Research: Andrew Stanton Interview

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Ninety-five years ago, Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote A Princess of Mars, and since its publication, the series has influenced generations of readers.  As you might imagine, numerous filmmakers were inspired by Burroughs imagination, and many tried and were unsuccessful in bringing the story to the big screen.  Enter Andrew Stanton.  As the writer-director of Pixar’s Finding Nemo and WALL-E, Stanton has proven himself to be a great director.  He’s also a big fan of A Princess of Mars, and when he made the move to live-action, he got Disney to bring the film to theaters (now under the title of “John Carter“, named after the book’s protagonist).  After you see it this weekend, you’ll be glad you did.  The film is fantastic and well worth the price of an IMAX 3D ticket.  Trust me: once you’re transported to the world of Barsoom, you’re going to love it.

The other week, Disney held a big press junket in Arizona and I landed an exclusive video interview with Stanton.  During our extended conversation we talked about the challenge of bringing Burroughs’ story to mainstream audiences, the long post-production schedule, the editing process, how the movie changed along the way, and deleted scenes.  In addition, we talked about Easter Eggs, his favorite movie, director and actor, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.


john-carter-movie-image-andrew-stantonFor more on John Carter, here is a ten minute clipthe latest trailerclips,featurettes13 minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the making of the film, and 95 images.  Or you can click here for all of our coverage.

Finally, look for a new video interview with the filmmakers and cast of John Carter every day this week.   John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, Polly Walker, Thomas Haden Church, and Willem Dafoe

Andrew Stanton Time IndexAndrew Stanton_john_carter_concept_art

  • 0:20 – Director Andrew Stanton comments on how he hopes audiences get the same experience out of John Carter the movie as they would from reading the books.
  • 1:10 – Stanton reveals his go-to karaoke song including a missed karaoke opportunity with Pixar.
  • 1:45 – Stanton talks about his favorite actor, director and movie.
  • 3:20 – Regarding the reshoots and editing for John Carter, Stanton talks about the “daunting task” of clarifying the overlays so that they made sense to outside eyes.
  • 6:30 – Stanton admits that he needed the long post-production that was initially scheduled.
  • 7:15 – Stanton talks about the most fluid scene and the most difficult scene to get right in John Carter.
  • 9:35 – Unfortunately, Stanton admits that he was so consumed in the making of the film that he neglected to put any Pixar Easter Eggs in John Carter.
  • 10:35 – Stanton talks about the level of accessibility of the story and how different audiences have responded to it. He also discusses how this experience has helped him to reform his style of storytelling.
  • 13:10 – With respect to Clint Eastwood’s minimalist directing style or David Fincher’s method of numerous takes, Stanton reveals what he views as the perfect number of takes.
  • 14:20 – Stanton talks about the difficulty of filming in between jumbo jets flying overhead while they were filming near Heathrow Airport and dealing with the midnight ringing of church bells.
  • 15:35 – Stanton laments cutting an introductory scene but admits that it helped the flow of the film.
  • 16:25 – Regarding an extended cut, Stanton says that the theatrical cut is most likely the cut that will appear on DVD and Blu-ray.

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