The set visit articles — recounting visits to the John Carter set that took place well over a year ago — are starting to come out now, and this is one of the best. It’s written by someone who seems to genuinely “get” the idea of what made the Barsoom novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs so fascinating — and he translates that into fascination with traveling to “Barsoom” during the filming.
Just published today in Ain’t It Cool News.
Quint Travels to Barsoom and visits the John Carter Set
SPOILER ALERT !!
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with a tale of adventure to tell. This particular tale has your humble narrator traveling to the Martian land known as Barsoom (or Lake Powell, Utah), being jostled by the elements in a tiny craft (or a small prop plane from Phoenix, AZ to Page, AZ), being caught in a sandstorm (true) and getting to tell Willem Dafoe about how “Chaos Reigns” has become a battle cry at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
It’s safe to say that I’m a Barsoom fan. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ pulp sci-fi fantasy adventure novels have influenced all science fiction and fantasy that you know and like.
Picture a movie about a military man taken from Earth to a strange world where he falls in love with the Princess of an alien race, tamed and rode a crazy wild creature and proved himself to be a great warrior as well as a key figure in an epic battle that was fought on land and in the air…
Did you see blue cat people when reading that? Well, I just described the plot of Burroughs’ A PRINCESS OF MARS, which serves as the basis for JOHN CARTER, directed by WALL-E’s Andrew Stanton, his first live-action feature film.
I don’t mean to single out James Cameron’s AVATAR as the only story to liberally borrow from Burroughs’ Barsoom series. He’s not alone. Everything from The Lord of the Rings to Star Wars to Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon have borrowed elements, great and small, from these books.
Burroughs’ novels have been cherry-picked for decades and in all that time film adaptations have begun and failed. Did you know that Walt Disney’s SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARVES might have been the second full length animated film if events had unfolded differently? Looney Tunes director Bob Clampett was working closely with Edgar Rice Burroughs and his son, John Coleman, to produce an animated feature starting in 1931, going so far as having an animated sequence completed that was shown around town in 1936.