Watch: Completely Beautiful But Enigmatic Teaser Trailer For 'John Carter' Hits

by Kevin Jagernauth
July 14, 2011 3:09 AM
17 Comments
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Man, what the hell did we just watch? The first teaser trailer for Andrew Stanton's "John Carter" has arrived and it's immaculately put together, features grand sweeping vistas and impressive special effects, is scored by Peter Gabriel's cover of Arcade Fire's "My Body Is A Cage" and we have no fucking clue what it's about.

The film is an adaptation of author Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “John Carter of Mars” book series about a Civil War soldier who is transported to Mars and embarks on alien adventures. Okay, fine. But the trailer makes no connection between the period setting open, in which our lead character's uncle dies and then the fantastical Mars stuff which looks pretty grand, but without context, comes off as a weird hybrid of "Harry Potter," "Immortals," and "Cowboys & Aliens." And while Taylor Kitsch, the film's lead, remains front and center, we don't see much of the rest of the extensive cast which includes Samantha Morton, Dominic West, Polly Walker, Willem Dafoe, Lynn Collins, Bryan Cranston, Ciaran Hinds, James Purefoy, Thomas Haden Church, Mark Strong and Daryl Sabara.

So yeah, we're intrigued but also confused. Looks great, but we'd like some of the filling too. "John Carter" will hit theaters on March 9, 2012. Check out the full trailer and synopsis below. The HD version arrives this afternoon on Apple. [YouTube]

John Carter is a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). John Carter is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

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More: Films, John Carter Of Mars

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17 Comments

  • Ian | July 16, 2011 10:33 AMReply

    Pumped for this

  • Jarrett | July 14, 2011 12:42 PMReply

    He looks like He Man in that costume..

  • TheoC | July 14, 2011 6:02 AMReply

    I like it, it's less pulpier than I imagined but for an effects heavy movie the trailer doesn't feel rushed. They probably could have left the Sarbara stuff out of the trailer as I'm sure it's only at the start and possibly at the end of the first book, but maybe they want people to think 'oh Potter or Narna'. The Tharks (are they the jar jar ones?) are the most disappointing they have a touch of Green Lantern about them and I don't like his outfit, but this is not what I was expecting and that might be a good thing.

    Non related but Sci-Fi I read Gravity last week, that will be very cool.

  • BuntyHoven | July 14, 2011 4:38 AMReply

    Kevin: Wasn't complaining that it looks "unrealistic," just that it looks cheap. With all the rest of the film looking like some epic fantasy, why does Mars looks like Arizona?

  • rotch | July 14, 2011 4:36 AMReply

    This looks all kinds of great. I actually applaud the low-rent Mars. I always thought they were heading for a green-screen environment. Glad to see characters occupying a real space.

  • Rob | July 14, 2011 4:34 AMReply

    It's pretty clearly Daryl Sabara, not "our lead character," who is being told that his uncle is dead. Kitsch appears to be the kid's uncle, and obviously hasn't died, but has just been transported to Mars and is presumed dead back on Earth. The connection between those two elements seemed pretty clear to me, am I alone?

  • Ray Ha | July 14, 2011 4:26 AMReply

    I read the three books out of anticipation for this about two years ago. It was a fun read and the material should make for a good time at the movies.

    I agree with BuntyHoven though. It looks like it could take place on Earth, aside from the shot of the green alien. They don't even mention Mars at all. It's now pretty clear why they renamed it to "John Carter" - they don't want people to know!

    I expected Lynn Collins' character to look redder though I guess it doesn't surprise me they wanted the female lead to look human. I also expected the Tharks (the green aliens) to look more intimidating. They seem kind of skinny here.

  • Mark | July 14, 2011 4:26 AMReply

    Bad acting and dialogue. Cool visuals though.

  • Glass | July 14, 2011 4:16 AMReply

    Andrew Stanton doing anything in any capacity, let alone a live-action picture = I'm sold. Odd trailer, though.

  • K West | July 14, 2011 4:14 AMReply

    The movie comes out in 8 months. It's a teaser. Your not suppose to get complete plot details in a teaser. You just get some images that hopefully will make you say "wow" that looks cool. I want to see some more. You know, a tease.

  • Bash | July 14, 2011 4:08 AMReply

    Stylish trailer but my concern is that we may have another Green Lantern on our hands.

  • Cory Everett | July 14, 2011 3:56 AMReply

    I dunno about this one yet, you guys. I usually flip for this kind of thing but best part of the trailer for me was the song. Visuals/story I'm not so sure about...

  • Kevin Jagernauth | July 14, 2011 3:49 AMReply

    SHOULDN'T THEY BE WEARING SPACE HELMETS?! UNREALISTIC!!

  • BuntyHoven | July 14, 2011 3:48 AMReply

    Looks interesting, to say the least. But Mars looks a bit low-rent. Looks like the American West - shouldn't it be a bit redder?

  • fanny bunz | July 14, 2011 3:35 AMReply

    very, very cool.

  • Abner | July 14, 2011 3:28 AMReply

    That trailer was the Lynn and Taylor show for good reason. *Gotta* have a love affair amid your intergalactic Joseph Campbell saga thing.

    Looks rad.

  • Edward Davis | July 14, 2011 3:22 AMReply

    Damn, nerds are gonna FLIP for that and folks like us -- i too have no fuckin clue what this is on about are like, "damn, no clue what this is about, but looks impressive."

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