I’ve written before on this blog about the influence that A Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the subsequent 10 sequels, has had not only upon me, but upon many other writers.
Now Disney/Pixar has the rights to the ERB Mars properties, and they’re ramping up production on the first novel.
I hope they do it right. Their casting choices seem okay to me, but not . . . special. Not iconographic.
You do the research. You be the judge. Here are some news pieces about the casting.
Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins blast off to ‘Mars’
Disney adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs book series
Hollywood Reporter ~ June 12, 2009
Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins will star in “John Carter of Mars,” the adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs book series that Andrew Stanton is directing for Disney. The movie is a big step for Stanton — who as one of Pixar’s top creators directed the company’s animated films “Finding Nemo” and “WALL-E” but will now helm his first live-action feature — and Disney, which hopes the big-budget production will launch a franchise on the scale of “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
“Carter” centers on a civil war veteran who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars, where his involvement with warring races of the dying planet force him to rediscover his humanity. Kitsch will play the title character, while Collins is playing Dejah Thoris, heir to the throne of Mars’ Helium kingdom.
Stanton wrote the screenplay with Mark Andrews. Jim Morris, who produced “WALL-E,” and Colin Wilson are producing “Carter,” which is eyeing a start in early 2010. Brigham Taylor is overseeing for the studio.
The role of Carter was considered one of the “gets” for a young actor, and Disney has spent months meeting and testing a wide swath of names from Jon Hamm to Josh Duhamel during its search. Canadian-born Kitsch, repped by WMA and Untitled, began building buzz with his starring role on NBC’s “Friday Night Lights.” Before long, he was considered one of the town’s next generation of leading men, especially when he booked the role of Gambit in “Wolverine.”
Collins, repped by WME and 3 Arts, had a recurring gig on HBO’s “True Blood” but appeared with Kitsch in “Wolverine,” which raised her profile considerably. She next stars opposite Joseph Gordon-Levitt in “Uncertainty,” which IFC is releasing this year.
Utah will be stage for Mars in new Disney Pixar film
The deal will bring millions to the state and employ nearly 400 Utahns.
The Salt Lake Tribune ~ June 12, 2009
First as the planet Vulcan and now the red rocks of Mars, Utah has become Hollywood’s destination spot for depicting exotic intergalactic worlds. Disney and Pixar are expected to partly film the pulp science-fiction adventure “John Carter of Mars” in Utah from November to July 2010. Portions of the Beehive State will double as Mars, including Lake Powell (where the original “Planet of the Apes” was partially filmed), Moab, and Kane and Wayne counties.
“It’s the biggest movie we’ve ever used incentives on,” said Utah Film Commission executive director Marshall Moore. “We haven’t seen these kinds of numbers since doing a TV series for a year.” The San Rafael Swell already doubled as the planet Vulcan in this year’s summer blockbuster “Star Trek,” but second-unit crews only shot for four days in Utah.
Disney is scheduled to shoot in Utah for 45 days. The story, based on the Edgar Rice Burroughs science-fiction book series — which begins with A Princess of Mars — is about an American Civil War veteran who is transported to Mars to face a series of adventures.
Burroughs, who was born in Chicago, was no stranger to Utah, working as a railroad police officer in Salt Lake City in 1904.
Disney/Pixar to produce new film in Utah
KSL.com ~ June 11th, 2009
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s new movie incentives bill has landed the state its first big-time motion picture project.
Take the Walt Disney company, combine it with Pixar and Utah scenery, and you’re going to have the movie “John Carter of Mars.” It’s based on a series of books about a Civil War vet transported to the Red Planet. Governor’s Office of Economic Development Director Jason Perry is stoked. “This is a place where Disney will start looking as the place where they will want to do all of their films,” he said. The film will bring hundreds of cast and crew members to the state during production. “This is over 400 people involved in full-time work for seven-straight months here in the State of Utah. This is going to put our film crews to work. It’s really going to put us on the map as a place to film,” Perry said.