Video: Teen Readers Voice Opinions on the book that is the basis for Disney’s John Carter– A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

John Carter News

I reported previously on the Thursday night meeting and press coverage in the Long Beach Press Telegram of the John Carter Reading Group — our group of teen readers who are acting as a focus group to give feedback on how today’s teens react to “A Princess of Mars” by Edgar Rice Burroughs — the novel that is the basis for Disney’s “John Carter”.

Here’s a video clip from the Thursday night meeting which gives an overview of the meeting and includes 5 teens giving their (consistently very positive!) views of the book. Their interviews start around 1:45.

I have to say — it was a real treat to see teens get excited about ERB. This initial focus group has clearly established that the ERB magic still works, and armed with that knowledge — the plan is to build on this and expose more teens to the books. More on that later. Meanwhile, here is the video — and after that, the TV spot that JCF considers to be the best one yet, capturing the true spirit of the book:
(Note: Student interviews start around 1:45)

Here’s the TV spot:


  • It’s wonderful to see these kids enjoying the books so much! It oddly echoes my own experiences quite closely. I first read A Fighting Man of Mars when I was about 15/16 and it got me into ERB from then on.

    However, the best part was when I convinced a friend to give it a read, who had never chosen to read a book for pleasure outside of the classroom. He was hooked and couldn’t believe how much fun it was. He hasn’t looked back, and became a voracious reader.

  • Magic, guys. I can’t tell you how gratifying it is to see a new generation (especially girls!) smitten by ERB in the same way I was as a kid in the 60’s. Thanks Michael, Rebecca, and Tracy. Michael, let me know if you still need the scan of “Llana.”

  • It was wonderful to see the girl’s face light up when she was asked if she looked forward to seeing the movie after having read the book. The ERB magic does indeed still work.

    Burroughs expands the imagination like no other. Reading one of his books is about as close to having a movie unfold in your mind as one could hope.

    In a way, the John Carter novels were made for cinema, a hundred years before cinema was ready for them. These are exciting times for science fiction as a genre, and cinema as a medium. Movies can now realize the most imaginative and wonderful worlds that an author can think up – either the worlds of today’s authors, or gems that have been waiting for a century.

  • Thanks Phil. Working on ways to take it to the next level now that we’ve got the basic results — i.e. confirmation that the magic still works. Oh by the way, while I’ve got you here…..I’m searching for a scanned image of the Llana of Gathol dust jacket — high enough res so I can read the dust jacket copy…….or, alternatively, just the dust jacket text would be good. I spent several hours roaming the internet looking for an image that is good enough so I can read the text…can’t find it. This has to do with some storyboarding I’m doing for a JC docu I’m trying to finish before the DVD comes out. If you’ve got a scan or the text that you could share that would be awesome. Just send to On your site I saw that you have two versions of Llana … but I couldn’t’ read the text. Any help would be much appreciated.

  • Rebecca, Michael and Tracy: Congratulations on this wonderful project! It was delightful and enlightening to hear the teens talking about PRINCESS and expressing their surprise and interest in the books. Certainly there can be little doubt that if new readers are introduced to the characters and stories they will find worlds of excitement that will carry them away just like we were carried away so long ago. There’s no need to “reinterpret” or “update” any of ERB’s works. Just get the books to new readers and they will do the rest. Thanks to you all for moving ahead with this.

  • Thanks for this, Michael. It’s great to see a new generation becoming interested in the adventures of John Carter and realizing that even though these novels are 100 years old, they are still amazing stories that are timeless.

    If the film JOHN CARTER can bring about a renewed interest in the works of ERB and introduce them to a new generation…that would be truly wonderful.

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