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Disney/Pixar still has a movie version of John Carter of Mars in pre-production. Andrew Stanton, who is writing and directing the film, recently talked to Sci Fi Wire and continued to play coy when it comes to telling us what they’re doing with the project. Stanton says, “I'm going to do what I remember more than what they exactly do,” referring to the books. That’s an odd way to handle an adaptation, based on vague memories. Doesn’t sound like John Carter purists are going to be pleased.
Stanton, who most recently wrote and directed WALL-E, does however obviously have an eye for science fiction material. And he says that whatever they do, it’ll be a completely unique.
Pixar general manager Jim Morris promises the film will have a look unlike any other. Says Morris, “Everything that's been out there has been an attempt to kind of capture this Deco-esque [Frank] Frazetta vision of John Carter, which I think feels old and stale… And where Stanton is going--from what we've seen so far--is very different than that. And I think that the people who really love the essence of the books will really dig it, but so will audiences in general.”
We still don’t know if this is a live-action movie or if it’s animated. It’s a Pixar project, so that suggests animation, but with it’s naked women and hardcore violence, it’s a more adult science fiction story, one which would seem to demand a live-action take… unless of course your adaptation is based only on whatever fuzzy impressions you have of the story from reading it as a kid. When asked flat out of this is a live action movie or an animated one, all Morris could offer is, “We are looking at a variety of different approaches and techniques for that ... We're kind of a bit early in the development of that.”
If you’re a John Carter fan, I suppose you should just be happy someone is finally making it, after years in development hell. And it’s Pixar, and where there’s Pixar there is hope. Just don’t expect naked alien women.