John Carter—formerly John Carter of Mars—is the upcoming movie based on Edgar Rice Burroughs' epic tale of an Earthman who was suddenly transported to Mars, aka Barsoom. We've been looking forward to this movie for quite some time, and we've especially hoped that it would warrant a series.
But it looks as if that might not be in the cards.
According to NYMag, director Andrew Stanton wants to turn John Carter into a trilogy. However, production company Disney will only say yes to further films if John Carter is a goose that lays golden eggs.
How much gold are we talking about? $700 million, that's how much.
$700 million is quite a bit of cash, even for Disney. Currently, only 45 movies in the History of Ever have earned more. It's such a high number that we can't imagine John Carter hitting it.
It's a pity, because there's a wealth of material to mine: Burroughs wrote 10 novels and one collection in his Barsoom series, about the alien, gravity-light planet of Mars. They were published over a period of 31 years, from 1917 to 1948.
We wonder if there are production reasons involved. The New Yorker wrote that Stanton, who had previously worked in animation (a mainstay at Pixar, he wrote and directed Wall-E), had an "unusually extensive eighteen-day reshoot on the film." Because time is money, and in Hollywood doubly so, Disney may not want to confirm a series that will cost them even more than the budget has stated.
And here we are thinking that $699 million was a great deal of money. But apparently for Disney, it's not good enough.