Walt Disney Pictures has scheduled JOHN CARTER OF MARS, the big-budget adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs series of novels, for June 8, 2012. The story follows a Civil War vet who somehow winds up transported to Mars, where he plays a key role in planet-wide warfare. The cast includes Taylor Kitsch in the lead, along with Lynn Collins, Thomas Haden Church, James Purefoy, Willem Dafoe, Samantha Morton, Dominic West, Polly Walker, and Mark Strong. The film will be shot in Disney Digital 3D. Andrew Stanton is directing, from a screenplay he cowrote with Michael Chabon.
The character of John Carter appeared in over a dozen of novels, the first being A Princess of Mars. Back in the 1980s, that novel was headed for the big-screen as a lavish feature film, with John McTiernan (PREDATOR) set to direct, but it died in development when budget estimates came in at over $100-million (in the days before TERMINATOR 2 proved that such an expensive film could still turn a profit). Instead, a direct-t0-video version emerged last year, starring Antonio Sabato Jr and Trci Lords. Presumably, this version of PRINCESS OF MARS is so low-profile that it will not undermine the box office fortunes of Disney’s big-budget epic.
Release date: June 8 March 9, 2012.