Mark Strong Explains Why John Carter is No Longer of Mars
06.18.11 by BJSprecher
Despite the fact that the recently-released first teaser poster for director Andrew Stanton's new movie features the bold red initials "JCM" for John Carter of Mars, the title of the adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs first novel in his 11-volume Barsoom (Mars) series was changed several weeks ago to simply John Carter. Disney gave no explanation for the change, leading some to speculate that the studio was hoping to distance this sci-fi movie from its recent animated sci-fi flop, Mars Needs Moms, but British actor Mark Strong revealed to Movie that the change came from Stanton, not Disney, and that it has to do with character development and not marketing.
The reason is that he has to earn that title. Again, it’s a franchise or a number of books; a series of books that people may or may not know, but if you call him John Carter of Mars, I think at the very beginning, all the work’s been done and what Andrew wants to do, I think, is introduce people to this first film, and by the end of it, he becomes John Carter of Mars, but not at the beginning. In the beginning he’s John Carter, but by the end of the first film, he’s John Carter of Mars; so he’s earned that title to take it off should it want to go to further storytelling.
Stanton, who also wrote the screenplay for John Carter (with Michael Chabon), has progressed from principal photography to digital principal photography, which is expected to continue for "the rest of 2011." James Purefoy, Samantha Morton , Willem Dafoe, Dominic West, Thomas Haden Church, and Polly Walker, Ciarán Hinds and Bryan Cranston also star.