ABC7 talks with Bay Area director Andrew Stanton


It's a story that begins on Mars. Carter is a soldier transported from the desert of Arizona to the desert of Barsoom, or as we call it, Mars, where epic battles rage. "John Carter" was written 100 years ago by Edgar Rice Burroughs who created Tarzan. The "John Carter" books captured the imagination of an 11-year-old boy in I976.

"They've stayed with me. I always wanted to go see it on the screen," said Stanton.

Now Stanton directed the film and created a Mars as it might look in Victorian times. The Marin County resident thinks it has universal appeal.

"If a kid in 1976 could fall in love with a 1912 book, then I had to believe it's already sort of made this timeless, mythic sort of jump," said Stanton.

Much of the film was shot in Utah, where the landscape matches Mars.

"I didn't want to feel artificial and fake. I wanted it to feel like we were really there with all the grit, dirt and wind, and sort of trying to capture things," said Stanton.

It is kind of like conditions where we were on torn up Stockton Street.

Stanton won an academy award for another space film, "WALL-E," and another for "Finding Nemo," -- both at Pixar in Emeryville. "John Carter" is his first live-action film.

When asked what is it like when you suddenly have to do this with live actors, Stanton responded, "That's a big myth. Actually it's much harder to control in CG because the computer never does what you ask it to. I can actually talk to actors and cameramen."

It's reported the film cost $250 million to make. It has to do well. And early reviews have been mixed. There is pressure this opening weekend.

"That's the case of every film I've ever worked on, is a lot of money, big budget, big hopes, big expectations for the weekend. So that's all I've ever known, so we're just hoping the same thing for this one," said Stanton.

He wants to make a "John Carter of Mars, Part 2."

I also give "John Carter" an "On the Aisle" review.

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