Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Avatar/John Carter/Pandora/Mars Comparisons...
With the announcement that a new "Avatar" trailer coming this weekend I figured it was time to address a few things that are going to be happening over the next few years...
First of all, 3D is here. Duh. Yeah, I know, but by the end of this year it'll have kicked into high gear with the release of Cameron's new film. Presuming that the film is not a total bust and sucks all the money it cost to make down a black hole, you can expect to see many more films like this over the next few years.
One of those film will be "John Carter of Mars" in 2012. Remember that one of the reasons James Cameron did Avatar was that he wanted to film his own John Carter of Mars type of story. He apparently didn't want to literally adapt the Edgar Rice Burroughs version; choosing instead to go his own route with a story that is merely inspired by those kinds of novels. But think about what's going to happen this Christmas season. We're going to watch a big budget Hollywood film about a man from Earth transported to another planet that interacts with the indigenous species and goes on to fight a war on their side. In 2012 we're going to watch a big budget Hollywood film about a man from Earth transported to another planet that interacts with the indigenous species and goes on to fight a war on their side. Sound familiar? Hopefully Andrew Stanton and his crew are working to make a film that is as ambitious as the King of the World's film, but uniquely different so as to not look like it's trying to rip off Avatar. I know it's based on a series of novels from eighty years ago, but the general public doesn't. And remember, perception counts. It always has/does.
But there are similarities to the characters and settings. But the main difference I think is Carmeron's film is more science fiction and Stanton's film is more science fantasy. The narrative he's going to be going with is more romantic than Avatar despite the love story in that film. It'll be easier for audiences to relate to Carter being human and his Mars Princess being almost human (she'll be orangish/coppery). Both films will have large budgets, although I don't think Carter will come in as much as Avatar, though I could be wrong.
But by the time this movie comes out two years from now it should be commonplace, almost an afterthought that it's 3D. The movie going public will not take much note since practically every blockbuster will be released in this format. So it's going to be even more critical that the Walt Disney Picture stands out from the rest. Being in third dimension won't be as much of a selling point as it is today. It'll have to rely on something that Pixar has earned its bread and butter doing: story. This film is going to have to rise above the markers set by today's films. It's going to have to set it's own. I'm curious to see what will happen. I've had friends tell me that if they get hold of the script that they'll send me a copy. I don't know if I'd read it because I've already read the novels and I want to be surprised by the film. I want to enjoy the virginity of seeing it and don't want to spoil the film by knowing every scene that is coming up. I experienced that with "Batman Begins" and chose not to do the same with "The Dark Knight." Now this isn't the case with that "Doc Savage" film coming out. I've been trying to get my hands on David Leslie Johnson's script for a few years. If I could get hold of that script I'd read it in a heartbeat. I've read a few reviews/descriptions of it and would love to turn every page of that one (hint to anyone that wants to send me a copy).
So while I realize there are challenges ahead for this film, just like Cameron's film had problems to overcome, I await seeing the stills, posters and trailers that will follow over the next year or two. Even though I'll be swept away to an alien world this holiday season, I'm excited to know I'll get to experience something similarly wonderful just around the bend in 2012.
There goes that year again...
Oh come on. You really didn't think I'd pass up that opportunity, did you?