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Watch Now: Kerry Conran’s Original Test Footage For ‘John Carter Of Mars’
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John Carter of Mars

In less than two months Disney will premiere John Carter, the long-gestating adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs‘ classic 1912 sci-fi adventure A Princess of Mars that introduced readers to Captain John Carter and his spectacular adventures on the planet Barsoom (which we all refer to as Mars). When the Andrew Stanton-directed movie finally opens it will be the culmination of more than eight decades of failed efforts on the part of filmmakers such as John McTiernan (Die Hard, Predator), Robert Rodriguez (Desperado, Sin City), Jon Favreau (Iron Man), and even famed stop motion animation wizard Ray Harryhausen.

Back in 2004, when the project was in development at Paramount Pictures, the responsibility of bringing John Carter of Mars to the big screen was temporarily handed to relative newcomer Kerry Conran. During his time on the film Conran put together a test reel to demonstrate how he would approach such an ambitious and potentially costly production.

You can watch Conran’s original John Carter of Mars presentation video here below.

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Watch Now: The Second ‘John Carter’ Trailer Is Up
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John Carter

The latest trailer for John Carter, the big-budget adaptation of the classic 1912 sci-fi novel A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs, has been released and you can watch it here below.

When the first teaser trailer for the film was released back in July it was greeted with a decidedly mixed reception. The casting of Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights) in the coveted lead role of a Confederate soldier who finds himself on Mars (called Barsoom by its inhabitants) caught between two warring Martian groups didn’t seem justified. The filmmakers’ visualization of Mars resembled those same desert vistas we’ve seen in hundreds of movies since the invention of the moving image and lacked imagination. Most of the fantastic elements of the book were missing, either due to the fact that the effects weren’t completed in time or were left out.

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Comic Review: Warlord of Mars: Dejah Thoris #7
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris 7Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris #7
Written by Arvid Nelson
Art by Carlos Rafael
Colors by Carlos Lopez
Letters by Marshall Dillion
Covers by Joe Jusko, Ale Garza, Paul Renaud
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: October 5th, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

This is why we’re all lucky that comics are still being published. This story would NOT work in film, television, books, or any other kind of medium. But, it totally works in comic book form.

Arvid Nelson knows how to write a fun, exciting, suspenseful story specifically for the comic book art form. It’s action from first page to last, always moving, and cliffhangers abound in this issue. Hey, what’s not to love about scantily clad woman bouncing (and I do mean bouncing) around fighting, in chains and causing all sorts of mayhem? This is a genuinely fun, well-crafted action story with a GREAT last page shocker.

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Comic Review: Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom #3
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PS Hayes   |  @   |  
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Warlord of Mars Barsoom 3Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom #3
Written by Robert Place Napton
Art by Roberto Castro
Colors by Alex Guimsaraes
Letters by Simon Bowland
Covers by Joe Jusko, Francesco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: October 12, 2011
Cover Price: $3.99

I’m usually not a big fan of spin-off books, but I was pleasantly surprised by this comic. Set 100,000 years before John Carter arrives on Mars, Warlord of Mars: Fall of Barsoom #3 is actually an interesting story about the history of the planet Mars and its inhabitants.

A lot of spin-off or tie-ins tell the stories set 1 day or 5 minutes before the beginning of the movie, or you’re stuck with between the scenes stuff, where you already know the outcome of the story and immediately think “Wait, why am I reading this again?” But writer Robert Place Napton does a nice job of telling a tale that is very independent from the story of John Carter that we’ve all read before. This is legitimately a fun, exciting story on its own, just set in the John Carter “universe.”

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Legendary Fantasy Artist Frank Frazetta Dies At 82
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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Frank Frazetta

The name Frank Frazetta may not immediately jump out at you, but there’s a very good chance that over the duration of your years on this planet, you’ve probably seen something that was born from his mind. Frazetta was an artist who was responsible for countless comics, posters, music albums, and some of the most popular book cover art ever created.

On Monday, Mr. Frazetta passed away at the age of 82 in Florida. The artist died after complications arose from a stroke he had suffered.

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‘Wolverine’ Mutant Taylor Kitsch To Star In Not-What-You-Expected ‘Battleship’ Movie
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Taylor Kitsch

Before X-Men Origins: Wolverine, we didn’t know much about Taylor Kitsch, and even since his turn as the Southern gambling mutant, Gambit, we haven’t seen him often. But what Kitsch has done since then, is set himself up for some major stardom.

It’s being reported that Taylor Kitsch has been cast to star in Peter Berg‘s feature based on the popular board game, Battleship, in which players strategically place their fleet of ships, and then proceed to fire back and forth at each other until someone’s fleet has been completely submerged. The project is one of a handful of currently in-development films based on Hasbro games and toys.

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Andrew Stanton’s ‘John Carter Of Mars’ Adds Another Impressive Three
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John Carter

Finding Nemo and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton‘s first foray into live-action film making is still a ways off, but over the past number of months, many exciting names have been cast in John Carter of Mars. The castings have come in interesting succession, with new additions being revealed every month. We were first informed in June that leads John Carter and the Princess of Mars would be played by X-Men Origins: Wolverine co-stars Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins. Next up was the announcement in July that Willem Dafoe was also cast in the movie as Tars Tarkas, a friendly outcast within a species of vicious warriors. In August, it was reported that three supporting roles were filled by Polly Walker, Dominic West, and Samantha Morton, and all was shaping out nicely.

Like clock work, just before September ends, three new names have been added to the cast, and it keeps getting better and better. Disney has announced that the newest trio of faces added to the cast are Thomas Haden Church, James Purefoy, and Mark Strong. Church is best known for his work in Sideways and Spider-Man 3, and will be playing a warrior (likely of the same species as Dafoe) named Tal Hajus who’s expecting to become ruler soon. Purefoy is best known as Marc Antony on HBO’s Rome and will be playing the captain on a warship named Kantos Kan. Mark Strong has been making quite a name for himself lately and will be playing a god-like figure named Matai Shang. Though Strong has been around for a while now, he’s only recently gained his deserved recognition with movies like Stardust and RocknRolla, and has since landed roles in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.

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Andrew Stanton’s ‘John Carter Of Mars’ Casts Three More Faces
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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John Carter

You should know the story by now: Andrew Stanton — Pixar master who gave us Finding Nemo and others — is working on his first adventure in the land of live-action movies with a new take on the classic John Carter of Mars mythology. So far, X-Men Origins: Wolverine co-stars Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins have been cast in the movie, as well as none other than Willem Dafoe.

With those three actors representing the main characters, it was naturally time to begin putting together a solid supporting cast. It’s been announced that the movie has obtained three new very talented actors to ensure this solid supporting cast: Samantha Morton, Dominic West, and Polly Walker.

The addition of Samantha Morton (Minority Report) means that the cast now has a pair of two-time Oscar nominees: Morton (In America, Sweet and Lowdown), and Dafoe (Platoon, Shadow of the Vampire). Dominic West is best known for his appearances in movies like 300 and Punisher: War Zone, as well as popular TV show The Wire. Polly Walker is known for her strong female presence on the HBO show Rome, and is also a member of the cast of the upcoming Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Caprica.

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Willem Dafoe Joins The Cast Of Andrew Stanton’s ‘John Carter Of Mars’
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The Movie God   |  @   |  
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John Carter

Back in June, it was reported that X-Men Origins: Wolverine stars Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins were the first announced cast in Andrew Stanton‘s live-action John Carter of Mars project. Now the project has it’s first big name star with the signing of Willem Dafoe.

Dafoe will be playing the role of Tars Tarkas, a Martian with a heart of gold who has the ability to love, which is very much not a virtue of his particular species of vicious warriors. He joins up with John Carter (Kitsch) in the first story, The Princess of Mars — which this first movie is based on. Collins will be playing said Princess of Mars.

John Carter of Mars follows a Civil War veteran who is mysteriously transported to Mars — a planet that’s dying — and right into the middle of two civilizations that are at war with each other. The character was created by Edgar Rice Burroughs almost one hundred years ago.

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Lynn Collins & Taylor Kitsch Cast In Andrew Stanton’s ‘John Carter Of Mars’
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John Carter

It began with a Tweet.

Coming Soon noticed a little message on Twitter recently from actress Lynn Collins which simply read “celebrating john carter of mars!!!!!!!” and nothing more. Naturally this would lead you to believe that she had landed a role in the movie version of John Carter of Mars which is being directed by Pixar man Andrew Stanton, but it’s also something to be skeptical about.

Proving that not everything we hear/see on the Internet is a lie, it’s now being officially confirmed that Lynn Collins has indeed been cast in John Carter of Mars, as well as her X-Men Origins: Wolverine co-star Taylor Kitsch. Kitsch, who is now best known for his work as Gambit in Wolverine, will be playing the man himself, John Carter. Collins — who played Silver Fox in Wolverine and also appeared in the first season of True Blood — will be playing Dejah Thoris, who is the heir to the throne of Mars’ Helium Kingdom.

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