New John Carter Photo Reveals the Beast
11.24.11 by Ryan
Since the teaser trailer was released in July, not much has been heard from Disney's adaptation of John Carter (formerly John Carter of Mars), based on the pulp hero created by author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The studio revealed three clips from the movie at the D23 in August, but those clips have yet to arrive online. Finally, Entertainment Weekly has revealed a new photo from the movie, which reveals a seminal creature from Rice Burroughs' John Carter series: the great White Apes.
The apes are first introduced in A Princess of Mars, the first book in the John Carter series. In the book, Civil War veteran Carter (X-Men Origins: Wolverine's Taylor Kitsch) fights the White Apes almost immediately after he finds himself mysteriously transported to the barbaric planet of Mars. In the movie, the creatures are being saved for a later confrontation, the reasons for which were explained by director Andrew Stanton (WALL-E).
they’re sort of an oversized gorilla in the books, and they’re kind of ubiquitous. They’re littered everywhere through at least the first several novels. They were always cool, just from a visceral standpoint, [but] they don’t really have a narrative function in the first book. So what we did is we made the White Apes a formidable creature that you kind of hear about throughout the movie, but you never really witness. There’s a subtle sense of anticipation for what these things might be like. Then Michael Kutsche — who did a lot of the designs on [the 2010] Alice in Wonderland — came up with this design on his own, for just their scale. He made them nocturnal, almost like moles — they stopped using their eyes, and just had a heightened sense of smell. We just love that. We needed a scene where Carter was going have to get out of his execution sentence in order to move the story forward, and we thought what better than having to go up against this formidable creature?
It also seems that Carter is unaware of the creature as he tries to break from his bonds in the photo below.
Carter has newfound abilities once on Mars, but Stanton emphasized that, as the photo implies, the character is still in trouble.
He’s not Superman. He has this one Superman-like ability where he can leap farther than we can here [on Earth]. But it’s like being a man on the moon. It can’t be forever. He can build up momentum. This green species called Tharks, they know his one special jumping ability, so they chain him to a rock. It’s entertainment. It’s entertainment to watch this execution. They give him a nice long length of chain, so he can bounce around, but he can’t go out of the arena. It’s an interesting problem to have for that guy.
More of John Carter will be revealed when the movie opens on March 9, 2013. Stanton and screenwriter-author Michael Chabon adapted the screenplay for the movie, which co-stars Mark Strong (Green Lantern), Lynn Collins (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) and Willem Dafoe.