It feels like 2004 – edited, as it should be….

Michael Sellars – has a long transcript of his John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood — Presentation at the Edgar Rice Burroughs Centennial Celebration

Michael talks a lot about the anticipation and response to the JOHN CARTER trailers and media response. It led me back into my archives of to see where I and my readers were at the time. I discovered that I had started Barsoomia on March 23 2008 and that I had a total ( until this one ) of 425 post. Previous to starting I had been hanging out at Mike’s from somewhere around 2004/5. We had watched the transitions from Rodriguez to Conran to Favreau. Jon Favreau was very involved with fans on his MySpace page and we were getting day by day updates as we waited for the greenlight from Paramount that turned red.
Going back through some of my posts during the Disney roll out I was curious about my own thoughts at the time. I knew that was basically a JOHN CARTER OF MARS cheerleader since I wanted the film to be good and a hit. The ‘no news’ thing was getting really old though, and I was getting twitchy when events like the Toy Fair revealed nothing. I did some research and found out that Pirates of Caribbean had no toys until the following year. Disney had been so close to the chest all along that on one level I wasn’t surprised that we’d seen no toys. I knew that they did some of that in-house too, so I thought that might be a factor. But I didn’t like it. I was in Disneyland when they had their Tron thing was going and I expected something sort of like that, maybe not that big, but I thought that’s what they were doing now. Now I know that they had passed on all of this, stuffed Woola’s included, long before. I had(really) been stashing cash in my sock drawer for the buying of John Carter merchandise for two years. I was ready. I’ve dropped a couple of my posts of the time below and I can see both my expectation and my concern.

Sep 8, 2011 – Starting Sept 14 the John Carter swaggernaught begins rolling. First out is the Marvel /Disney retelling of A Princess of Mars in a four issue series. And in Oct ( I think ) is the beginning of the World of Mars prequel to the movie comic. I’m really looking forward to that, it will be ( other than the trailer ) our first real look at Stanton’s Barsoom. Now I just want my iPhone John Carter app so I can battle Warhoons and enemy airships. – Jeff

Nov 17, 2011 – We all have our John Carter swag that that is on our NEED list. Mine includes the art book, soundtrack, a poster, a stuffed Woola- and a few toys. Not all of ’em but a few necessary things. But who’s making them ? I’ve searched around and can’t find a thing. I thought I could least find out who got the contract but no. Disney has just released images of Muppets stuff that I think is only available at the parks. I’m guessing the Muppets / Star Wars toys are produced by Mattel. I’m going to be down in LA when John Carter opens and I’m dying to see what goodies are available. It’s not as bad waiting for the next trailer but still, I wanna know…. – Jeff

And I discovered this delightful tweet, but it does tell you that people were not getting what they wanted from Disney.
“mayviana Mayara Viana @barsoomia is even a better website than the actual #JohnCarter official one. Best source on the movie (and books) and everything related.”

A little after this was the Super Bowl Massacre. I was now really active on twitter. I’d been able to follow the Disney D23 event really closely through direct contact with journalists and fans live on site. I was getting to like this Twitter thing. Maybe I should have call it the night, The Night of the Living Warhoons. It certainly was a pile on.

It was bad. It got drunken bloody calot on calot on she-thark vulger and cruel. By around 11:00 PM I was crying and staggering around the studio screaming “no more no more !” The visciousness really stunned me. I don’t remember much after that, I must have blacked out. I woke up too days later, bloody and bruised, my wife trying to remove thark arms that I’d duck taped to my torso. And someone had written “Woola rolls over for Cat’s” on my chest. It was then that I got truly worried.

I’ll stop here, this really is a response to Michaels post. Go read it, get his book when it comes out. Go to the group and consider buying a kid a ticket to their December screening of John Carter (of Mars )

I sort of feel like I’m back to where I was in 2004, waiting to see what happens with John Carter. Except I have the movie and the artbook and a couple of Vinylmation John Carter toys now. And I’m 8 years older. Does the property go Universal or Paramount ( Disney had it previously too ) and does a sequel happen or a reboot ? Does someone make “Thuvia of Mars” right out of the blue ? Give me the cash and I’ll do it. – Jeff of Jasoom ( Note – I’d prefer that it feels like 2004 rather than 1984. Now that was nightmare of year in everyway. )


3 responses

  1. Abraham Sherman

    I know what you mean. The disappointing outcome for the film has virtually put me back in that “it’s never gonna happen” mindset that pervaded those years of fits and starts at Paramount.

    But, despite the “box office bomb” reputation that must be overcome, there are many reasons to hope that we will see something more in the future. Millions more people are now freshly aware of the world of Barsoom, many of whom have become new fans of ERB. So there will be a much better starting awareness situation should a sequel or reboot get going. It would certainly turn some heads and get some attention if another Barsoom project got going, even if much of that attention would initially be out of morbid curiosity, especially if the long-hoped-for Peter Jackson/Hugh Jackman collaboration on the project could be arranged. I can see positives in it for both of them, career and legacy-wise, in addition to make-an-awesome-movie-wise, but who knows if we’ll ever catch their attention about it.

    Honestly, I can’t shake the feeling that all the events which have played out surrounding DJC are creating a near perfect scenario for a truly powerful Barsoom film to be created and have a huge impact on viewers and the industry. To be specific, Barsoom has now been inadvertently set up as the quintessential underdog. The source material itself has utterly mind-blowing potential to be made into an exceedingly ambitious and accomplished movie-going experience. A surprising sequel, or an ambitious reboot (which, sadly for Andrew Stanton, might be more likely at this point), would be all the more powerful if it were to rise seemingly out of the ashes of DJC. Talk about a surprise success, if it could be pulled off!

    I get all emotional thinking about a Barsoom film at full force. THAT would be something that would hit audiences hard, in the best way, and would have that extra meaning of a well-deserved comeback. That is the bit at which I chomp and threaten to crack my teeth. I want to be set loose on that one like no other creative project I’ve ever hoped to be a part of, knowing full well that its success would require everyone involved, myself first, to be at the top of their game. Perhaps someday…

    November 7, 2012 at 7:50 pm

  2. Thanks for the reply, and rereading my post made me clean it up. I’d love to see Stanton’s John Carter continue with another studio. I have a theory that a complete trilogy may feel more like the books in their entirety than John Carter as an adaption of A Princess of Mars does. There are many Tarzan movies ( and as we’ve heard, another on way ) and that hasn’t stopped anyone from going. I could see a reboot being A Princess of Mars in title this time, and perhaps the branding is on the word MARS instead of the character John Carter. Like you I have a huge emotional attachment to the books, and now the movie. And am completely up for the rest of the trilogy, a reboot – I just want more. And my Woola stuffy.

    November 8, 2012 at 8:22 am

  3. Abraham Sherman

    Yes, seeing Andrew Stanton get to make his sequels would be an awesome, rewarding experience after all the venom that has been spit at his labor of love. That would be my first choice, both for the prospect of getting more Barsoom sooner, and for the scales-of-justice factor.

    This first film felt different from the books for a portion of the story in part because it was adapted to serve as an origin story, which is more of a cinematic convention than starting off with a pre-defined character as in the book. In the grand scheme of a trilogy, Stanton’s origin-story approach in this first film makes sense, and would (will?) likely result in a much more satisfying character-centered arch and fulfilling payoff in the end. (Stanton’s approach wasn’t the only way an “origin story/trilogy arch” could be done, but it was a good approach.)

    The grand conflicts and world-spanning themes of the novels are compelling, but could only benefit from the additional heart of more focus on character development and personal themes. John Carter being the catalyst against tyrants, and the one who brings the races into reconciliation, and the peace-maker, as he is in the books, is a great start and a big clue about what direction to go in the effort to further draw forth and emphasize some more character-focused themes. It should all be left very Barsoomian, and NOT turned into a modern political message, but there is universality there that could make for a meaningful film trilogy.

    I’ve got a grand plan of my own for that, but ain’t nobody gonna get no info outta me until I get my hands on a Barsoom reboot twenty years from now, when y’all will have to go to the theaters and find out like everyone else! 😉

    November 8, 2012 at 10:16 am

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