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Taylor Kitsch Says 'John Carter' Sequel Script Was "F*cking Awesome' & "Emotionally Taxing"

by Ben Brock
May 28, 2014 11:05 AM
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Spare a thought for Taylor Kitsch, people. Two years after “John Carterbombed in ways we dissected at length, followed by the double whammy of “Battleship” and “Savages” also, um, underperforming, and he's still out there, working his way through serious projects. Our review of HBO's AIDS drama “The Normal Heart” finds him one of the better things about it, and he also has Canadian mini-comedy “The Grand Seduction” coming up, where he stars alongside Brendan Gleeson (trailer here).

Accordingly, he sat down with Variety to talk over his newest projects, which revealed that he hasn't overwhelmed himself with preparation for either of them – “I wish I'd seen it”, he says of the stage version of “The Normal Heart,” and “I had never heard of it or knew it existed” of the original, French-Canadian version of “The Grand Seduction”, which came out 10 years ago. But then again, dude went and sat down with Larry Kramer, “The Normal Heart”'s author, and got his reminiscences of the AIDS crisis right from the horse's mouth.

Still, Variety also couldn't resist touching on his past failures, about which Kitsch is pretty open: “it wasn’t an uplifting experience. My biggest regret would have been if I didn’t do enough personally. If I didn’t give it everything I had. If I hadn’t prepped enough. I don’t have that regret, so that allows me to let go.” 

Which, kudos to him, but he does strike terror into our hearts with the next sentence. Speaking of the “John Carter” sequel, he says: “I know the second script was fucking awesome. We had to plant a grounding, so we could really take off in the second one. The second one was even more emotionally taxing, which was awesome.” But never fear. There may be a script, but no way is Hollywood that desperate. Yet.

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  • John Allen Small | May 29, 2014 6:01 PMReply

    This was by far the BEST film that came out that year. I am so sick and tired of people continually putting it down. The fact that JOHN CARTER was a "commercial failure" says more about the lack of work Disney put into promoting it - and the apparent lack of taste on the part of the vast majority of moviegoers at the time - than it does about the quality of the film itself. I'll take this film over the abyssmal AVATAR any day.

  • Jimbo2K7 | May 29, 2014 8:59 AMReply

    One of the most underrated films in recent memory. Far better than any of the Transformer films, imho.

    I do not get all the negatives - I assume that comes from people who have not seen it.

  • DArtagnan | May 28, 2014 6:31 PMReply

    John Carter was not a bad film. If we can tolerate sequels to Transformers, Spider Man or Thor, why not John Carter, which was at least fun to watch.

  • jawsnnn | May 28, 2014 5:34 PMReply

    "Which, kudos to him, but he does strike terror into our hearts with the next sentence..."

    No. Please stop with the generic film bashing. "John Carter" was not a bad film. It was not even a so-bad-its-fun movie. It was actually nice, and if it had come out 5 years ago, it may have made a ton of money. The reason for its spectacular failure (as many have pointed out below) was that it was not marketed properly towards kids - who should have been the biggest target audience for the film. Instead the marketing department spent foolish manpower towards nonsensical name changes (removing "of Mars" to make it more attractive for women? Sheesh!)
    Taylor Kitsch did a great job as the lead, and I would not have minded another film - since first sequels always improve upon the original.

  • John | May 28, 2014 2:42 PMReply

    Count me as one of those who likes John Carter,it's not a masterpiece but is a decent fun movie.

  • JK1193 | May 28, 2014 12:59 PMReply

    I didn't have any issues with Kitsch's three 2012 projects, I still think he's a decent actor, but the timing wasn't right for those three releases. Having said that, John Carter is above and beyond the best of those three and I'm pleased to hear that the second one was going to be even better.

  • Paul | May 28, 2014 12:42 PMReply

    I agree with MAL. John Carter may have been a commercial failure, but "commercial failure" is not synonymous with "bad movie" and it's a shame that entertainment media writers are stuck too far up their own asses to realize it. I'm actually pretty sad that we won't get a sequel. I thought it was great, and I can't wait until my daughter is old enough to watch it with me on Blu-ray.

  • MAL | May 28, 2014 12:12 PMReply

    I can never understand all the negativity towards John Carter. Disney had no idea what to do with it and failed miserably with its marketing. The movie itself was a fun, creatively told story that was actually quite good. It was successfully made in a retro, 1930s serial style rather than with a loud, dark "take me seriously" contemporary approach.

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