A few weeks ago, the first trailer for John Carter, Disney’s adaptation of A Princess of Mars, went up—I believe I was distracted by the third production video for The Hobbit, which gave us a look at the thirteen hobbits up close. (I may have flipped some things.) But John Carter intrigues me. I mean, it’s a screenplay written by Michael Chabon, one of my favorite writers, and directed by Andrew Stanton, who is a fantastic director. (Side note: in the great big DCU reboot that’s going down at the end of August and beginning of September, there’s a title called I, Vampire whose main character is named Andrew Stanton. Google is your friend, that’s all I’m saying.) So, let’s take a look at the trailer!
- I adore the choice of Peter Gabriel’s cover of “My Body is a Cage” for this trailer; it works beautifully. Mars, I think, has been cleaned up a bit from its warring (and nude!) state in the book, so to have such a melancholy song echo the dying world around John is lovely.
- Mars looks beautiful. I don’t know where they filmed, but they’ve managed to make it look, well, alien.
- Is it just me or do the Red Martians—by which, of course, I mean Dejah—look a little sunburnt? I always saw them as redder, although I love her tattoos. (I am all about the Disney heroines with tattoos, considering my childhood obsession with Pocahontas.)
- I’m ambivalent about the design for the Green Martins—I do like the choice to make them lanky, but their faces are a bit dumb in the face like the troll from The Fellowship of the Ring. I’ll have to see them in action.
- Barsoom looks like it’s got a unique flavor, which is so important for a fantasy franchise—having abandoned the Narnia films and despite the next round of Pirates films, Disney is probably looking for a solid fantasy series to pick up. I say fantasy because it has that look rather than a traditional science fiction look, which is part of what makes Barsoom unique.
- The title cards are gorgeous. I love the moving designs.
- The coffin is one of my favorite things in A Princess of Mars, so I’m delighted to see it make an appearance in the film, along with the frame story.
This week, I managed to get through the entirety of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and started on Studs Terkel’s Hard Times, a reissue of the 1970 oral history of the Great Depression. It’s very interesting so far! I’ve plans to read The Silmarillion afterwards, which bodes ill for my library books, but I’ll see if I can’t get through it in a timely fashion.
The Baen Free Library is full of free downloads, including The Shadow of the Lion and On Basilisk Station. Night Shade Books is offering Butcher Bird and Grey as free downloads at the moment. Vertigo Comics is offering free downloads of the first issue of several series, including Fables, The Unwritten, and Y: The Last Man. (And you will go download The Unwritten.) If I’ve missed your giveaway or freebie, drop me a line!
What do y’all make of the trailer, especially if you’ve read the Barsoom books?