John Carter : The Gods of Mars poster

Man this was a tough one. I love John Carter of Mars , I love movie posters and of course I wanted to ‘get it right’ or at least reasonable…. Other than reasonable a likenesses of Taylor and Lynn, I wanted a bigger picture, more than a group of heads. I wanted some of the exciting new environments and creatures from Gods, and I wanted to deal with the heart of the story, John reuniting with Dejah. I mostly do book cover work so I spent a lot of time looking at movie posters, absorbing their language. I was pretty sure that I wanted a colorful, fun, and somewhat retro look. I looked at a lot old posters, old Flash Gordon’s , 60s and 70s cheap sci fi movies, of course the Star Wars posters, I can’t pretend I didn’t… Star Wars posters usually give the best of both worlds, portraits of the leads and  a look at the environments, ships, landscapes, creatures and characters. I knew this what I wanted. I wanted it all.

Below you’ll see one of earliest layouts, some studies and pieces in progress. You’ll notice that Dejah was very different at one stage. The final images of both Taylor and Lynn are not from John Carter of Mars, and I’m pretty pleased with that, it pulls them away from being the same images we’ve seen again and again. But Lynn/Dejah was initially from a fuzzy screen capture I had of her on the boat going to the Thern temple. I changed her prop from a paddle to a sword and worked on her likeness, again and again and again. I was showing the work to my friend Khanada because I couldn’t tell if I was getting it or not. I started looking at other pictures of Lynn to see what wasn’t working. I finally realized that even though it was Lynn Collins, it was an exception, it didn’t look like Lynn portraying the Dejah Thoris we saw in the movie. Once I got that in my head I went looking for new images of Lyyn and things got much easier.  But then there were the Plant Men. I hated the Plant Men. I think they hated me too. I had them blocked in ( as you can see ) from very early but somehow I couldn’t get them to match the style that I’d used on the lower portion with the banth and temple and all. Maybe it was because they were closer up. Or maybe it had something to do with ‘ME’. But now I’m done and I’m very happy with it. You can see that I’ve used my fictitious Galaxy Pictures logo which I had created for my Empress of Mercury poster. Disney isn’t that easygoing about their name being used and we all know that the future of The Gods of Mars is very much up in it the air. I have also tweaked the final poster from being directed by Mark Andrews ( co-writer, second unit director and director of the excellent BRAVE ) to Andrew Stanton. I’ve done this mostly because of some fan confusion. Mark Andrews ( so I’ve heard from way back ) has been flagged to direct both Gods and Warlord if they were ever made.

So now it’s done, I’m double checking details on the poster and running a test print on it on it. Check back here soon for print availability. I am pondering doing ones for John Carter of Mars, and Warlord of Mars, but not today. – Jeff


One response

  1. Abraham Sherman

    Jeff, it is really cool to see your process on this. Thank you for sticking with it and getting it done! Turned out extraordinary!

    September 10, 2012 at 12:01 pm

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