Check it out: 1st look at John Carter fighting a giant Martian ape

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Marc Bernardin
Dec 15, 2012

Disney's John Carter promises to pit its Civil War-era Earthling against all sorts of alien threats on the surface of Mars, but one of the largest is sure to be this massive pseudo-simian—and director Andrew Stanton explains why they had to divert from the original book to make this ape full of blind rage.

Given that the last time Stanton directed a film that left Earth we got the masterpiece that is WALL-E, we're inclined to listen to his reasoning behind making the white apes different than in Edgar Rice Burroughs' original text. As he told Entertainment Weekly:

"They were always cool, just from a visceral standpoint, [but] they don't really have a narrative function in the first book. So what we did is we made the White Apes a formidable creature that you kind of hear about throughout the movie, but you never really witness. There's a subtle sense of anticipation for what these things might be like. Then Michael Kutsche—who did a lot of the designs on Alice in Wonderland—came up with this design on his own, for just their scale. He made them nocturnal, almost like moles—they stopped using their eyes, and just had a heightened sense of smell. We just love that. We needed a scene where Carter was going have to get out of his execution sentence in order to move the story forward, and we thought what better than having to go up against this formidable creature?"

As I said, Stanton and Pixar have spent more than 20 years delivering some of the finest stories moviegoers have ever seen, animated or not. But there's something about this that reminds me a little too much of Star Wars: Episode II—Attack of the Clones, specifically the arena on Geonosis.

Dusty, orange-brown arena, ringed by alien spectators: Check. Prisoners attached to the ground by chains: Affirmative. Huge alien beastie as the executioner: Yep. Now, it's entirely possible Lucas was inspired by the John Carter books. But the similarities are ... striking.

(via Entertainment Weekly)

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