Kerry Conran’s Pitch Video for Paramount’s John Carter

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Those who have been following the seemingly endless journey of John Carter to the screen will recall that back in 2004 Kerry Conran (director of Sky Pilot and the World of Tomorrow) was attached to direct the film for Paramount when that studio had the rights. It contains a lot of interesting art I haven’t seen before, and gives clues as to where Conran was headed with the project (before he was replaced by Rodriguez, who was replaced by Favreau, who was eventually replaced by Disney and Stanton).

Also I’ve selected some still images from the video. ┬áThere are some really great concept art images in this video!

UPDATE: As is frequently the case — Bill Hillman at ERBzine was on top of this at the time, many years ago, and has a wonderful couple of pages on it.


  • Conran’s version of JOHN CARTER OF MARS would have been something to see. I’m disappointed that Conran was never able to bring the movie to life, but I think Stanton did a good job.

    I’m not sure we can determine that Conran’s version would have been another Mars/Barsoom somewhere else in the universe as the goal of this reel is to convey concentrated burst of what Conran was hoping to achieve in making the movie for the Paramount executives. So images that display the moons or other planets huge and bright in the sky could be there to help drive home that point that this isn’t Earth, and may have been depicted differently had the movie actually gone into production.

  • Sky Captain was a fantastic film. Kerry Conran would have been an excellent choice for bringing John Carter to the big screen back then. Would have love to see what the film might have been. As long as Taylor Kitsch played John Carter since I can’t see anyone else playing John.

  • I love this video, but I think it went perhaps too far in the unbelievable end of the spectrum, while Stanton’s Barsoom was more mundane looking. A middle road (unsurprisingly, Burroughs’) would have been nice!

    Anyway, what I especially love is the fight between Carter and the Thark. Not only is it fencing, they rendered the green martians’ ability to walk on four legs with their intermediary limbs, a detail too frequently overseen by most artists, that simply give them an extra pair of arms that cannot function as legs too.

  • Wow! That would have been awesome! Looks like it would have been based on the first three books. I love Stanton’s John Carter, but this would have been amazing if it would have happened.

  • oh that this had been. It appears that in this rendition, Barsoom is not in our solar system – but that’s ok – at least the flyers look like flyers, Helium appears to have two towers and there are no giant steam spider walking cities in sight.

  • I loved the look of Sky Captain and this captured a vivid look that might have made for an interesting movie. I also don’t think the Kruger script is connected since we see artwork of John Carter in the Civil War. I guess it will always be one of those what if scenarios.

  • Wasn’t really a fan of Sky Captain but that was beyond cool. If only ! Knowing how both those guys work, this probably would have been made for about half the price of the Disney version, which would have gauranted a sequel just with this versions box office returns, more so with a studio that might have actually known how to market it to the moving going public.

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