Disney’s Biggest Sci-Fi Failure In Years Making A Return Thanks To Becoming Freed From Mickey’s Grasp

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Confederate Army Captain John Carter is reportedly making a comeback now that the rights to the character have reverted to author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ estate. The news comes over a decade after Disney released the ill-fated film John Carter in 2012, based on Burroughs’ first book in the Barsoom series, A Princess of Mars.

John Carter Story

The story follows Civil War veteran John Carter, who mysteriously finds himself on Mars known as Barsoom. On Mars, Carter becomes involved in an epic conflict among the planet’s inhabitants, including the noble Thardos and the evil Sab Than.

The film features a mix of pulpy thrills, impressive visuals, and a narrative that revolves around war, alliances, and the quest to save a planet from collapse.

Many Attempts To Make John Carter Of Mars

John Carter of Mars

Multiple attempts have been made to bring the Barsoom series to the screen since the 1930s. However, most were scrapped. In the late 2000s, Walt Disney Pictures decided to move forward with a John Carter film at the urging of Andrew Stanton (the director of the 2012 movie), who convinced the studio to secure the screen rights from the Burroughs estate.

In 2009, Stanton assumed the role of director for the new John Carter film, marking his first foray into live-action filmmaking after his successful work on Disney’s animated hits like Finding Nemo and WALL-E. Filming took place in November 2009, with principal photography starting in January 2010 and ending seven months later in July.

John Carter’s Massive Budget

John Carter of Mars

The film’s score was composed by Michael Giacchino, known for his musical contributions to various Pixar productions.

Despite its high production value and visual effects, John Carter received mixed reviews, with praise for its visuals and action but criticism for its plot and characters.

The movie was also a box office failure, earning back just $284.1 million of its $306.6 million gross budget.

Poor Marketing?

John Carter of Mars

Many attribute John Carter‘s failure to its poor marketing campaign. Following its disappointing performance, Rich Ross, who was Disney’s head at the time, stepped down from his position. Lead actress Lynn Collins was also instructed to keep a low profile, and two years later (2014), the rights to the franchise reverted to Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.

Dune Success Helping?

The reported return of John Carter could be prompted by the success of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptations of Duneas audiences seem to be more receptive to sci-fi stories set in otherworldly realms.

Another factor could be the estate’s concern about losing the rights again. However, it remains to be seen whether John Carter will return in a game, series, or movie.

John Carter Game Coming?

John Carter of Mars

As it remains unclear if another studio would be willing to invest as much as Disney did in 2012, John Carter will likely be adapted into a game.

While games are less costly to produce compared to films, they still offer a deeply immersive experience. This trajectory would also align with the evolving landscape of gaming, with prominent figures in Hollywood acknowledging its significance.

Despite its initial flop status, John Carter has gained a cult following over the years. Fans eagerly await news of the character’s return to the screen, hoping for a better outcome this time around.

Source: FandomWire