Having just seen Episode I again, it’s put some bad thoughts into my brain about the upcoming John Carter film.
I know I’m late to the party on this critique, but there’s a good reason.
I want John Carter (formerly Of Mars) to be good.
The reason is a simple one – I’m rooting for director Andrew Stanton. And why, you wonder?
Andrew Stanton wrote and directed two of Pixar’s greats – Finding Nemo and Wall-E. He also wrote and directed this Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ adaptation, so I’m hoping the third time’s just as charming.
But I’m afraid. Very afraid.
Here’s a scene from the preview:
Now here are some Episode II memories that this drudges up:
Couple with that the tired outsider-saves-the-day plot (John Carter’s of Earth, not Mars, so…), and my worries don’t seem unwarranted.
So is this an Attack of the Clones clone? Hopefully, the two films have as much in common as these two do:
Burroughs created the sf arena scene. Lucas borrowed it. Stanton is reclaiming it.
I’ll give you that. But there are one of two possible outcomes:
1) Lucas (as well as many others) liberally borrowed from the Lord of the Rings books, and I feared the films would feel derivative because of this, but Peter Jackson delivered the goods. Stanton is a comparable talent to Jackson, so John Carter could be good.
2) Two excellent “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” films were made based on a story that liberally borrowed (ripped off) Robert Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters. The film version of “The Puppet Masters” (not the one with actual killer puppets) released in ’94 felt derivative, but that was directed by Stuart Orme (who?). The true counterpoint is Abel Ferrera’s Body Snatchers from ’93. It was horrible!
May John Carter be more precious than pod people.