Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
‘Spider-Man’ Gig Is Still Up For Grabs: Six Actors Screentest Including Asa Butterfield, Tom Holland & More ‘Spider-Man’ Gig Is Still Up For Grabs: Six Actors Screentest Including Asa Butterfield, Tom Holland & More Disney Cancels ‘Tron 3’ Following The Disappointment Of ‘Tomorrowland’ Disney Cancels ‘Tron 3’ Following The Disappointment Of ‘Tomorrowland’ Watch: Trailer For Amateur Porn Documentary 'Hot Girls Wanted' Produced By Rashida Jones Watch: Trailer For Amateur Porn Documentary 'Hot Girls Wanted' Produced By Rashida Jones Exclusive: Trailer And Poster For Documentary 'Rubble Kings' About 1970s New York City Gang Culture Exclusive: Trailer And Poster For Documentary 'Rubble Kings' About 1970s New York City Gang Culture Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Tilda Swinton Joins Benedict Cumberbatch In 'Doctor Strange' Tilda Swinton Joins Benedict Cumberbatch In 'Doctor Strange' Watch: Jason Segel Plays David Foster Wallace Opposite Jesse Eisenberg In The First Trailer For ‘The End Of The Tour’ Watch: Jason Segel Plays David Foster Wallace Opposite Jesse Eisenberg In The First Trailer For ‘The End Of The Tour’ Why Gaspar Noé’s ‘Love’ Fails To Break The Curse Of Sex On Screen Why Gaspar Noé’s ‘Love’ Fails To Break The Curse Of Sex On Screen The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' Watch: 3 Graphic, Very NSFW Clips From Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac Vol II — Director's Cut' The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Willem Dafoe Still Baffled By Failure Of 'John Carter'; New Pixar Stamps Introduced

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist June 5, 2012 at 10:43AM

Today "John Carter" will be released on DVD and Blu-ray and, presumably, will be seen by a much larger audience than what turned up it when it was released theatrically this past spring. (The Blu-ray is a handsome, features-packed affair well worth picking up if you feel any love for the movie.) The film, which Disney recently admitted would cost the studio $200 million in lost profit, quickly became a cautionary fable about what happens when you try to launch a franchise based on a century-old property that no one much remembers anymore. One of the film's stars, Willem Dafoe, who played a Martian warrior named Tars Tarkas, is still baffled by the critical and commercial indifference the film received.
17
Willem Dafoe John Carter

Today "John Carter" will be released on DVD and Blu-ray and, presumably, will be seen by a much larger audience than what turned up it when it was released theatrically this past spring. (The Blu-ray is a handsome, features-packed affair well worth picking up if you feel any love for the movie.) The film, which Disney recently admitted would cost the studio $200 million in lost profit, quickly became a cautionary fable about what happens when you try to launch a franchise based on a century-old property that no one much remembers anymore. One of the film's stars, Willem Dafoe, who played a Martian warrior named Tars Tarkas, is still baffled by the critical and commercial indifference the film received.

“You don’t like to publicly lament disappointments too much, but I’m still kind of scratching my head over it,” Dafoe told IFC during a recent interview. “For me, I thought ‘John Carter’ really captured something. It was very pure in its approach. It was classical. It wasn’t hip and cool. It was really from the source, and I appreciate that.”

Dafoe says that the negative publicity affected the movie in untoward ways. “In my experience, sometimes a movie just hits at the wrong time, gets the wrong press, or gets the wrong representation, and it gets misunderstood.” He continued: “Sometimes it’s hard for people to really decide, too. There’s so much reporting about the business and that other stuff, that they really get distracted by some of those things, and then it influences some of the weaker-willed people to not have their own opinion.”

The actor, whose performance was turned into the animated, multi-limbed Tarkas via motion capture (it's one of the best things about the movie), is also disappointed because he won't get to explore the character in further "John Carter" sequels (an improbability at this point, barring some massive explosion in DVD and Blu-ray sales). "It sure doesn’t seem like [there will be a sequel], which is a shame,” Dafoe lamented. “This was the set-up for what could be a great series of movies. . . I was looking forward to doing a sequel, though, because I know something of where the story goes and the character of Tars Tarkas. He’s big, and the relationship with John gets more intense.”

Oh well.

It will be interesting to see what the creative principles from "John Carter" do next, particularly Pixar director/founding brain trust member Andrew Stanton, who made his live action debut on the movie. ("John Carter," as we've reiterated over and over again, is a Pixar movie in everything but its corporate branding – and at one point it was loudly being touted as "Pixar's first live action film!").

If you want some Pixar stuff connected to movies people actually love, the US Postal Service recently unveiled a new line of Pixar-themed stamps, centered around characters from "Toy Story 2," "Finding Nemo," "The Incredibles," "A Bug's Life," and "Monsters, Inc." (You can buy the stamps here.) The stamps complement a similar Pixar series from last year that included characters from "Cars," "Ratatouille," "Toy Story," "Up," and "WALL-E." You can get both sets of stamps now. Just don't hold your breath for a Tars Tarkas stamp.

Pixar Stamps skip crop

This article is related to: Pixar , Willem Dafoe, John Carter Of Mars


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates