Watch a Pitch Reel for a Version of 'John Carter of Mars' That Never Got Made

Watch a Pitch Reel for a Version of 'John Carter of Mars' That Never Got Made

Jul 06, 2015

These days, the movies that never happened are almost as popular as the movies that did. In some cases, maybe more so. Disney's adaptation of John Carter bombed so badly that many likely now wish Paramount's take on the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel had happened -- presuming it wouldn't have been any worse. Just as in the case of Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune and Tim Burton's Superman Lives and others on the way, the story of Kerry Conran's abandoned version of John Carter for Paramount could probably do well as a crowdfunded documentary.

But why wait for that to see a bunch of concept art, test footage and other goodies from Conran's pre-production on John Carter? Ain't It Cool News head honcho Harry Knowles, who was attached to Paramount's development as a producer, has uploaded a decent quality video of Conran's pitch reel, full of all kinds of material. There are dramatized sequences, basic fight scene tests, crude effects work and lots and lots of gorgeous artwork to pore over in the nearly seven-minute presentation. There's enough here for you to think this adaptation would have been better.

Of course, there's no way of knowing completely how this John Carter would have been executed let alone received. Anyone who actually loves what Conran did with his first and still only feature, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, could believe they'd love this, too, but then many didn't expect Andrew Stanton, the director of Pixar's Finding Nemo and Wall-E, to disappoint so much with the John Carter that was made. Frankly, the look and tone of this un-made John Carter looks great in still form but would surely be too busy in motion. That's something a lot of modern space operas and fantasy films keep overlooking, that it's easy to go for visual overkill.

Watch the pitch reel below and let us know if you agree that it probably would have flopped just as hard as Disney's version and Paramount is lucky to have lost the rights to the project or if you think you would have really preferred this take.



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