White Apes, Tharks, a Messiah and Woola in 3 New 'John Carter' Banners

Friday, 02 December 2011 13:26 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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White Apes, Tharks, a Messiah and Woola in 3 New 'John Carter' Banners

After dropping the film's action-packed trailer earlier this week, Disney has now unveiled three banners for the science fiction epic John Carter, an adventure that follows the eponymous Civil War soldier who wakes up on the surface of Mars, where he discovers alien species, warring civilizations, and an ability to leap tall buildings in a single bound.  These banners showcase Taylor Kitsch as Carter, as well as a bunch of those aliens, including Tars Tarkas, a Thark played by Willem Dafoe via motion capture, Carter's bulldog-looking sidekick Woola, and a pair of bellowing White Apes.  Also, if you squint, you can see Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris, who is the title character in Edgar Rice Burroughs' original Barsoom novel A Princess of Mars, first published in 1917.

It's been almost a century since the Barsoom stories first influenced pulp storytelling and became a direct antecedent to all manner of popular properties, up to and included Star Wars and Dune.  That means that John Carter faces the fascinating challenge of having to avoid looking derivative of all the stuff that's been influenced by its source material.

Anyways, these images are courtesy of Apple.

Over the next couple months we're going to see the live-action debuts of two proven Pixar directors, with Brad Bird's Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol arriving later this month and John Carter arriving courtesy of Andrew Stanton, the writer-director of Finding Nemo and Wall-E.  It'll be interesting to see how their obvious skill with animation translates to big-budget live action filmmaking.  Stanton, a member of the Pixar story braintrust, co-wrote John Carter with fellow Pixarian Mark Andrews and the great Michael Chabon, the literary badass responsible for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Wonder Boys, and The Yiddish Policeman's Union.

Kitsch and Collins play the leads, but the sprawling cast includes the likes of Mark Strong, Samantha Morton, Bryan Cranston, Thomas Hayden Church, Dominic Cooper (McNulty!), James Purefoy, Polly Walker, and erstwhile Spy Kid Daryl Sabara as Edgar Rice Burroughs.

John Carter heads off to Mars on March 9, 2012.

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