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.