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Following is reposted from the public wall of the Back to Barsoom Facebook Group. It’s a conversation that’s going on about the opening scene of John Carter that ended up in the movie, and the deleted, longer version that didn’t — as well as the whole notion of whether to start the movie with a scene on Barsoom, thus introducing Barsoom that way — or whether Burroughs had it right in having the reader learn about Barsoom through John Carter’s eyes.
I was the instigator but its the responses that have been interesting — some of them a bit surprising, at least to me. What prompted me to ask the question was that when I view the deleted scene, my sense of it is that if the story has to begin on Barsoom (I would prefer it didn’t), to me at least it feels pretty clear that this scene — which would be followed by much of the Barsoom sandstorm battle and Thern appearance that is now the first scene — lays a much better foundation and would have diminished the “it’s sooooo confusing” complaints, and would have better caused audiences and critics to engage. But as you’ll see . . . it appears I’m in the minority in having that view.
Here is how it started:
(Oh . . . one other thing. Please note the generally respectful tone of the discussion. I’m just sayin’ . . . .)
I’m curious what people think about the original opening scene for John Carter, vs the opening that eventually ended up in the movie. I’m attaching the link to the original opening, which was deleted in favor of the shorter, “docu-style” clilp with Tars Tarkas narrating. Keep in mind that they were concerned the length of the opening which consisted of this scene (4 minuted), followed by most of what we now see in the Tars Tarkas’ narrated scene, then the ERB frame story; then the JC Arizona back story. Their argument was — that’s a whole lotta shoe leather before we JC to Mars. On the other hand — so much of the criticism of the film was about how the beginning was confusing, and when audiences are confused, they become unengaged . . . . so the tradeoff would have been . . . . live with the length, be confident, and get a more solid foundation. I mean . . . Braveheart has 20 minutes of a prologue with William Wallace as a kid, basically to make the point that he saw his parents murdered and that’s why he rebels against the British. Was this scene really better off being cut? Or did it lay a much better foundation than was eventually laid?
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John Carter Fan Trailer 1 – by The John Carter Files | 210,000 Views
John Carter Fan Trailer 2 “Heritage” – by the John Carter Files | 150,000 Views
100 Years of John CarterA tribute to the artists who have interpreted John Carter
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