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Speculation Is Disney Capable of Learning the Lessons of John Carter and Phantom Menace?

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by Jabbadabbado, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Panakas_Dawg

    Panakas_Dawg Jedi Master star 5

    Jul 29, 2004
    As a fan of the novels, I *loved* John Carter. But then, I want more Sky Captain films.
  2. Jango_Fett21

    Jango_Fett21 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 9, 2002
    Even though this thread is based on a completely nonsensical set of assumptions, it did help me come to the conclusion that, if there's any franchise that would be tailor-made for Lucasfilm, it's John Carter; although that film ended up being a financial flop, I can't help but wonder if Kathleen Kennedy or someone else at Lucasfilm would ever be willing to suggest that the folk at Disney give them a shot at resurrecting that franchise by producing the second film.

    WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Knight star 4

    Dec 16, 2010
    Jango_Fett21 I see Disney doing TR3N before John Carter 2.
  4. Jango_Fett21

    Jango_Fett21 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 9, 2002
    I don't particularly think it's likely that Kathleen Kennedy and Lucasfilm would ask for and be given permission to develop and produce the sequel to John Carter, which is a shame given that, as I noted, the property seems tailor-made for them (Lucasfilm).

    WIERD_GREEN_MAN Jedi Knight star 4

    Dec 16, 2010
    I think some creatures in John Carter inspired Star Wars, so, yes, it would fit. Disney seems to care about TRON more than John Carter, however. I mean, the most sucessful (box office) film ever, Avatar, doesn't have a sequel.
  6. Jango_Fett21

    Jango_Fett21 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 9, 2002
    ^ It (Avatar) will, though; in fact, it'll have at least 3 sequels.
  7. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 19, 2000

    I don't necessarily disagree with any of them, and I do think there is a lot of truth in some of them, it's just the idea of a list of rules of what-not-to-do-in-films makes me think that somebody is bound to break them with something wildly succesful. In 1977, you might have said: "There's a warehouse full of leftover Dr. Dolittle toys; don't create merchandise!" Maybe you would have said '"no slimy monsters" when Alien bombed in '78. No androids after Blade Runner.

    When Pixar started out, they had guidelines, too. They developed the storyboard for their first film along these guidelines:
    - no songs
    - no 'I want' moments
    - no happy village
    - no love story
    - no villain
    But an early investor in the company was not so sure about Pixar's direction. So the investor hired a producer to help them. The producer took a good look at what made animated films succesful, and came back with a list of his own:
    - you gotta have songs
    - you gotta have an 'I want' moment
    - gotta have a happy village
    - gotta have a love story
    - and put a villain in there
    Of course, Pixar didn't listen, yet Toy Story was incredibly succesful.

    Incidentally, the early investor was Disney, and the story comes from Andrew Stanton - John Carter's director.
  8. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    For you I will stop bashing John Carter. Next stop: Disney's The Black Hole. Is it better or worse than Battlefield Earth?
    fishtailsam and SuperWatto like this.
  9. SithLordDarthRichie

    SithLordDarthRichie CR Emeritus: London star 8

    Oct 3, 2003
    Toy Story was not a musical, but it had original songs written for it that were prominent in the movie.

    All the movies had a villain - Sid, The Chicken Suit Guy, Lotso
  10. Breebel

    Breebel Jedi Knight star 1

    Nov 4, 2012
    Just finished watching John Carter. It was good. Predictable, but good. But yeah, it was marketed very poorly - I remember seeing the trailer for it and thinking 'WTF is this?'
  11. Yodahasgreenfeet

    Yodahasgreenfeet Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 4, 2012
    Phantom Menace was a good movie but it did make mistakes. Never the less it was a good movie. I like movies that are really successful that don't have sequels. The Sorcerer's apprentice is another example. I think it says alot about a company to make movies that amazing and to not have to make sequels. One film, one master piece, leave it be .
  12. ThatWanFromStewjon

    ThatWanFromStewjon Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 8, 2012
    Aww!!! You had resort to trying to insult me!!!

  13. ThatWanFromStewjon

    ThatWanFromStewjon Jedi Knight star 4

    Oct 8, 2012
    I've watched Citizen Kane.

    It's alright, like, but I don't get the bru-hawhaw about it.
  14. SuperWatto

    SuperWatto Manager Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Sep 19, 2000
    I saw The Black Hole twice when it came out. It was the first movie I watched more than once, I thought it was magnificent! Haven't seen it since, don't think I should.
    Maybe I'd watch it if I could somehow get the two hours back I wasted on Battlefield Earth.
  15. Jabbadabbado

    Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 19, 1999
    There are parts of Black Hole that look better than any science fiction movie I've ever seen. Then there's the googly-eyed robot. And the angelic gateway. And Robot Hell. If BH deserves long-term recognition, it's as a motherload goldmine of references for Futurama.
  16. Solent

    Solent Jedi Master star 2

    Aug 4, 2001

    "From the creator of Tarzan" in as big letters as possible. They had it cut for them. And they didn´t do it. The lesson here is not to let whoever was responsible for JC marketing anywhere near Ep VII.
  17. awesomejedi

    awesomejedi Jedi Knight star 3

    Nov 7, 2012
    I just hope they don't forget to make it fun. The PT lacked that somewhat, expecially in AOTC.
  18. artooo

    artooo Jedi Knight star 1

    Nov 6, 2012
    I actually liked John Carter. It was a little too long, but far better than a lot of the tripe that comes out these days, like Battleship.
  19. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    I'm a "one hexology, not two trilogies" person, but I wonder if Disney shares my view.
  20. I_Love_Scotch

    I_Love_Scotch Jedi Knight star 2

    Apr 2, 2013
  21. Grand_Moff_Jawa

    Grand_Moff_Jawa Jedi Grand Master star 5

    May 31, 2001
    I had quite a nice nap during John Carter. And it was during a loud action part to boot.
    KilroyMcFadden likes this.
  22. Pfluegermeister

    Pfluegermeister Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jun 30, 2003
    Some of the reasons "John Carter" failed in my eyes:

    1.) Everyone knows there's no life on Mars; it doesn't matter that the book was written in 1917, there's been an additional century of science to prove that there's no species on Mars for Carter to get in the middle of. Also, no human can leap as high on Mars as Carter did, lower surface gravity or not. In short, it bears no relation to the Mars that most people are familiar with and understand. Star Wars came into the world purposefully chucking hard science out the door, so that's not something to apply to Star Wars, but if you're attempting to start a new franchise about Mars, it can't be based in the Percival Lowell-based physics of the previous century; ordinary school kids know better than that. Furthermore, it didn't even LOOK like Mars; it just looked like a desert, but it didn't look at ALL like the pictures of Mars that people on Earth (all of whom are potential paying members of the audience) have most likely seen.

    2.) The entire framing story with the actual Edgar Rice Burroughs involved as Carter's relative was stupid, uninteresting, pointless, and utterly irrelevant to the rest of the story to me; I don't know if there was such a framing device in the original novel, but if there was, that just proves some parts of a novel don't need to be adapted. It seems to me like it's just there to remind audiences that this was based off of a book.

    3.) The various factions on Mars/Barsoom made no sense to me and were difficult, if not impossible, to keep track of. The Tharks were an exception to this because they looked visually distinctive from the rest, but that's it. The conflict between Zodanga and Helium (which itself took me out of the movie, by the way, because isn't that supposed to be a gaseous element, not a name of a planetary culture?!) was boring and meant nothing to me, because all the characters of either side did was overact and utter stilted, pretentious dialogue in pseudo-Greco-Roman costumes that looked bad on camera. The villain Sab Than as played by Dominic West was boring, lame, and unthreatening to me (even though he was played by an effective actor who can indeed deliver a good performance if you give him the right material); worse still, he was a cuckold because all he did was take his cues from Matai Shang, the Thern. And the Therns just made me want to throw my hands up in frustration: the Therns say they manipulate planets and societies, but they never said why in any way that I can recall; if they did, then they should have done it better because I've quite forgotten it. And it's a sin that I can't remember what a bad guy is after in a movie that isn't that old. The Neimoidians made better bad guys than the Zodangans.

    4.) The casting was a mixed bag of talented actors and undeserving hacks all in one film. I don't know why Taylor Kitsch is even in movies, because his performance was absolutely uninteresting to me. There was indeed a lot of GOOD casting in the film, but ironically, most of the good actors were playing Tharks and you couldn't tell who they were. I loved Willem Defoe as Tars Tarkas, no question, but that's the exception, not the rule. And the princess? Dejah Thoris may look nice on the eyes, but I didn't believe her character and I didn't see what John Carter could see in her. She was just another actress spouting silly crap pseudo-dialogue and all the while subtly telling me, "Just go with it." There was NONE of that in Star Wars; Leia Organa was a character in her own right that one could like, identify with, and admire; you could see why at least one of the male leads, Han or Luke, would find her attractive. But I'm sure as Shia not going to fake my own death and trick a Thern out of his beamer-bling to return to Dejah Thoris, and I can't imagine anyone else would either.

    5.) The poster was bland. No member of a general audience would be motivated to see the film on the back of that poster. That's a minor complaint, and it fits under the general problem of advertising the film that has been discussed previously. But an average person is only going to give a fraction of a second of his/her attention to ANYTHING, including a poster, before moving on to the next thing to grab his/her attention. He/she will make up his/her mind in one fraction of a second - that's all. If you looked at that poster in that length of time, would YOU be excited to go spend twenty dollars for a couple of tickets, and twice that for snacks?

    6.) Woola the Whatever-that-was. I'm guessing that cat/dog/lizard/thing/deal was probably a part of the book, so I'm sure it HAD to go in there if you're going to remain accurate to the source material, but the way the creature was depicted in the film never appealed to me. It was too obvious as cuteness-pandering. I don't go in for cute when the film is TELLING me I have to find something cute; if I don't find it cute on my own, nothing's going to MAKE me find it cute. I don't like having my emotions forced in that way; that's like telling me I should fall in love with some specific person regardless of my own feelings. In any event, Woola was a clumsy, way-faster-than-any-lifeform-should-be animal that could have been done more low-key if he indeed had to be there. He wasn't Jar Jar or anything on that level; he wasn't Muffit or Twikki or Rob Schneider or any of those "have-to-put-up-with-it" sidekick characters; what he was, because they failed to make me actually like him, was just annoying. I don't like being annoyed in my movies.

    That's all I've got off the top of my head. But I'll have to leave it to the group to decide if Disney has indeed learned any lessons from these points, or any others.
    EviL_eLF likes this.
  23. GGrievous

    GGrievous Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 6, 2005
    Disney should've considered releasing John Carter at a different date. The majority of the marketing efforts went toward Avengers in 2012 and John Carter suffered pretty poor marketing.
  24. WatTamborWoo

    WatTamborWoo Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 22, 2011
    Tried to watch John carter twice. Fell asleep twice.

    Watched TPM 13 times in theatre.

    No comparison.
    EviL_eLF likes this.
  25. Golden Jedi Knight

    Golden Jedi Knight Jedi Youngling star 1

    Nov 2, 2012
    I don't think this was ever Lucasfilm's thinking. They're not stupid.

    Explain what you mean by this. I didn't get this feeling from watching the movie.

    I'm not saying every movie needs to have Ewoks and Gungans doing cute things in it, but part of the success of Star Wars is that it has something for small children as well as big children and adults.

    Yeah, and . . . ?

    You didn't like ANY of the characters?

    The dialogue between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan was a bit dry. Obi-Wan's comment about "The negotiations were short" seemed like a strained effort to make a joke. This is the one thing you've brought up that I can understand what you're alluding to.

    Again, I don't know what you mean. The documentaries I've watched about the making of the film would suggest that the actors did work well with everyone else. You're going to have to give specific examples of what it is you're criticizing.

    LOL You say that as if George Lucas works all alone on all those things you mentioned.

    I get that you didn't like Phantom Menace. I'm fine with that. You need to do a better job of explaining why.