Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape How Quentin Tarantino & Robert Rodriguez Made Josh Brolin's 'No Country For Old Men' Audition Tape Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Josh Brolin Says He's Starring With Jessica Chastain In A Movie About George Jones & Tammy Wynette Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk Watch: Robert Richardson Explains Why He Took His Name Off 'World War Z' And More In 58-Minute Cinematographer Talk George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior George Miller Says He Originally Wanted The Music In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' To Only Come From The Doof Warrior Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Stephen King Says Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining' Is "Like A Big, Beautiful Cadillac With No Engine Inside It" Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Review: Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, And More Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Naomi Watts Confirmed For David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ Revival; Tom Sizemore Joins Cast Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video Watch: Quentin Tarantino Talks 5 Movies To Watch Before 'The Hateful Eight' In 7-Minute Video SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big SAG Award Winners: ‘Spotlight’ Wins Best Ensemble, Leonardo DiCaprio, Idris Elba & Brie Larson Also Score Big Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Review: ‘Jane Got A Gun’ Starring Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton & Ewan McGregor Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' Mel Gibson Gave Nate Parker Advice On Making 'The Birth Of A Nation' The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 25 Most Anticipated New TV Shows Of 2016 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 20 Best Films Of 2015 The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Action Movies Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & More Terry Gilliam Talks The "Simplistic" Films Of Steven Spielberg, Dumbing Down Of Audiences, 'Don Quixote' Start Date & 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