John Carter Producer Jim Morris at the ERB Centennial, plus 100 Years of John Carter video

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Speaking at the Edgar Rice Burroughs Centennial Celebration closing banquet Saturday night, John Carter Producer Jim Morris acknowledged that John Carter faced a “perfect” storm of marketing and corporate issues, including  “3 turnovers” of the marketing team during the promotion and release of Andrew Stanton’s film.  John Carter, released on March 9, 2012, has grossed $284M globally to date and was the object of a $200M write-down announced by Disney Studios on March 19,  10 days into the film’s global release.    Reacting to the “Heritage” fan trailer, which was part of the video introduction, Morris reacted with: “I wish we’d had that trailer.”  (To be clear, he might have just been being polite, considering the venue — but he said it so we’ll report it.)

During his talk, Morris gave a comprehensive discussion of the development and production of John Carter.  In discussing the controversial subject of the film’s budget, Morris stated that it had been clear “from the beginning” that the film would have an exceedingly high budget because of the high degree of Thark character animation.  “You have to remember that when these characters appear in the same scenes with live actors, the animation requirement is as high as it can possibly be. Anything less than the very best will not work in a scene with live actors.”

Morris also reconfirmed that the John Carter team worked out the structure and story outline for a complete trilogy.

At the end of the night Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. President Jim Sullos presented Morris with a special Martian globe, and — in a moment that caught Morris (and yours truly) by surprise — an Advance Reading Copy of  “John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood”.

Continuing the film-maker/fan connection that has characterized the aftermath of the John Carter release, after the presentation Jan Austin, Khanada Taylor, and members of the Back To Barsoom John Carter Sequel Facebook Group approached Morris, who knew exactly who they were as soon they mentioned “Back to Barsoom Group”, and spent 5 minutes chatting with the group and taking pictures.  Austin filed this report  and said that when the group asked him about the prospects for a sequel, “he said it just might happen but not right now.”   Austin presented Morris with a binder containing over 1000 statements of support from signers of the group’s petition.  According to Austin, “He mentioned the Star Trek fans; he talked about us continuing to do what we are doing; he took pictures with us; and is very much on our side and getting that sequel.”

Here is the video produced by John Carter Files and presented as part of the introduction to Morris.


  • I was touched by NASA’s recent naming of CURIOSITY’S landing site on Mars as “Bradbury Landing” after Ray Bradbury… Certainly it would be appropriate to name some of the other locations during the Mars Mission for ERB? Or some some of the characters from the John Carter books?

  • Thank God “The incomparable Dejah Thoris” wasn’t reduced to likes of Julia Roberts. Lynn Collins was born for the role! And Tom Cruise as John Carter?? You gotta be kidding!

  • Was the Morris’ speech videotaped? I’d love to see it, even if only as text.

    Yes, and we’ll have it as soon as it becomes available. ERB Inc. taped everything with a nice two camera setup so it’s out there in raw form but they have a lot of stuff to edit. We’ll be checking up on it…..

  • Was the Morris’ speech videotaped? I’d love to see it, even if only as text.

    Oc ohem octeh ouis Sequel!

  • I want to express a special thanks to Michael Sellers, Jan Austin, Khanada Taylor and the other Barsoomians who were in Tarzana — not only for carrying the flag forward at the 100th Anniversary ERB Conference but also for working so tirelessly over the past months. Comments from Jim Morris, Mark Andrews and others make us optimistic that we will see more films in the Barsoom series — when we do, I believe a large part of the credit will fall to these three and to their co-workers who created and contributed to TheJohnCarterFiles and the “Back to Barsoom” movement. Many fans in the US and around the world appreciate and support their leadership and efforts in LA. (And I know those fans will send additional thanks for the “100 Years of John Carter” video shown at the conference, which is both enjoyable and inspirational). With patient work and positive encouragement we will get sequels to “John Carter”!

  • It was incredible, the whole event, but capping it off with the wonderful dinner, presentations and meeting Jim Morris, was amazing! Michael, your work was flawless and moving. I cried watching your 100 years of John Carter and seeing the Heritage trailer at the end, it was soooo moving! I don’t think Jim Morris just said that to be kind, but that he was genuinely moved as well. Who wouldn’t be! Congrats on your fantastic work!!
    And I too am highly encouraged by Jim’s statements. And it was evident when we met him, after the great feeling I got when he recognized our group immediately, that there is real hope for getting our sequels! I’ll continue the fight and I hope all fans will work with me on this! We do have influence and our work in changing the public’s perception of John Carter and keeping the fires burning will make all the difference!

  • At least the door isn’t completely closed for the sequels… That’s something.

    Being a Star Trek fan myself, and having been part of some of the fandom for a time, the movement for John Carter sure shares some common points. Both are “optimistic” franchises that seem to inspire people. We’ll see if the fandom will be as resilient as the Star Trek one, it will be a test of endurance. Andrew Stanton will be busy with Finding Nemo 2 for the next years to come, and we’ll see if Disney renews the rights in the meantime.

  • Morris’s comments that a JC sequel just might happen….but not now….. give me hope. Lets continue the fight !

  • I only pray that The Gods of Mars and The Warlord of Mars are going to happen because not only have they been a hundred years in the making but I have waited my whole life to see the hero that has inspired my life come to the big screen. Let’s return to BARSOOM.

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