On StarWars.com, an official site of Lucasfilm and Disney, Bryan Young has a post: The Cinema Behind Star Wars: John Carter. Must confess I’m a little surprised, as that would be the first Disney promotion of John Carter, even directly, in three and a half years. (The last post on the John Carter Facebook page, for example, is from July 2, 2012.) The post begins:
John Carter is a film directed by Pixar alum Andrew Stanton that follows Civil War veteran John Carter on his astounding trip to the planet Barsoom, which we know as Mars. There he meets a princess leading a rebellion, fights against an evil empire, and meets a variety of strange aliens on a desert wasteland of a planet, gets powers far beyond the abilities of normal men, and encounters a strange religion. There are times where he’s captured, thrown into an arena to fight bizarre monsters, and other times where he’s forced to rescue a princess.
It sounds like I could be talking about Star Wars just as easily as John Carter. And since John Carter came out in 2012, you might be thinking, “No! You’ve got it the other way around! John Carter was influenced by Star Wars.”
But you’d be surprised.
Here’s a quote from George Lucas in a 1977 issue of Science Fiction Review: “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.”
Obviously it’s intended to sell a few more John Carter DVDs and Blu-rays . . . .but that’s to be expected.
Read the full post here, on StarWars.com.
UPDATE: I read all the way to the end — sure enough, there’s the DVD/Blu-ray pitch — but also a pitch for the books, so good on ya, Bryan Young.
Availability: John Carter is readily available on DVD, Blu-ray, and digitally. It’s available to rent for a modest fee on most streaming video services. The books on which they’re based are available everywhere. Since they’re in the public domain, you can download them for free for your eReaders as well.