John Carter, Warlord of Mars

Once of the coincidences that one would not believe in fiction has just happened to me: I assume I am the last person to know that Disney is making PRINCESS OF MARS into a movie. Since I have just been rereading this novel (with immense pleasure–it is much better than I remember it) to my young son, and wondering why it was never made into a movie before, when many of Burrough’s other works, Tarzan and Pellucidar and so on, had been, it therefore came as an immense pleasure and surprise that we have a film coming.

Clip below the cut

The only thing that makes me raise an eyebrow, is that the movie is called JOHN CARTER. It is not called JOHN CARTER OF MARS, or UNDER THE MOONS OF MARS, or SWORDS OF MARS, or MARTIANS OF MARS ON MARS, (my choice) UNDER THE HURTLING TWO MOONS OF MARS WITH A MARTIAN PRINCESS ON MARS — indeed, there is one four letter word noticeably and peculiarly absent, that is to say, nonexistent, from the movie title, which would prompt a gentleman less phlegmatically even-tempered and philosophical than myself or who had more faith in Hollywood to utter a different four letter word.

It just hints that they don’t really have faith in the source material.

It is also inexplicable marketing move, as if they had called the final Harry Potter movie by the title: THE DARK LORD RETURNS but did not use the hook word ‘Harry Potter.’

It is also (apparently) a recent decision, since the poster clearly has an M to represent the third word of the title drawn in red.

I admit to being puzzled that John Carter is being pursued, or so it seems, by cavalry officers rather than Apache Indians in the framing sequence in the Old West, but I am pleased to see that the ’empty mausoleum’ frame from the second book is here being employed.

The flying machines of Mars look good, however. Dejah Thoris does not look exotic enough or copper-skinned enough for my taste, and seemed to have picked up some non-canonical tattoos.

So, yeah, they are probably going to ruin it. But cross your fingers anyway.