If you want to see nerdsplosion, you need look no farther than the newly released John Carter trailer from Disney. I have blogged about John Carter before and my deep abiding love for the series, but this is the first true attempt to bring the world of Barsoom to life with any kind of muscle behind it. We can all forget the Antonio Sabato Jr./Traci Lords version. Better to pretend that one didn't exist.
So the trailer hits and there are a ton of questions. By admission, this is an adaptation. Director Andrew Stanton is bringing us a fully realized, breathing version of the hundreds of art prints by fantasy artists around the world. Keep that in mind. Every piece of art is an interpretation. So it goes with this film. There are plenty of people ready to leave this one on the doorstep and walk away based on a teaser trailer that lasts a minute and a half. Why? Because it doesn't have x y or z. They have already gleaned the entire story from this trailer and have decided it doesn't meet their needs. Excuse me if that sounds a bit ludicrous.
Others bemoan the look of x y and z. Again, this is an interpretation. I think a lot of people get caught up and assume that a film is suddenly new canon for a story that already exists. If you want the original with no changes and no deviations, then the books are there. They remain as accessible and relevant as always, but almost 100 years has passed since Burroughs created the original story. I would be angry if Stanton and company didn't make changes to match the culture we live in now just as Burroughs wrote for the culture of a 1912 society.
Having said all that, I feel cheated. Only a little and it is only because this is a teaser. I want the whole film now. Right now playing on my TV. The fact I have to wait eight more months becomes interminable. The trailer does it's job. It gives you just enough to make you say "What the F&*$ was that" and re-watch for the copious minute details. As I have gotten older my desire for strict adherence to a specific story has wained. I can already tell you that many of the things I saw in the trailer did not exist n the original novel or any of the first three for that matter. Thankfully I don't care. As I said, if I wanted to be slavish I can just reread the books.
Taylor Kitsch is in for a huge career boost if this lives up to it's pedigree. He is a charismatic actor that plays the reflective warrior well. I have only seen Lynn Collins in one movie, so I have no expectations of her, but the trailer shows off some good moments between them. Barsoom doesn't look quite as I expected it to, I thought they would put a bit more red into the shots. I think the flyers look very cool with their huge solar wings shooting off to the sides. I will be curious to see how the costumes look in the final film as I was surprised to see them stick John in his cowboy boots. Frankly, he looks a lot like a certain barbarian getting ready to make his own return to the screen soon.
All in all, I never could have anticipated what I saw. I knew this was an adaptation going in, I had read descriptions online, but seeing it was something else entirely. More than likely we can expect another trailer around the holidays to start fleshing out the story and show off the Tharks in greater detail. John Carter may open in March, but it will still feel like another hundred years to me.