Disney’s Acquisition of Lucasfilm and commitment to make 3 Star Wars pix sheds light on the studio’s curious handling of John Carter . . .

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UPDATED: There have been rumors for months that Bob Iger was pursuing Lucasfilms and the Star Wars franchise,  and there is no doubt that discussions and negotiations started long before the March 9 release of John Carter.  So it should come as no surprise that Iger, acting as if he is George Steinbrenner’s Hollywood twin, was up to his ears in  doing what the Yankees did for so many years — which is to forget about nurturing talent through their own farm system and instead just flex the power of the checkbook and buy up all the established talent, in the process spending the opposition into oblivion.   Under Outsourcer Iger, gone are the days of Disney nurturing its own creative output.  Why bother with that hassle of nurturing a franchise like John Carter into existence  when you can buy franchises? In the process Disney, once the heart of Hollywood creativity,  has become a heartless hub, never mind whether it retains even a hint of old Walt’s soul and spirit.   Walt is dead. Not just the man, but the spirit he embodied.    Disney Corp doesn’t exist to create — it exists to make shareholders money, and Iger is doing it, efficiently and robotically.  John Carter is collateral damage to the pursuit of that vision.  Why struggle with a quirky, difficult-to-market “rookie” franchise when with the stroke of a pen you can acquire a stable of a dozen or more seasoned all-star superheroes?

Quick, what’s the last home-grown Disney adventure franchise? Pirates of the Carribbean? Well, and guess where that started? On the back of a napkin between Dick Cook and Johnny Depp. Dick Cook, the last ‘old school’ movie mogul that’s had anything to do with Disney.  The same Dick Cook that greenlit John Carter and the same Dick Cook who was unceremoniously dumped by Iger because he didn’t get the Iger program of Disney Studios as distribution hub for the creative genius of others.

How long do you think this acquisition has been in the works? A year? Two?

Roll back the clock.  Run the tape with an awareness that Iger was chasing Lucas and Star Wars as John Carter was rolling out.

Go back to the incredibly, bafflingly inept marketing and promotion of John Carter — the campaign that ignored its heritage, made it look like a pedigree-less CGI schlockfest . . . . with this happening at the same time that Iger was courting Lucas with his eye on the prize of Star Wars becoming a Disney IP asset.  Make more sense now?  Of course it does.  Does it rise to the level of a complete Machiavellian plot to bring down John Carter?  No.  Does it explain the absence of an all-out effort?  Maybe.  Does it explain the failure to emphasize the heritage of the movie as the source material for Star Trek and Avatar? Oh yeah.  (And I know that at the very 11th hour when all hope was pretty much lost, Disney rolled out 15 second TV ads with “Before Star Wars, Before Avatar, there Was John Carter” — but that so much “to little too late” as to be a joke.)

Go back to March 19, 2012.  Ten days into the John Carter run with the film struggling in the US but doing well overseas, with key markets China and Japan untapped.  Now run the tape of Rich Ross announcing at this early juncture that it was taking a $200M writedown, sealing John Carter’s  identity  as a colossal, epic, iconic Hollywood flop — in the process closing the door emphatically on any possibility of a future under Disney.   Why? What benefit could Disney get?  Was it, as they claimed, simply a matter of disclosure requirements?  (But they never made such an announcement after other flops.)  Or was it, as now seems clear, a maneuver that would help Iger reassure Lucas that John Carter was not going to be in-house competition for Star Wars if SW came to Disney.  The announcement helped Iger achieve a  heroic (for him) acquisition of Star Wars by eliminating any doubt about future Carter pix at Disney.  It cleared the way for his acquisition of Star Wars and Lucasfilm —  the cherry on top of his decade of acquisitions that reshaped Disney.

Enough of what happened at Disney.  The final piece of the puzzle is now in place.

For me, the large question is this.

As a lifetime fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs who suffered through the endless disappointments — Disney/McTiernan, then the Paramount years — Rodrigues, Conran, Favreau …and then finally the Disney JC debacle . . . . of course the hope was for something  something better than the news that Disney was putting its eggs int he Star Wars basket.  But let’s be real.  What does this mean? Is it doom or deliverance?

Did anyone seriously think that Bob Iger’s Disney was going to do a John Carter sequel?  Folks, that ship sailed a long time ago.  If it wasn’t clear enough after the March 19 announcement, it should have been clear in early may when Iger claimed he “had a feeling” beforehand that Carter just wasn’t going to perform, or his response in August when asked if there would be any John Carter elements in theme parks: “No, no, no, no. Some things work, some things don’t.”   It was clear that Iger considered John Carter to be a completely failed enterprise.

So this should not come as a surprise or sudden revelation that Disney is not headed in the direction of more John Carter.  We’ve all known that for some time, even if there has been an element of denial about it.

So is this news disaster for the John Carter franchise?  Or liberation?

In the words of Erik Jessen, who  started the Facebook sequel movement for John Carter, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

Think about what Lucas said: “For the past 35 years, one of my greatest pleasures has been to see Star Wars passed from one generation to the next. I’ve always believed that Star Wars could live beyond me, and I thought it was important to set up the transition during my lifetime. I’m confident that with Lucasfilm under the leadership of Kathleen Kennedy, and having a new home within the Disney organization, Star Wars will certainly live on and flourish for many generations to come.”

Well George, …..here’s the immediate counter-quote that pops into my mind:

“For the past 100 years, the characters and cultures created by Edgar Rice Burroughs have inspired generation after generation of readers, and sparked the imagination of scientists, storytellers, and filmmakers, bringing out the best in them and generating new worlds and characters to cherish. Flash Gordon, Superman, Star Wars, and Avatar all owe their origins to Edgar Rice Burroughs original Martian series.  As Edgar Rice Burroughs begins his second century, the legacy continues . . . and will continue.”

Look, I’m not dissing Lucas. God Bless him. But we know who the master was. And who’s the student.

John Carter fans, ERB fans, — it’s time to move beyond Disney. No one ever said this would be easy or that it would be quick. Disney under Iger has had a master plan going on for some time, and that plan never included John Carter or Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Now it can be said, the “We Want a John Carter Sequel” movement needs to progress.

Now, basically, it’s :  “Free John Carter!”

Meaning, Disney, don’t cling to rights you have no intention of exercising.

Don’t hamstring Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. from being able to take advantage of the fact that 40 million people worldwide have just been exposed to the genius of ERB, however modified by Andrew Stanton, and there is something there to build on that won’t be there if you cling to the rights.  There are other studios, other opportunities.  Free John Carter and free Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.

So, what would keep Disney from providing an early return of rights to the Burroughs estate?

Well, for starters, it would be a way of keeping an obvious bit of competition for Star Wars off the playing field at a time when Disney wants to dominate that playing field with Star Wars.   Disney can cynically say we paid for it, we’ll keep it to suppress any chance of it becoming a competitor.

Is Disney that cynical?

I honestly don’t know.  Iger and Disney no doubt view the John Carter IP as collateral damage — in other words, they didn’t intentionally torpedo it but first with the acquisition of Marvel, and secondly with the pursuit of Lucasfilm, it became an inconvenient impediment to the master plan.  Iger would argue that it died of its own accord — not through neglect.  “We gave it the promotion it deserved,” he said on May 8.  But does that mean that Iger would block the continued film legacy, purely to suppress competition?  Or would he and Disney “do the right thing” and let John Carter out of the dungeon that he’s locked in now?

Is it time to seek an early return of rights? Or at least seek some concessions from Disney to allow for the development of the new opportunity? However disappointing Disney’s handling of John Carter was (from conception to destruction), the fact is — there’s a hugely enhanced fan base out there now. Hundreds of times more people are aware of, and intrigued by, Barsoom than was the case a year ago. It’s crucial that those who continue to believe that this is a unique, special creation, continue to lobby not necessarily for a Disney sequel, but for a future for the legacy. That’s really what it’s all about.

And there is a future.

Just not with Disney.

38 comments

  • Julian . . . . I think if you’d do a little research you’d find that the through-line from ERB to Lucas is a lot more solid than you are giving credit for — as admitted by Lucas himself.

    First — Lucas is on record saying that he wanted Flash Gordon but couldn’t obtain the rights, then researched where FG came from and learned that Alex Raymond, creator of FG, had gotten his idea from ERB. That led Lucas to ERB. Here is the exact quote:

    “Originally, I wanted to make a Flash Gordon movie, with all the trimmings, but I couldn’t obtain all the rights. So I began researching and found where (Flash Gordon creator) Alex Raymond got his idea: The works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, especially his John Carter series of books.” ( Science Fiction Review 24, December 1977)

    There is also the quote that Abraham Sherman has put up . . . . .from the original synopsis to Star Wars approved by Lucas.

    The thing is … as an ERB fan, I never really felt that Star Wars was really “all that ERBish” . . . . .It definitely never made the “ERB Tuning Fork” go off in my brain. It reminded me of a pastiche that included some ERB, but a lot of other stuff. So if it wee purely based on looking at Star Wars and, by analysis, determining the influences — that would be one thing.

    But we have Lucas himself really citing ERB in a way that he doesn’t cite other influences . . . .

  • Julian,

    “In the grand tradition of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ ‘John Carter of Mars'” — George Lucas, May 1, 1975 synopsis of “Star Wars”

    “With ‘Avatar,’ I thought, Forget all these chick flicks and do a classic guys’ adventure movie, something in the Edgar Rice Burroughs mold, like John Carter of Mars—a soldier goes to Mars.” -James Cameron, New Yorker, October 26, 2009

    “I was introduced to Edgar Rice Burroughs at a very young age . . . That changed the course of my life . . . My fascination for Mars came from the fascination for his Mars.” -Leigh Brackett interview, April 16-18, 1976

  • I agree, in general terms, with the basic idea of this post. Iger had a solution to Disney’s inability to reach boys with franchises on the level of the “Princesses,” and so his solution was to headhunt and acquire them instead of developing them in-house, first with Marvel studios and now with Lucasfilm.

    This strategy is at odds with how Cook worked: in-house development of “boys” franchises like Tron or the tragically canceled David Fincher adaptation of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Together with the belief Andrew Stanton’s talent was an X-Factor that would connect with audiences and develop word of mouth in a way marketing can’t predict, to say nothing of the dumb marketing that is more attributed to incompetence instead of malice, and you get a project there was just no incentive to push all that strongly at the top.

    I think that’s a pretty good answer.

    I don’t know if I’d agree with this part, though:

    Look, I’m not dissing Lucas. God Bless him. But we know who the master was. And who’s the student.

    There’s an old quote that comes to mind here: success has a thousand fathers but failure is an orphan.

    At some point or another, I think I’ve seen every pre-1970 SF writer try to say they inspired Star Wars (Leigh Brackett’s “Burroughs-with a dose of horror” Mars books have a stronger claim than most, since she did write the screenplay for Empire Strikes Back!). Now that Avatar made major bank, everyone with a vaguely similar idea is piping up and taking credit for that, from H. Beam Little Fuzzy to Timothy Zahn’s “Manta’s Gift.”

    A solid case could be made some parts of Dune inspired Star Wars, but…the Barsoom books?

    (Someone, please say the Sith from Warlord of Mars. The Sith in Star Wars are evil sorcerers in black robes. The Sith in Warlord are a giant bug monster. Yeah…same thing.)

    There’s no doubt Lucas was familiar with JC like everybody else vaguely into SF was in 1975, sure. But to claim it directly inspired Star Wars is an unwarranted claim. It’s taking pop culture cache in an unearned way.

  • MCR wrote

    Iger as you point out is busy building up “pods” that can deliver films: Pixar, Marvel, Bruckheimer and now Lucasfilm. Yet you seem to be indicating that he spent a large majority of that time conspiring with his secret cirlce of Rich Ross and even George Lucas to destroy John Carter and bring it down. But if he was as busy doing all of this when did he have the time to come up with this master scheme to bring down John Carter? Didn’t he all of these other films and the people behind them to contend with? Why should one film become a problem that must be squashed, especially if his deal with Lucas went south? If the news stories are to be believed, talks started in 2011 and only now has the deal been announced.

    Master scheme to bring down John Carter? Did I write that? Come on. . . . read what I wrote again. Iger doesn’t contend with individual films. He deals with the big picture — as I said, and as you agreed. You call them “pods” ….yes . . . . My point was that John Carter never fit into that, it was an “outlier” from the beginning put in place by Cook, whom Iger fired. And the fact that Iger was negotiating with Lucas while JC was being rolled out just ended up being a contributing factor that nothing special ever got done to right he ship or promote the film well. But “master scheme to bring down John Carter?”……if ou can find anything I’ve ever written that goes in that direction, please show me.

    So now it’s Lucas’ fault. Do you really think that he-with all of the things he has going on with his company-would care about John Carter or seeing it as competition? This is bordering on “conspiracy theory” because you don’t know. For all we know Lucas had no idea that John Carter was even being made. Heck if that was the issue he should have also demanded that Marvel be dumped since both franchises go after the same audiences: kids and fanboys.

    Your gift for hyperbole is pretty amazing. George Lucas unaware that John Carter was even being made? Are you kidding.

    Do you think Lucas is not aware that that he is accused of having “borrowed” heavily from ERB?

    My point is that at this moment we don’t have any actual evidence as to what the dynamic was in the negotiation between Iger and Lucas. All anyone can do is surmise. I think it is reasonable to think that Iger would have had a stronger position with no JC franchise to leech from Star Wars. You disagree and that’s okay. My sense of it is that Lucas at this point must be very concerned that his personal legacy be protected — and giving Star Wars a strong and prominent new home, with three new films promised and a commitment from Disney that it will be a centerpiece — is all music to Lucas’s ears whereas pitching the idea that SW would be sharing the spotlight with a John Carter franchise — if I were Lucas that would make me a little squirmy. Would it be my legacy that is the spotlight? Or the original source material that I was inspired by?

    Anyway — that part of it is just speculation over beers kind of thing.

    The substantive part of this is that Iger was busy building the Disney distribution hub with acquired established franchises. That doesn’t mean there would never be a homegrown franchise . . . . . but clearly in Iger’s strategy that is not where he is looking for those mega franchises to come from. He’s looking for them to either come fully packaged like SW, or from established brands like Pixar and Dreamworks. That was his focus, and remains his focus, and John Carter didn’t fit into that.

  • MCR, I’m glad you brought up “Battleship” – because that movie was getting the heck promoted out of it since it’s “On Demand”. So is “Abe Lincoln: Ironic Vampire Killer-Dude”. Movies that “flop” at the box office often get new life on video these days of course. The difference that I see between those movies and “John Carter” was that their studios didn’t seem to be hamstringing them while they were still in the theaters, and they’re still being promoted on video.
    Look, I think Disney would have been perfectly happy to have “JC” be a hit. More money, after all. But I can envision them chomping at the bit to own the Star Wars universe, and I’m guessing the similarities between the two may have made them nervous. No conspiracy to kill “JC” is implied, but I refuse to believe a marketing giant such as Disney did not try and ram “JC” down our throats like they do with every other movie of theirs without some reason other than they weren’t confident in it. They’ve pushed worse movies on us in a hurricane of marketing. “JC” was abandoned by Disney and, let me reiterate, that does not imply some massive conspiracy, just disinterest. Disinterest because they had a much more lucrative fish on the line – heck, I even understand the position, as distasteful as it is to me.
    You seem to think that blind-fealty to Stanton is the reason why a lot of us like the movie you loathe. I think your blind-hatred of the movie and what Stanton did with it is blocking you from seeing what is obvious.
    I don’t think it is the only reason “JC” didn’t do as well at the box office, but come on – you can’t see that Disney negotiating to buy Lucasfilms might have influenced ANY way they promoted “John Carter”? Really?

  • I’ll ge to Michael’s question in a minute but first:

    “As for Carter whining, MCR… where? ”

    I guess you must have missed all of the “I want my cave of gold” dialogue. “I want my cave of gold.” “I have a cave of gold, that’s real.” Even Dejah Thoris’ “I’m trying to get you back to your cave of gold.” If that’s not whining… As for Vader, clearly you’ve never seen the original trilogy and only the prequels. Yes Anakin whined a lot there but not in the originals. But don’t believe me. I’m just a sad purist. Which is better than being a sad Stantonite like you.

    OK done with that.

    Yes Michael I don’t see a connection to this. Iger as you point out is busy building up “pods” that can deliver films: Pixar, Marvel, Bruckheimer and now Lucasfilm. Yet you seem to be indicating that he spent a large majority of that time conspiring with his secret cirlce of Rich Ross and even George Lucas to destroy John Carter and bring it down. But if he was as busy doing all of this when did he have the time to come up with this master scheme to bring down John Carter? Didn’t he all of these other films and the people behind them to contend with? Why should one film become a problem that must be squashed, especially if his deal with Lucas went south? If the news stories are to be believed, talks started in 2011 and only now has the deal been announced. What if it hadn’t happened?

    Meanwhile, as he was implementing this strategy, he had an “old school” studio head in Dick Cook who was stubbornly trying to do what studio heads have traditionally done, which is create successful movies and market them well and from that, have franchises develop. That was out of synch with what Iger wanted the focus to be. John Carter came about under Cook’s regime and within Cook’s mentality which was at odds with Iger’s vision and thus neither John Carter nor Cook was a good fit for Iger’s vision. He fired Cook and replaced him with someone who “got” his vision, Rich Ross. Ross would have KO’d John Carter immediately but for the reasons you mentioned — the “appease Pixar” factor — and so it was allowed to continue but meanwhile Iger had a) put his man Ross in the studio chief position and Ross understood the role the way Iger wanted him to and b) was hot in pursuit of Marvel as a continuation of his vision — the vision that started with the acquisition of Pixar and which also included assimilating Jerry Bruckheimer Productions and Dreamworks into the Disney machine.

    Yes Ross could have pulled the plug as he did on The Lone Ranger, a film that was set to go with a director, cast and a big name producer. Also if Iger has this mindset what about OZ: The Great and Powerful? It was allowed to go forward and with a large budget. He didn’t stop them from going forward which he should have if your theory about him just building up brands is accurate.

    It is absolutely reasonable to think that Lucas’s position vis a vis the deal might have been affected by the prospect of sharing focus and resources with a successful and burgeoning John Carter franchise. Lucas would want Star Wars to be the “alpha” wherever he dumped it, and a successful JC franchise would threaten that.

    So now it’s Lucas’ fault. Do you really think that he-with all of the things he has going on with his company-would care about John Carter or seeing it as competition? This is bordering on “conspiracy theory” because you don’t know. For all we know Lucas had no idea that John Carter was even being made. Heck if that was the issue he should have also demanded that Marvel be dumped since both franchises go after the same audiences: kids and fanboys. Heck he should have had Fox say no to Cameron when he pitched Avatar since they released the earlier Star Wars films. Or told Paramount when he sold the first Indiana Jones film to stop making Star Trek since that is competition. So no I don’t buy that sorry.

    The point as I see it this: Disney failed with the marketing. Yes Iger deserves the blame for that because he hired Ross who hired MT Carney and she botched her job. Ross in his job as the day to day Chairman of Disney’s motion picture group failed in standing up to Stanton to get the budget down, or even delaying the project until that could be accomplished. And Stanton failed to deliver a film that was cost efficient and won over a mass audience. This had nothing to do with Star Wars or Iger’s destruction of Disney. Yes he is destroying Disney but through his own incompetence and his “let’s just buy this” mentality. All the rest of this, this theorizing its just that-a theory. Just like the one where ERB had real evidence of life on Mars 🙂

  • Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm seems to explain a lot about Disney’s attitude to JOHN CARTER. Personally, I could not support a sequel because it was painfully obvious that ti was a lost cause. Yes, Disney should put the ERB properties in turn around and let another studio consider investing in a future for ERB properties in entertainment media. It’s pointless for them to sit on the properties if they have no intention of exploiting them.

  • Yes I agree that the marketing was inept and poorly handled but I just have a hard time seeing what benefit it would have given Iger to let John Carter fail, especially since it was a “passion” project for one of the senior staff of Pixar. Would he be that willing to antagonize one group just to secure another? Or does 250 million mean nothing to him?

    MCR are you really saying you can’t see any connection at all? Or are you just being argumentative? Let me state clearly, without exaggeration, what I see to the the connection — no more, no less.

    Iger’s job is to set a course for the company — a vision and strategy — and to do the “big picture” things that lead to the successful implementation of that strategy. Broadly speaking, his strategy was to evolve Disney as a distribution/marketing hub, a sort of “franchise central” which could take existing franchises and creative brands and, through its global reach and engagement in every platform/revenue stream imaginable, optimize the results with minimum risk. This doesn’t mean that there are no new movies . . . . but the ones that matter emanate from the “brand” producers (Bruckheimer, Spielberg) or entities (Pixar, Marvel). This strategy had been in place at least since the acquisition of Pixar.

    Meanwhile, as he was implementing this strategy, he had an “old school” studio head in Dick Cook who was stubbornly trying to do what studio heads have traditionally done, which is create successful movies and market them well and from that, have franchises develop. That was out of synch with what Iger wanted the focus to be. John Carter came about under Cook’s regime and within Cook’s mentality which was at odds with Iger’s vision and thus neither John Carter nor Cook was a good fit for Iger’s vision. He fired Cook and replaced him with someone who “got” his vision, Rich Ross. Ross would have KO’d John Carter immediately but for the reasons you mentioned — the “appease Pixar” factor — and so it was allowed to continue but meanwhile Iger had a) put his man Ross in the studio chief position and Ross understood the role the way Iger wanted him to and b) was hot in pursuit of Marvel as a continuation of his vision — the vision that started with the acquisition of Pixar and which also included assimilating Jerry Bruckheimer Productions and Dreamworks into the Disney machine.

    John Carter was an outlier from the beginning, never really fitting in. It was treated like one of the low-budget Disney produced films (Muppets, etc) and the only diff was that it actually had a whopping budget. What never, ever happened, was for the budget to the film to command the kind of executive focus that one would expect for a film with that much money in it. In other words, it was consigned to the “non-special” group even though its budget screamed out for it to get “tentpole” treatment.

    So the seeds for what happened were clearly there long before the Lucasfilms/Star Wars episode came about. But . . . .even with John Carter not getting the “tentpole” treatment in terms of executive focus, etc, it’s still likely that as the release drew near there would have been a more honest effort to push it out there with a decent promotional campaign. I mean . . . Disney’s a big ecosystem, money was going to be spent, and certainly Iger and Ross weren’t secretly plotting to destroy John Carter. But they also weren’t doing anything special to save it. They weren’t communicating that it was a “must win”; they weren’t allocating their top brains to it with a mandate to figure it out — there was no “failure is not an option” culture at all associated with it.

    Then, from at least May 2011, Iger had Star Trek/Lucasfilms in his sites. Given everything above, this was just one more reason to not do anything special to try and save John Carter. It is absolutely reasonable to think that Lucas’s position vis a vis the deal might have been affected by the prospect of sharing focus and resources with a successful and burgeoning John Carter franchise. Lucas would want Star Wars to be the “alpha” wherever he dumped it, and a successful JC franchise would threaten that.

    So I don’t have any doubt whatsoever that by the time JC was in the final stage of promotion, from Iger’s perspective the “greater good” as far as Disney was concerned would be served by John Carter disappearing from view. Does that mean he secretly took steps to make it happen that way? No, he didn’t have to. All the piece were already in place. Ross was at the helm; no special cross-promotions or merchandising were happening; the press was already savaging it for the “how stupid to spend $250m on a title like this” aspect of it (which Disney never countered — they left Stanton and Lindsey Collins to defend themselves on it). . .. .

    So that’s the connection as I see it.

    One other thing — I do think that the early rush to announce “colossal flop” status for John Carter was given a boost by the fact that this would just emphatically make clear that there would be no John Carter franchise — no how, no way — and this was helpful to the negotiations with Lucas. Not essential, maybe, but helpful. It just made for a nice, clean, line-in-the-sand point of demarcation. John Carter is the biggest flop in cinema history and there is no way whatsoever that Disney will make a sequel and you, Mr. Lucas, can be sure of that now that we’e announced the scope of the calamity.

    Anyway, that’s how I see it at this point. I’m talking to some people and if I learn anything that changes the view I’ll let you know.

    My question to you, MCR, is — what part of the foregoing doesn’t make sense, and why? Let me know as that will help me when I talk to people.

  • I have to give MCR a pass for the obvious reason: he won’t be happy until we time trip back 1912 and have Burroughs direct the film. Sadly he’ll tweak it too and then MCR will commit suicide for Burroughs’ lacking faith in his original story.
    As for Carter whining, MCR… where? Yeah, we see the flashbacks but nowhere is he whining over them. In fact his only emotional drawback is Carter wanting to keep emotional distance between him and the all-too-clear conflict between Zodanga and Hellium. He’s scarred by war and death and wants nothing but his riches and distance from others. His coming around is a strong conviction. MCR is a sad purist who wants to freeze time and pretend there’s an audience big enough to support his purist enthusiasm. I’m a little sympathetic, but I’m also remarkably pleased with the first film that made such a great effort to pay homage to original tale and retain it’s heart while also altering the window dressing without insulting the source. As far as pulp tale adaptations go, this is the FIRST one I’ve liked.
    Vader? Whine fest. In practically every word spoken it’s a whine fest. When he’s not whining he’s too cocksure of himself, feeling superior to everyone because of his talent and then whining when others point out his arrogance and flamboyance is a crutch. I guess the point was that he was always flawed, over idealistic and that’s what turned him. However, that doesn’t change his forever whining tone.

  • Bob, believe me I don’t have a beef against you either. Or anyone here, but go back and read the rest of the comments made by the two posters you and I are talking about. How should I have responded to them, especially the one talking about media and mind control who made it personal in his response? How should I have responded since-and this was debated before-it seems OK for them to insult or make it personal as long as their Pro-Stanton and this movie but not OK for those who aren’t?

    “Nobody said it was a master plan. It was a just another piece of the puzzle that these negotiations were going on at the same time and the head of Disney’s studio decides to just authorize the most basic and totally inept marketing campaign in recent history for a expensive tent pole movie. And granted, your response was not your more standard A. Stanton’s ego did this……… John Carter was …… But your dander was up because someone was saying that something else could be to blame other than Stanton.”

    If my dander was up it was because people just can’t accept the fact that a movie fails, that there is no grand plan. I mean if that’s the case then why aren’t there people out there coming up with theories why Battleship failed? Or Dark Shadows, Mirror Mirror, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Total Recall or any of the other films that failed at the box office recently? Yes I agree that the marketing was inept and poorly handled but I just have a hard time seeing what benefit it would have given Iger to let John Carter fail, especially since it was a “passion” project for one of the senior staff of Pixar. Would he be that willing to antagonize one group just to secure another? Or does 250 million mean nothing to him?

    “I don’t know who Richard Hoagland is but I’m guessing it ain’t good.”

    This might help http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_C._Hoagland. Hoagland went on a radio show called Coast to Coast which seems to specialize in guests with unique viewpoints (or crackpot theories as some people might call them) and said that the reason John Carter of Mars failed was because of some vast conspiracy to cover up the truth which was that Edgar Rice Burroughs himself had knowledge about life on Mars and that Andrew Stanton had this same information. The show itself is on Youtube and its worth it for a few laughs.

  • MCR you are like the teflon Don, the name they gave to John Gotti because no charges were ever able to stick against him. I have no beef with you. And I don’t want to argue this ad infinitum.

    “questioned the theory that it was some master plan by Iger not to mess up his deal with Lucasfilm by letting John Carter fail at the box office.”

    Nobody said it was a master plan. It was a just another piece of the puzzle that these negotiations were going on at the same time and the head of Disney’s studio decides to just authorize the most basic and totally inept marketing campaign in recent history for a expensive tent pole movie. And granted, your response was not your more standard A. Stanton’s ego did this……… John Carter was …… But your dander was up because someone was saying that something else could be to blame other than Stanton.

    “question put forth was whether or not you felt that Stanton’s John Carter ever became ERB’s John Carter”

    It was a movie centric question and it was a TWO part question. But since the first part of the question did invoke ERB, in my personal answer, I twice went out of my way to qualify it as being totally superficial, just visually, viscerally as an isolated moment in the film, free from the story narrative, emotional baggage and admitted that he went back to not being ERB’s JC right after the scene.

    The second part was straight up about when the character transition to JCOM in the movie took place. Sorry, and I love the books just like you and Michael, but the book verse had no relevancy to answering that question. But in responding to my criticism, you just totaly ingnore that part of it.

    “So its OK for Tolkien fans to complain but not ERB fans? Is that it?”

    As for the Tolkien guy, you still don’t see that you just misinterpted what he said. You change the facts to suite your personal agenda. His Tolkien comment was not a defense, and he was not saying, no matter what he went on to say about Star Wars or A. Stanton, that it was okay for Tolkien purists to criticise those movies, but not you in regards to the “changes” in DJC. To quote, “And don’t bring up the purity of Lord of the Rings because I have *otherwise reasonable friends* who ripped that trilogy a new one for not being close enough to events in the books.” He was not complaining about you and giving the Tolkien purists a pass.

    “But it seems inconcievable to the defenders of this film that a film version could be more faithful than what Stanton delivered”

    Nobody is saying that here. The one who is just seeing things in black or white is you. I’m having this discussion with you, yet you know I am on the record for loathing that he spoiled the reveal of the Therns in Gods of Mars by introducing them in this movie and adding all this extra shape shifting, we are going to conquer Earth next clap trap.

    “Marketing is everything…you clearly know nothing about marketing…these people study mind manipulation to a point of mind control…and most of the mindless masses are influenced quickly and easily!”

    “OK how many sessions have you had with Xenu? Or are you the Manchurian Candidate? And you people think I’m nuts. Mind manipulation and mind control? Maybe you should get together with Richard Hoagland.”

    Okay you are both using hyperbole, but he was trying to make a point about the sophistication of modern marketing practices and the effects of social media. That
    with these with these new marketing techniques that audiences and consumers are being maninpulated more than they know. Maybe a little more Minority Report than reality, at the moment, but he is not wrong.

    You on the other hand, in one paragraph, ask him if he is part of a cult, has been brainwashed by the North Koreans, that he is nuts and he should be in cahoots Richard Hoagland. I don’t know who Richard Hoagland is but I’m guessing it ain’t good.

    I’m not attacking you, I’m trying to help you out a little. Your very good salient points get lost in the sauce when you get so angry that you missread things, insult people or bring in arguments that aren’t about what is being discussed.

  • “Marketing is everything…you clearly know nothing about marketing…these people study mind manipulation to a point of mind control…and most of the mindless masses are influenced quickly and easily!”

    OK how many sessions have you had with Xenu? Or are you the Manchurian Candidate? And you people think I’m nuts. Mind manipulation and mind control? Maybe you should get together with Richard Hoagland.

    Moving on…
    To Barsoom Bob:

    Sorry if I misread your comment. It just seemed you were upset that Michael responded to me first. I understand that this might seem like hijacking but let me point this out. My actual first comment here said nothing about how Stanton handled this film’s adaptation. I did mention him as one of several people who I felt were responsible for this film’s failure and questioned the theory that it was some master plan by Iger not to mess up his deal with Lucasfilm by letting John Carter fail at the box office. Here it is to prove that:

    “So is this the new conspiracry theory? That Iger masterminded John Carter’s failure because he knew that he was going to get Star Wars? I don’t like Iger, I think he’s run Disney into the ground but was he all that convinced Lucasfilm would go with his deal that he was willing to sacrifice John Carter? I also don’t buy the idea that it would have rocked the deal with Lucas to point out that ERB inspired Star Wars. Lucas himself admitted Star Wars was influenced by John Carter of Mars so I don’t see it. I mean James Cameron had no problem having Fox-which released the earlier SW films-release his own SW/ERB inspired film, there was no competition there so I doubt it. If anything maybe some money would have been saved by having ILM, now part of the deal, do the FX since it would be in house and possibly at a reduced cost compared to outsourcing it to other effects houses.

    I’m not defending Iger but I just don’t think this was the only reason John Carter failed at the box office. Others, like MT Carney, Rich Ross and Andrew Stanton, are just as responsible, even more so.”

    As far as the other thread you mentioned, the question put forth was whether or not you felt that Stanton’s John Carter ever became ERB’s John Carter. To quote from the book I feel can be used to prove a point or to back up your defense. The fact that Michael quoted from it tells me he loves the book and was willing to use it to back up his defense.

    In regards to the guy using the Tolkien defense, first after he spent most of it bashing Star Wars (and yes I’m a huge fan of the original trilogy) with his idea of “Whiny Vader” and how Stanton made a better film by sticking the source, well what did you expect?

    I understand yes a movie cannot be a 100 percent faithful film version and I never said I wanted one. But it seems inconcievable to the defenders of this film that a film version could me more faithful than what Stanton delivered and that if anyone does criticize or bash this film their purists who can’t stand any change when no one I know has said they wanted a complete word for word adaptation.

    I doubt this will explain everything or change the minds of those with mental mind control abilties-oh brother-or the Stanton defenders but there it is.

  • The more money they spend on other properties than Marvel (another 4 billion buy) and Star Wars (all that in a short time span), the less they have to support their tentpoles acquisitions. The anomaly here is The Lone Ranger, approved on a 200M+ budget also. The thing is, I have a hard time seeing this property as successful out of the United States. The characters are unknown in Europe as far as I know. We’ll see.

    Is Disney slowly killing his movie division to focus on Marvel and Star Wars? It’s incredibly short-sighted but it’s not unheard of: if Tangled hadn’t been successful, it would have closed this particular CG division (that has now produced Wreck-It Ralph). If John Carter had been successful, no one would have understand why Iger wouldn’t order a sequel (as there were rumors of a sequel to Tron Legacy that still hasn’t been greenlighted). The risk is now to not have not enough budget to accomodate all properties (Marvel, Pixar, the Muppets, and now Star Wars). Could it be in this line of thinking?

  • All I can say is WTF! This can go six ways to Sunday.

    Did Iger really blow off marketing efforts on John Carter because he thought JC movies would somehow damage his Star Wars deal? Why can’t both JC and SW movies co-exist and both be profitable franchises? They could have movies on alternating summers. Isn’t that why all these studios keep cranking out so many super hero and sci-fi movies and sequels? They think audiences want more of the same type of material? Is Disney so lazy now that they just want to spend billions to buy the sure thing and not develop anything new on their own? They want somebody else to take the all the initial risk?

    This deal further cements the image that Disney is just a hollow shell of a parent company and its subsidiaries have all the creativity and name brand power. That’s going to be a mgmt problem for Disney as time goes by. Gotta hand it to Iger on this one though. If Lucas is retiring and taking a back seat on SW 7, 8 & 9, then Iger gets the lucrative franchise he wants without the 800 lb gorilla and monster egos he got with other studio acquisitions.

    Am I going to see a Disney*Lucasfilm logo on SW 7? Puke. I hate that damn castle. Guess I won’t get to hear the 20th Century Fox theme anymore that I’m used to hearing at the beginning of SW films. Mickey should have the red light saber in the picture on this post. Dirty li’l bastard rat.

  • MCR I wasn’t pissed off or in any way contradicting your right to your opinion. I respect you for your passion. But, it is a safe bet that you aren’t going to change your opinion anytime soon, was I wrong, nor should you have to for yourself. A big difference though is, we do not beat you over the head saying you have to like the movie, but anytime anybody mentions just about anything, you have to rant at us with your anger at Andrew Stanton and the “changes”. Am I making that up ? There is an archive some where, of all these discussions we have here, and it is pretty much the same thing, very emphatically stated, using copious, sarcastic, derogatory remarks. My conversation was really to Michael that he is starting to get Stockholm Syndrome from taking you seriously, which I do also, and is allowing you to hijack discussions about one thing and turn it into your personal diatribe.

    Example : We are currently in a thread about the Disney acquisition of LucasFilms, Star Wars ….
    I am trying to keep the conversation on point, with the only forward looking aspect of the situation, who hold the rights, so that some one else might get the chance to make a better adaptation of the Burrough’s material. You give in to your blind anger, that anybody could think that it was any one else’s fault except Stanton and have to turn it into a personal insult to me ? “Oh, What’s a matter Bob, you mad cause he skipped your question.”

    Look at this closely, who is really trying to look forward to what the future holds for new, better unDisney-fied versions of the material and who is saying ” Well it’s everybodys fault but you know it is mostly Stanton’s fault…Mopey……Didn’t follow the book…”

    Example The guy you just eviserated was saying that he is tired of hearing all these purist getting outraged over it not being exactly like the book. He was INCLUDING the Tolkien guy who gave him a long lecture about how the movie wasn’t like the books. Again, in your anger you misunderstand him and make fun of him saying, “Oh, but it’s okay for the Tolkein-ists to complain about the movie” That was not what he was saying my friend.

    The book is still the great book it always has been, and always will be, to anyone who wants to open their mind to it. My liking this version of the movie doesn’t diminsh the book. I was really liking that discussion that I quoted before, about when the movie JC turned into ERB’s JC and when, within the movie, he became John Carter of Mars. Your particular pet peeve wasn’t really appropriate to that conversation, it wasn’t about differences between the books and the movie. Your comments set off the old conversation, once again, and the original fun conversation got derailed. In a thread that Michael started asking about the character developement within the context of the movie, he ends up dreamily quoting long passages from the book, in a thread that was about what went on in the movie. That is what I am trying to say, without any malice or personal insult to you.

  • MCR…you wanna talk about wining…well you sure lead by example…and BTW, go look up the word “conspiracy” cause you clearly don’t know what it means…

    In any case there are much worse movies which have had box office success…like Hunger Games…what an AWFUL movie…my wife and I got done watching it and I said to her…”John Carter blew this away”..and she agreed…and she was never a ERB fan much less a JC fan…in fact her introduction was Stanton’s JC.

    Marketing is everything…you clearly know nothing about marketing…these people study mind manipulation to a point of mind control…and most of the mindless masses are influenced quickly and easily! People like these studio’s wrote the book on getting people to there movies…and it doesn’t take a master piece to make money and be successful.

    I can think of MANY ways I could market this movie ten times better than Disney did!!!! For whatever reason they didn’t even try!!!!

    So bark as loud as you want…it doesn’t make it true just cause you say it louder than everyone else!

  • “I grow tired of these strict purists who ignore ALL of Hollywood and film making history. Do us all a favor and go make THAT film will you? Please? I’m begging here, because reading one tired, unimaginative screed after another regarding the purity of form even I’ve had enough. And don’t bring up the purity of Lord of the Rings because I have otherwise reasonable friends who ripped that trilogy a new one for not being close enough to events in the books.”

    So its OK for Tolkien fans to complain but not ERB fans? Is that it? Yeah I also grow tired of Hollywood’s history of butchering an author’s work in the name of improving it and then delivering a mess. Sorry it upsets you but I get the feeling you could care less.

    Also whiny Vader? You have a problem with that but not Whiny Carter?

    And the funniest quote of the day:
    “Stanton was not only more daring but he stuck with the source.”

    Really? How was he daring? By having a studio bend over for him and his every whim? And if you think he stuck with the source, cleary you’ve never read it.

  • I’m not the biggest Star Wars enthusiast. Darth Vader as whining gifted punk? What a let down. The writing and story ideas are and always have been a mixed bag. The first and second, New Hope and Empire are still the best of the lot but all the space sequences of fighters, star destroyers, the Death star…..MAN! those had me sawing logs.

    Yeah — I didn’t want to hammer on Star Wars, but I still recall going to see the first SW on opening day at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. There was great buzz. This was suppose to be “the one” …. remember in those days, we long-suffering sci-fi addicts didn’t have very many movies that came close to being satisfying int he way the great books were. And Star Wars was being touted as capturing a magic melange of Burroughs, Heinlein, etc…..

    Well, I went, I saw, and I came away unimpressed. Given all the wonderful stuff that I had read and which was already populating my head, Star Wars was just … meh …..and it never got above “meh” for me. It was like a soup that had plenty of interesting ingredients but ultimately just didn’t excite my “taste buds”.

    Anyway . . . that’s not really such a major point in this discourse, but ….. I have no particular love for Star Wars. Don’t hate it, just never got over that first feeling of being let down.

  • I grow tired of these strict purists who ignore ALL of Hollywood and film making history. Do us all a favor and go make THAT film will you? Please? I’m begging here, because reading one tired, unimaginative screed after another regarding the purity of form even I’ve had enough. And don’t bring up the purity of Lord of the Rings because I have otherwise reasonable friends who ripped that trilogy a new one for not being close enough to events in the books.
    Despite the incessant whining in the comments this is a good article and all indications revealed seem to fit with the debacle as it unfolded.
    Hopefully there will eventually be sequel or a new film to support further films.
    I’m not the biggest Star Wars enthusiast. Darth Vader as whining gifted punk? What a let down. The writing and story ideas are and always have been a mixed bag. The first and second, New Hope and Empire are still the best of the lot but all the space sequences of fighters, star destroyers, the Death star…..MAN! those had me sawing logs. Those merit some nostalgic revisits bit the illogical nature of all those legions of likeminded “aliens”, boring rebellion references and Nazi supported fascism was remarkably unoriginal. Both the original Therns and even those featured in JC are a lot more original and scary without the ramped up costuming requirement to render Siths spooky.
    JC is hands down, a solid improvement over Star Wars. Lucas isa product of low budgets and big risks but still hollywood through and through. Stanton was not only more daring but he stuck with the source.

  • Indirectly, maybe yes. It certainly speaks to the fact that Disney put no sustained effort into any merchandising of anything having to do with John Carter, starting with the movie itself and including everything else.

  • Could this be the reason the book, THE ART OF JOHN CARTER, mysteriously disappeared from Amazon’s and other’s inventories, leaving many pre orders unfilled?

  • “You seemed to have skipped over my question to have your debate with MCR”

    Well jeez Bob is that why you sound pissed? He skipped over you to respond to my post?

    I’m sorry if I keep placing the blame on Darth Stanton but let’s be honest here: Even with all of his bad decisions, Iger didn’t push the film’s budget to 250 million. Or argue with the marketing department or hold to some idea to make the marketing vague. Or give the finger to the small but loyal band of ERB fans out there.

    Now all of them deserve the blame: Iger for his arrogant destruction of Disney and what Walt stood for and his creativity. Rich Ross for his stupidity in hiring people who couldn’t do their jobs right and for not doing what he should have done which was push back against Stanton over the budget and a lot of other things. MT Carney for being clumsy and making bad choices when it came to marketing. Dick Cook for not daring to question that Stanton may not have been the right person to direct considering his lack of live action experience or fear of alienating Emperor Lassiter. There’s a lot of blame to go around. As an ERB Fan though, its the film that mattered most to me. The marketing mishaps, the lack of intelligence in Iger and Ross’ leadership, none of that matter to me. It was the film that failed and who should I blame for that? Because Robert Iger didn’t write the script or direct this film.

    To quote what Michael said “there is some kind of a positive path forward in all this.” There is, which is that we will be spared another debacle involving Disney, Stanton or Iger. If we have to wait until 2015 to see John Carter of Mars freed from Disney and put in the hands of those who know what they are doing then so be it. That’s the thing to look forward to, that John Carter will live. And not mope about it.

  • Hi Bob . . . sorry — I planned to get to your query. In fact I was on the phone for a while with Jim Sullos of ERB Inc. He’s obviously watching this situation very closely and isn’t likely to say anything publicly while he analyzes it. As to the rights, as has been established elsewhere — Disney has “all the rights to everything” until 2015, three years after the release. What’s particularly scary is the possibility that they might have some mechanism to extend those rights even without launching a sequel — that part I just don’t know. It would require close reading of the actual contract to see if there are any loopholes allowing for extension without a sequel. My main thought on that is that any extension of those rights would be transparent as a cynical ploy to keep JC off the market and keep Star Wars as the unchallenged space opera franchise as Disney goes into its three picture deal starting with a release in 2015. I know someone somewhere (here or on Facebook) was arguing that with Lucasfilms and Star Wars as a component to the Disney machine, maybe they would become a leader in sci-fi and JC could make a comeback with them because of it. There is a certain logic to that …. but a frightening one, as it could just mean Disney tying up the property for more years just so they could figure out whether they might do that. All the while, the fan base that has been generated by the first film atrophies, and ERB Inc. can’t even stimulate small things (books, video games, etc) because Disney holds the rights to all those things and is doing nothing but sit on them.

    I do think there is some kind of a positive path forward in all this — it just hasn’t exactly revealed itself to me yet. Still thinking’ hard on it.

  • Michael, I know you like to go toe to toe with MCR but it is always going to be the same thing. He can not see anything except that it was A. Stanton’s fault because he deviated from the book. Nothing is ever going to change that, but you are being sucked in by it. You started an interesting topic about when the movie John Carter became ERB’s JC and when he became John Carter of Mars WITHIN THE MOVIE.
    and you end up waxing poetic about ERB’s writing, way off topic for that thread. God Bless ERB’s writing, it is the reason most of us are here at this site, it was a pivotal series of books for me to read as a young man, but the books are the books and the movie is a movie adaptation.

    You seemed to have skipped over my question to have your debate with MCR, I am very curious for any insight you might have about how the rights to the books will be handled in all this. I know my sentence construction was a little woozy on that query, I know that ERB doesn’t hold the rights to Spiderman. I just remember reading that one of the reasons why Amazing Spiderman was pushed into production was some kind of clause that if they didn’t make a film with the character by a certain date, the rights reverted back to original holder. I was just wondring if there was something similar situation with the John Carter Books.

  • MCR it’s one thing to mention that ERB is the source for John Carter. Disney mentioned it in every formulaic description of the movie — you saw it pasted into the end of just about every studio release of information. But there’s a big difference between acknowledging a credit and making it a marketing point. I absolutely believe that from Iger’s perspective — a perspective which places day to day operations far below his glorified CEO level strategic pursuits — it would have been “inconvenient” to be trumpeting (not mentioning, trumpeting) the heritage of John Carter.

    It may have never even been an issue in the sense that MT Carney and her minions weren’t inclined to go that way in the first place. She had her own ideas. But I think it’s really clear that this would have created a conflict of interest in aggressively pursuing a “Heritage” promotions strategy.

    Iger has pretty much defined himself as Acquirer in Chief and he would argue that he has left a tremendous mark — and a positive one — on Disney through his strategic acquisitions. There can be no doubt that John Carter didn’t fit into that strategy. We knew all that before . . . . but the acquisition of Lucasfilm and in particular the commitment to make three more Star Wars movies (which would have been a key element in the deal) was at odds with John Carter being anything other than a one shot deal.

    You know I’ve been very careful not to jump on a conspiracy theory bandwagon. But I had heard this was out there — I just didn’t have good enough sourcing on it to run with it. This is not wild conspiracy theorizing — this is just acknowledging how Iger’s vision was not only generally in conflict with nurturing a home-grown franchise . . . there was an active strategic acquisition project under way which conflicted with John Carter.

  • So is this the new conspiracry theory? That Iger masterminded John Carter’s failure because he knew that he was going to get Star Wars? I don’t like Iger, I think he’s run Disney into the ground but was he all that convinced Lucasfilm would go with his deal that he was willing to sacrifice John Carter? I also don’t buy the idea that it would have rocked the deal with Lucas to point out that ERB inspired Star Wars. Lucas himself admitted Star Wars was influenced by John Carter of Mars so I don’t see it. I mean James Cameron had no problem having Fox-which released the earlier SW films-release his own SW/ERB inspired film, there was no competition there so I doubt it. If anything maybe some money would have been saved by having ILM, now part of the deal, do the FX since it would be in house and possibly at a reduced cost compared to outsourcing it to other effects houses.

    I’m not defending Iger but I just don’t think this was the only reason John Carter failed at the box office. Others, like MT Carney, Rich Ross and Andrew Stanton, are just as responsible, even more so.

  • Michael, legally how much control over the future rights to the stories does Disney have ? Is it a time thing, like Spiderman, where they have to make a film or else the rights revert back to ERB inc. or can they keep renewing the rights if they want to avoid any competitive product in the marketplace? Timeline wise, how do you think that will play out?

  • It must have been mere minutes after I first read about Disney buying Lucasfilm earlier today that I began wondering if & how this deal affected JOHN CARTER.

    This deal seems to fit a lot of the whys regarding Disney execs handling of JOHN CARTER. It’s frustrating and highly disappointing to see that Disney execs very likely didn’t simply botch presenting JOHN CARTER but scuttled the movie knowing they had STAR WARS in the pipeline.

    It also explains the curious handling of ERB’s Barsoom novels by Disney’s publishing arm. Apparently the deal Disney struck with ERB Inc. included the rights to publish the Barsoom novels . And Disney did publish them, however you wouldn’t know they had if you weren’t specifically looking for the books. Disney Editions released three volumes that collected all the Barsoom books, but I never saw them in bookstores. It wasn’t until I stumbled across an Amazon entry when looking for deals on the Ballantine/Del Rey releases that I discovered the Disney releases.

  • On one side I’m happy to see Star Wars escape the now detrimental clutches of its creator (perhaps I will see now real remastered version of the original movies untouched), on the other side it seems to mean certain death to those John Carter sequels.

    But, Michael, I won’t necessarily put aside Andrew Stanton out of the equation. Let’s not forget he traded Finding Nemo 2 for an endisclosed live-action movie later. It could still be John Carter 2. But it’s true that Pixar’s influence on Disney as a whole took another blow with the acquisition of THE boy’s franchise. But it’s also true, I think, that Andrew Stanton appears to me very resilient (no to say stubborn!).

    I still don’t see any other studio take a chance with John Carter 2, which for good but more likely bad reasons, is still perceived, not only as a failure, but as one of the greatest failures of all time. I can’t say I’m optimistic for the following, be it sequel or reboot.

  • Shoumabane ….. keep pounding on that! You’re right. The kibitzers will kibitz … but this should motivate people to vote and keep building the legacy. Thanks for reminding everyone of this.

  • Just like to remind everyone that this is out of our control and please focus on things we can influence like voting for the People’s Choice Awards. Regardless if Disney makes the next John Carter movie or not we should focus on increasing awareness and popularity of the film so hopefully another studio will roll the dice on John Carter. Now this is even more important and can be a game changer for our cause. Instead of crying about how Disney bought Lucasfilms and won’t make another JC please take that time and vote. This is such a great opportunity we have to erase the flop label and increase the fanbase!

    Voting is unlimited, write-in these nominees for the following categories and hit cast votes for each category. and you can just copy and paste over and over again to make voting extremely quick!

    Favorite Movie: ‘Other’ = John Carter
    Favorite Movie Actor ‘Other’ = Taylor Kitsch
    Favorite Movie Actress ‘Other’ = Lynn Collins
    Favorite Action Movie ‘Other’ = John Carter

    Favorite Action Movie Star ‘Other’ – Taylor Kitsch
    Favorite Face of Heroism Presented by Puffs ‘Other’ = Lynn Collins
    Favorite Movie Franchise ‘Other’ = John Carter
    Favorite Movie Superhero = Taylor Kitsch/John Carter
    Favorite On-Screen Chemistry ‘Other’ = Taylor Kitsch/Lynn Collins John Carter
    Favorite Movie Fan Following ‘Other’ = Back To Barsoomians, Barsoomians, etc.

  • Bob …… BINGO. Yep. This was definitely in Iger’s sites as JC was being promoted. JC was a threat to THE PLAN. Gotta snuff it out.

  • Hey Armando, it’s a long long story and I’ve written a book about it! But the short version is . . . . Iger has been busy acquiring whole stables of talent — Pixar, Marvel, now Lucasfilm — and JC was never a good fit. He never believed in it . . . they treated it like Andrew Stanton and Pixar’s vanity project. They gave them the money to make it, but never seriously tried to sell it.

  • So THIS is the rat I’ve been smelling…
    Could this be why we never got a proper “legacy” trailer from Disney itself? Did they worry that pointing out that Star Wars owed Burroughs big time might upset the apple cart on the deal with Lucas? I am most certainly not blaming Lucas himself for this. But this is the missing piece in the puzzle as far as I’m concerned: why Disney – a marketing juggernaut – was so blatantly disinterested in “John Carter”.

  • Good work, DS! To Disney, give it up or turn it loose. John Carter Unchained it must be. Too big to succeed…

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