One of the big films for 2012 that you will not see or read anything about at next week's San Diego Comic-Con is John Carter. That's because Disney is witholding most of its sneak peeks for its yearly D23 expo in August. It seems, however, that Disney wants to put the film into the conversation of anticipated titles, as they've released a teaser for sci-fi action flick.
Formerly titled John Carter of Mars like its originating novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch (Gambit in X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as a Civil War vet believed to be dead who finds himself on a not-so-red-and-rocky version of Mars where he becomes a savior to a dying planet. The film marks the live-action debut of Pixar director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, WALL-E).
After the cutting "of Mars" from the title and noticing that we only get one split-second glimpse at one of the green aliens, it's clear Disney is trying to downplay the "this happens on another planet" part of the film in spite of the trailer's dialogue indicating such. I'd venture that's not so much to surprise us later, but to keep the appeal open to those who might shun anything appearing "hard sci fi." Not sure why? Keep in mind if you're Disney, you remember the last time you released a film with the word "Mars" in it ... that would be Mars Needs Moms, a film release this past March that made less than $40 million dollars — on a $150-million budget. I don't take any chances with the word "Mars" either.
The teaser has a very Zack Snyder-y feel with one song that plays throughout and a lot of quick action shots. Considering all the total smorgasbord of sci-fi, Western and swords-and-sandals elements, the success of Cowboys & Aliens will have a lot to do with the outlook for this one.
Starring alongside Kitsch are Lynn Collins (True Blood, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Mark Strong, Ciaran Hinds, Willem Dafoe, Thomas Haden Church and others. John Carter arrives on March 9, 2012.