Watch Now: Kerry Conran’s Original Test Footage For ‘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

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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Warlord 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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Warlord 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 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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