff


18 responses

  1. Bard of Helium

    HOLY MOLY. I had no idea. I never expected to see anything like that. It is amazing and beautiful and sweeps you up. May the next “John Carter” trailer tap into that same sense of wonder. At the very least, this reminds me that no matter how good or bad the Stanton version is, another absolutely flooring and transporting film, with a different approach to Barsoom, could always be made years from now.

    November 18, 2011 at 10:45 am

  2. pat

    Hello and greetings from Germany – sorry my english is not the best….

    I really hope we see some great epic battles, but i am a little confuses, after looking to the pictures it seems the green alien ( i have forgotten the name ) fighting alone against the humans, but in the book i mean the alien fighting together with a huge helium army against the evil humans….?

    November 18, 2011 at 11:01 am

  3. The picture with the bald guy (Matai Shang?) and the one with the floating garden reminds me of the “Skies of Arcadia” video game. I don’t know how fans of the book would of reacted to the planets in the sky, but the things that are like the book and the sheer beauty of it may of made up for it.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:11 am

  4. Alex Chapman

    Thanks Jeff, great stuff!
    I’m pretty sure the bald guy is Sab Than, Matai Shang wasn’t in the Kruger script.
    I like alot of it, the designs of the tharks, thoats, fliers. Really liked the test shots for Carter fighting the thark, and when the thark gets down on 4 limbs, geat stuff.
    Much more I dislike, Saturn in the sky looks ignorant, don’t like the floating cities, Barsoom looks too green, the script by Kruger was not close the the ERB original and wasn’t very good either.
    Who played the live action John Carter?
    Who was the voice of John Carter?
    Who was the voice of Tars Tarkas?

    November 18, 2011 at 11:40 am

  5. Diana Cole

    Oh my!! I love the promo film and the pictures, especially those of John Carter and Dejah Thoris. I love their look and wish we could have had something more like that in the new film. More of the traditional look. I haven’t read Conran’s script so I don’t know if it was good or bad. Which one was it or do we have a link for it? I can’t remember. I am so anxious for a new trailer to come out so I can see more of what the film will look like, but in many ways there are things that I am wondering about. These pictures really moved my soul; will Stanton’s do the same? I really, really, hope so.

    November 18, 2011 at 11:49 am

  6. I pretty much match you on it other than I like the extra planets ( but not for Barsoom ) I don’t care for the floating cities or green either. John Carter was a stunt man from from a stunt team tied into into of the artists. I dunno about the voices. The mail groups said one was was the voice of a a ‘prominent ERB fan’. All very huff huff…

    November 18, 2011 at 11:51 am

  7. Diana Cole

    Is there any hope of seeing a simular collection of images from Favreau’s version. I have seen a few pictures, but is Paramount still keeping most of the material under lock?

    November 18, 2011 at 2:03 pm

  8. Alex Chapman

    The Script Conran was using is by Ehren Kruger. JC was a modern soldier who falls into a cave in Africa and is transported to Barsoom. Powell follows him and somehow ends up on Barsoom 100 years before JC. Powell takes the name of Sab Than (Yep, 100 years on Barsoom causes Powell’s skin to turn red) and forces the tharks to give up their families (yeah right). Pretty bad stuff, not even remotely resembles the book. Tharks ride malagors to better fight against the fliers of the red men. Stanton’s version is much closer to ERB’s.

    November 18, 2011 at 2:14 pm

  9. Diana Cole

    Thanks. I remember it now. I downloaded it a long time ago to my files, but only read a little bit of it, I think because I didn’t like it. I’ll have to go back and check it again. I’m glad then that Stanton may have the better script

    November 18, 2011 at 2:53 pm

  10. Dejah

    Do you know what the music score is on that clip? I would be surprised if it is the “real thing” as it is still being recorded.

    November 19, 2011 at 4:54 am

    • The preview for the Disney movie or the Conran stuff ? The Conran stuff is from the Paramount attempt 5+ years back, I only know that the music at the end while Tars speaks is from Dune. Just to be clear these images are not from the movie coming out next March.

      November 19, 2011 at 11:02 am

  11. Pulp_Hero

    Very impressive video — it’s curious that this presentation video seems very much in line with the books whereas the commenters describing the leaked script note signifcant changes. I’ve not read the leaked script, I’m curious as to when it might be dated in regards to the overall movie development — perhaps the leaked script was dumped beause of it’s changes (at least I hope it would have been).

    Also, after learning about Barsoomia’s linking to the presentation reel and watching it I hoped to find it in a higher resolution. A quick search on Google turned up the following web page — the video resolution isn’t much higher but enough so that you can see little more detail. The video here is sized at 40.5 MB as opposed to LGFilms 28.4 MB.

    November 19, 2011 at 8:11 pm

  12. Alex Chapman

    I’m shocked that people who watch the video can say that “it seems very much in line with the books”, most of it in no way is in line with the books.
    BTW, the script by Ehren Kruger is dated Sept. 7, 2005.

    November 19, 2011 at 8:44 pm

  13. Ehren Kruger’s script was something that none of us that worked on that version, at least that I spoke to, ever liked. The images and art was the film we were going to make, once we had the right writer.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm

  14. Hi Harry, I remember talking to you through my friends’s John Carter site when you were working on this. Thanks for clearing that up about the script. I’ve read so many John Carter scripts I get them all muddled now – Jeff

    November 30, 2011 at 3:24 pm

  15. Pingback: Kerry Conran’s Pitch Video and Test Footage for ‘John Carter of Mars’ | Music Movie Magic

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