An Anguished Cry From a Lifetime Fan of John Carter (of Mars) — by Jeff Doten

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood

Our Barsoomian brother Jeff Doten of has written a terrific, anguished reaction to the experience of reliving the entire John Carter debacle by reading John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood. I think this account beautifully captures not only what Jeff felt in reading it — but pretty much what I felt in writing it. Actually that’s probably not fair to Jeff. I did not start intensely following the John Carter rollout until November 28, 2011 — 100 days before the film came out, and only “lived” it day by day and week by week as I was constructing the timeline after the fact.   Jeff lived with it for years. So my hat’s off to Jeff and all of those who were hanging on every announcement from the very beginning of Disney’s term.  

Here is an introduction and link to Jeff’s article:

Reading John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood or Lions and Igers and Bears, oh my

by Jeff Doten

Before we get into this, I have another title –  John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood OR Re-living the Agony.

Oh god it hurts, it hurts so bad – mommy ?

I started in 2008 when John Favreau had John Carter of Mars. Favs was on MySpace and very communicative. We all went through a few ups and downs through script reviews , budgets – the fact that head of Paramount hated it canned it. Favreau went on to Iron Man which I really liked and Paramount went to Star Trek which I really liked but at the time was furious because ‘who needs another Star Trek ?!”

Previously I had upped and downed ( and not in a good way ) through Disney’s Tom Cruise John Carter project, eventually James Jacks farmed it around, landing Robert Rodriguez, loosing Rodriguez, Kerry Conran – and we’re back to Favreau.

Around the time that Conran was the project Mike Carambat ( not to be confused with Michael )  started up his fan site I spent a delirious late afternoon in my kitchen making supper while conversing through Mike’s chat stream with Harry Knowles about thoats, tharks and Helium CG models and motion tests. Then of course it crashed back to heartbreak hotel. Jon Favreau stepped in for the final act at Paramount.

When Disney picked up the project Tron Legacy was being heavily pimped with fun live events, huge comic-con presentations involving helicopters and sky diving, and eventually the Flynn’s Arcade and the Tron music party which was a huge immersive experience. So Disney does things BIG. At least that was what was in my head at the time.

I was actually having a Tron-tini at Disney a couple days after seeing John Carter at a special screening. It was a good place to be, but it wasn’t without  trepidation.

JOHN CARTER ( of Mars ) was going to open in a few days and I had been riding the hell-coaster with everyone else over the last few months.  Michael has chronicled these horrors in blood chilling chronology in John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood.

Read the rest at



  • I’m late on this – Michael, thank you so much for posting this. It was an intense experience of writing, and it’s good to have it shared. I reread my article and thought, ‘I was really channelling my inner geek/real me this time. ” I’ve been told that my John Carter viewing series ( which is still on the go ) is personal, but that’s just my voice, I dictate into my iphone as I’m watching, this is a whole other category of soul baring. I’m glad I did it. I washes out the psyche a bit. – Jeff

  • I had really no idea that there was something wrong behind the scenes, seen from afar. There were posters, just no very good, and trailers, just not very good. So I wondered if the movie itself was any good, but there was no way I was gonna miss it on opening day though. I came from the theater somewhay disappointed, but it had more to do with my “A Princess of Mars” anticipation, than because of anything in the movie itself. That appreciation grew up later. I must admit that it’s only in retrospect that I noticed the utter lack of merchandising, when I actively search for some.

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