With a budget at nearly $300 million, Disney Pictures is taking a big gamble with their adaptation of “John Carter”. Now in an extensive article in The New Yorker, the film’s director Andrew Stanton talked about the 18 days of reshoots done for the film back in April which lead to online concern about the project.
Stanton’s nearly three hour rough cut of the movie was shown to various people at Pixar in December last year where they gave him some “serious critiques” including complaints of a “rather drab opening sequence in which the details of the Barsoomian wars on Mars are explained” and the lack of a personal touch seen in other Stanton films like animated hits “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E”.
As a result came the 2.5 weeks of reshoots in Los Angeles which the studio agreed to fund. “Reshoots should be mandatory… some of the Pixarness we’re trying to spread at Disney is ‘it’s O.K. to not know, to be wrong, to screw up and rely on each other.’ Art is messy, art is chaos so you need a system” Stanton explains. The new opening will “launch viewers immediately into a battle between Zodangans and Therns, before cutting to earth where we first meet John Carter.”
A test screening of a slightly over two hour cut of the film was held in July in Portland which reportedly went down well with the movie scoring either “excellent” or “very good” with 75% of attendees, and this was despite great swaths of it being unfinished and still in need of much post-production. However the eventual film turns out, the studio reportedly needs to take at least $700 million worldwide before this can become anything close to a franchise.