Jon Favreau, who was set to the direct the Paramount edition of John Carter when it folded, opening the way for Disney to acquire the rights for Andrew Stanton, has made some interesting comments about how his John Carter of Mars project would have been oriented.
“I probably wouldn’t have been as ambitious,” Favreau said. “I think both of us really appreciated the source material. Stanton started to weave in elements from the later books. I probably would’ve told a smaller story.”
Evidently the Favreau version would have focused more what is the first act of Stanton’s movie — Carter’s transport to Mars and his developments with the Tharks — proving himself among them and becoming an ally. “As we were developing the script it was much more the experience of John Carter being found in this new world and him coming up in a Man Called Horse kind of way among the Tharks and then opening up the world slowly.”
I have mixed feelings bout it. First of all, I’m pretty much on record as saying that I favor the way the book had it, that John Carter had no way home and had no choice–or inclination–other than to make his way among the culture where fate had dropped him, and that was the Tharks for sure. In my recent re-read of the book, I was really stuck by how his progression among the Tharks really does carry the view along — and then the “Fair Captive from the Sky” arrives and Dejah changes the dynamic, but even after she is there, he’s still working to secure a position among the Tharks until escape with Dejah becomes an option.
One thing I really missed in the movie that more time among the Tharks might help (in this imaginary Favreau version, I mean) that I’ve never heard anyone complain about is the ancient dead city — the evidence of advanced human habitation, the art (which Dejah reacts to powerfully in a moment that always helped me be drawn to her character), the sense of mystery and poignancy.
Anyway .. I wonder what kind of John Carter of Mars Favreau would have given us. Food for thought indeed.
The basically bombed out city from the movie didn’t have any of that…..
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