‘John Carter’ Presentation Reel Shows Off the Film That Could Have Been
“Movies that could have been” are always interesting, like Tim Burton’s Superman Lives — which we just saw some test footage from the other day. Another film that could have been was Kerry Conran’s version of John Carter, a film that ultimately went to director Andrew Stanton and left audiences a bit cold. A visual presentation reel from Conran’s time on the project has popped up online, giving us a peek at what his John Carter might have looked like.
Stanton’s John Carter isn’t necessarily a bad movie — its shortcomings are fascinating, and there are some great bits of action and story/character development. That version of John Carter was released in a time when studios were still trying to make Taylor Kitsch the next blockbuster star, and he’s just not that kind of actor (praise be to True Detective for figuring out how to use him, finally).
When Conran (Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow) was on board, the project was at Paramount, but after some stalling it landed with Disney, which is when Stanton entered the picture. AICN got their hands on Conran’s presentation reel, which shows off concept art and various visual effects pieces, as well as the fight choreography.
That’s what you see in the video above, and to be honest, a lot of the color and visual style is similar to what Stanton delivered at Disney. Obviously we’ll never know what Conran’s version would have been like or how much it might have differed from Stanton’s John Carter, but this reel is about as close as we’ll get.