John Carter Sequel in the Works; Director Andrew Stanton Spills Possible Details
02.17.12 by Ryan
Disney won't release their adaptation of John Carter until next month, but in Hollywood, it's never too early to start thinking sequel.
John Carter is based on Princess of Mars, the first in author Edgar Rice Burroughs's 11-volume pulp series that took Civil War veteran John Carter (played by Taylor Kitsch in the movie) and mysteriously transports him to Mars, where he finds he has newfound abilities that will help him try to settle the conflict between different factions of the planet's inhabitants. Producer Jim Morris told ComingSoon that director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) and his John Carter co-writer Michael Chabon are already talking about, planning, and doing some writing on a sequel, tentatively titled John Carter: The Gods of Mars, based on Burroughs' second novel in the series.
Disney has yet to greenlight a sequel, of course, and according to a report by Deadline, John Carter is not tracking well with potential audience members, which is a bad sign for a movie that has to make over $250 million just to make back its budget.
Stanton may not be aware of such research, but he admitted to AICN earlier this week that he was already working on Gods of Mars just in case Disney decides to move forward with it.
Yeah, well I mean if we go that way it’s going to be a huge movie again and you can’t get started early enough. Nobody has ever made a promise to me, but nobody has ever also led me on, it’s been a very honest discussion from day one with Disney of like "Look, this may work. This may not work and if it works then we will go for another one. If it doesn’t we won’t," but I always need as much prep time as I can to get stuff right and I’m talking about the story. You can never be working on the story long enough. You need as much time as you can get, so if this ends up going on the shelf as a script I still consider it pretty damn good practice and we will be ready if we ever do go to it again.
Stanton said that there has been substantial progress made on Gods of Mars already.
Well it’s all mapped out and we’ve got a very extensive outline. I tend to write outlines that are like 30 pages long sometimes with dialog scenes in them and all of the details of all of the beats in the scenes and we’ve gotten that and now we are, in this coming month, we are going to start working into a first draft me and Michael.
Stanton also revealed what he would like to see in a possible John Carter sequel. [WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD]
I can't wait to see the goddess Issus herself and the plant men. I can't wait… We kind of held back on really going full bore with air ships, because I knew what we were going to do in film two and I didn't want it to feel redundant from film one, so I had to find that balance of "How much is just enough" to enjoy what you were seeing, but want a little bit more, "because we are going to give you more in the second one" and then more of… What I geek out on is just the character relationships and I feel like Carter and Dejah's (Lynn Collins) marriage is just getting started at the end of this movie and I really get to delve into a married couple's first year of being together on this adventure in the second one and also delve deeper into what's really going on with the Therns. It just feels like a great second season of a TV show that's about to come up for me and I get to really delve deeper into all of the characters and the relationships. So that's really juicy stuff for me.
The sequel will also be "darker" and would lead into a third installment, says Stanton.
Well I think it's going to get a lot darker before it gets a lot brighter. (Laughs) It really does have a chart that works like Empire [Strikes Back to Return [of the Jedi, but it's fitting and my whole goal was that by the end of this whole thing he would earn the title "Warlord of Mars" and that's where we are headed with it. So the color will just... We go underground and then we go back topside by the time we are in the third one.
[END SPOILERS] In the meantime, Disney continue its onslaught of promotion on John Carter, while Stanton crosses his fingers that the movie will do well enough to warrant a sequel.
To read more of AICN's lengthy interview with Stanton, head here.