UPDATED!! JOHN CARTER OF MARS has a new director and he's so money...
Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with an update on that little sci-fi fantasy project at Paramount called JOHN CARTER OF MARS. It's official. There's a new director. I unabashedly love SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW, warts and all, and am saddened by Kerry Conran leaving JOHN CARTER, but I'm also a fan of the new director the studio has brought on board. Paramount has nabbed JON FAVREAU, fresh off of ZATHURA and still riding high on the huge success of ELF. Man, all this talent swapping... you'd think the producers would make up their minds. Sheesh...
This'll be a big project for Favreau, but I really dig the choice. I like that Favreau switches up his films. MADE and ELF are radically different. ZATHURA is a sci-fi flick, but it's one aimed at families. JOHN CARTER OF MARS will not only break Favreau from the trend of directing films with one-word titles, but will also be his shot at making an all audience tentpole movie. If he sticks close to Edgar Rice Burroughs' brilliant novel, he has a chance at making a true classic. I dig this choice. I'm interviewing Favreau in about 36 hours, so I'll make sure to grill him on JOHN CARTER... plus I gotta warn him about those nasty, money grubbing redheaded producer types... What do you folks think of this development?
Hey, gang. "Moriarty" here with a few questions and answers. Seems that the executive producer of this film, one "Harold J. Knowles," happened to be online tonight when this announcement went live. I decided to grill him a bit. The first question, and the most obvious, is what the heck happened to Kerry Conran?!
"I love Kerry, we all did. Ultimately though, Kerry found a couple of pulp properties that he was even more passionate about. Whenever he's ready to announce, I think everyone everywhere will be happy. You see... We're still going to deliver a Great JOHN CARTER movie, but Kerry will deliver another great science fiction pulp character film too. We film lovers will have twice as much to be excited about!"
Hmmmmm... I see. So how do you feel about Jon Favreau coming onboard as the new director?
"Jon Favreau is just an incredibly exciting choice. For one, I've known and had a great relationship with Favs, hell he even took part in the doomed AICN TV Pilot for Comedy Central. Plus - Jon has an absolute passion for not just the material - but all the great toys that must be employed in making this epic a reality."
Oh, yeah, that's right. He was in our pilot, wasn't he? Y'know, Paramount's gone through a lot of changes since you first got involved in this project. Is this hiring of Favreau a sign of confidence in the project?
"Actually - ya know, it hasn't mattered which execs we've had... there's always been a great deal of excitement at the studio side regarding this project. Signing Jon on has been further proof of just how much they value the John Carter property."
Okay, then. One last question. Ehren Kruger's script was reportedly turned in, and I've heard it wasn't universally loved by any means. What's the plan now that you've got Favs onboard?
"Jon's first order of business is to bring on a screenwriter to bring the script back closer to Burroughs. He loves that novel. At this stage Jon is securing the effects and design team that we've had through Kerry's tenure on the project and just continue to chip away at the awesome mountain of pre-production that will make this film amongst the finest science fiction-fantasy films of all time."
If you do say so yourself. Sounds good. Thanks, Mr. Knowles. Maybe someday we'll have a chance to chat some more. For now...