From Superhero Hype: This Friday, Finding Nemo and WALL•E director Andrew Stanton will go where no other filmmaker has managed to go before, as he tackles the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs in Disney’s John Carter, and genre fans, whether in comics or movies, may be pleasantly surprised by the familiarity of some of the themes, being that Burroughs’ work had such a huge creative influence on fantasy and science fiction writers in the hundred years since the first book, “A Princess of Mars.”
By now, you’re likely to have seen the commercials and trailers, but maybe you haven’t read any of the Edgar Rice Burroughs books yet. Since it’s opening in a few days, you probably won’t have time, but don’t worry, we’re here to help.
The sad fact is that John Carter of Mars hasn’t remained as iconic as Superman or Sherlock Holmes or Spider-Man or other fictional characters whose stories everyone knows. That’s why we’ve put together this brief overview of some of the characters and races encountered by the protagonist of the title. Unfortunately, this may not be stuff you can get from the commercials, nor should you, since director Andrew Stanton probably would want moviegoers to discover the wonders of Barsoom and its inhabitants for themselves by seeing the movie. That said, while Stanton’s movie is a really fun action adventure, for some moviegoers, it’s going to be a lot of information to absorb all at once.
Ironically, a lot of the information here is courtesy of Disney’s production notes, which act as a scorecard that makes it easier to appreciate the movie and all the different characters and races on Barsoom. We also got a bit of help from Josh Kushins’ “The Art of John Carter: A Visual Journey,” a companion book being released by Disney Editions and Encyclopedia Barsoomia. You may be surprised to learn that most of the cast in John Carter also have appeared in other comic-related movies.
Best of all, we’re going to keep this brief guide relatively SPOILER-FREE, which means you can learn just enough to watch the movie without major plot points being spoiled. Cool?