Space Opera Main

Star Wars

Star Trek

The Last Starfighter



The Fifth Element

More Space Opera


John Carter

Taylor Kitsch as John Carter, a former Confederate Army captain in the American Civil War who is reluctantly drawn into a war conflict on Barsoom (Mars).

Dejah Thoris

Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris, a Princess of Helium and John Carter's love interest.

Tars Tarkas

Willem Dafoe (voice) as Tars Tarkas, the Jeddak ("Emperor") of the Green Martian Tharks and John Carter's unlikely ally.

Matai Shang

Mark Strong as Matai Shang, the leader of the Therns.

Tal Hajus

Thomas Haden Church (voice) as Tal Hajus, one of the Tharks and Tars Tarkas' rival.

Sab Than

Dominic West as Sab Than, the Jeddak of Zodanga.

Kantos Kan

James Purefoy as Kantos Kan, an officer of Helium.


Samantha Morton (voice) as Sola, Tars Tarkas' daughter.

Tardos Mors

Ciarán Hinds as Tardos Mors, the Jeddak of Helium.

Colonel Powell

Bryan Cranston as Colonel Powell.


Polly Walker (voice) as Sarkoja, a Thark zealot.

Zodangan General

Art Malik as Zodangan General.

Edgar Rice Burroughs

Daryl Sabara as Edgar Rice Burroughs.


Nicholas Woodeson as Dalton, Carter's attorney.


Don Stark as Dix, a storekeeper in Arizona.

David Schwimmer as Young Thark Warrior

Jon Favreau (cameo) as Thark Bookie. Favreau was once attached to direct the film when it was still a Paramount production.

John Carter 2012

Disney's megabudget foray into a new CGI franchise of epic sci-fi mythology arrives with a massive marketing push and an interesting pulp pedigree that will probably inspire as many fans as it will naysayers.

This impressively crafted piece of escapist fantasy is based on a character and series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs that is runner-up to his primary creation, Tarzan, and the 20-plus volumes he wrote about that iconic ape-raised jungle adventurer. Burroughs churned out books in both series concurrently for roughly his entire adult life in the first half of the 20th century.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

John Carter is a former Confederate Civil War captain and fortune-hunting ne'er-do-well who through a weird incident of astral projection is plopped down on the red planet, where he becomes a passionate warrior against beasts and humanoids for the security of a home world known to its inhabitants as Barsoom.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

John Carter presents this origin setup in a clever prologue that finds the cranky Carter on the run from frontier military authorities as well as a band of marauding Indians. Carter is played by Friday Night Lights star Taylor Kitsch with great bravado.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

His character undergoes radical change when confronted with something he can finally care about. It doesn't hurt that an exotic princess of Mars is part of the prize package that comes from his battle against evil and ultimately doing the right thing.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

John Carter is a visual feast (especially in well-conceived 3-D) with an array of digital and motion-capture techniques that create an eye-popping world of strange creatures, astounding architectural vistas, aerial panoramas, and luminous landscapes.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

All the extraordinary detail is not surprising considering that Pixar superstar Andrew Stanton is at the helm (he also directed Finding Nemo and WALL-E). There's a lot going on in the script, and it sometimes feels as though too much work was done in the editing suite to streamline a story that is often overly complicated.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

Barsoom is ruled by three species, all with their own political and social agendas. There are the humans whose city-state cultures are threatened by civil war and the aggression of Tharks, a race of giant green-skinned, four-armed warriors with horrific tusks and a deeply bellicose intellect.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

Separate from both are the mythic Therns, a cultlike sect of über-beings who seek to manipulate all of Barsoom into their own submission. Added to the mix are a variety of outrageous animal creatures both vicious and sublime that make for an extremely motley ensemble of beasties.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

The huge cast of characters, species, and names becomes a bit confusing to keep straight in all the rapid-fire exposition. Fortunately the movie doesn't ever stop long enough to allow much time for thinking; there's something new and exciting to look at in virtually every scene.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

Because of some fantastical leaps of physics and gravity, Carter's Martian body possesses super strength and the ability to make single bounds over huge distances. His powers not only make him a godlike presence to the natives of Barsoom, they also provide for some dizzying feats of movie magic.

Behind the Scenes - View larger image

The most bravura element of the conceptual design is a fleet of massive solar-powered flying machines that recall something out of H.G. Wells or a steampunk fantasy. These colorful, insectlike machines soar and float in the gold-hued Martian atmosphere with thrilling precision.

Excerpts and References:,

Detailed Synopsis & Screenshots

"Mars . . . so you name it and think that you know it. The Red Planet, no air, no life, but you do not know Mars. For it's true name is Barsoom. And it is not airless nor is it dead, but is dying."

"The city of Zodanga saw to that. Zodanga, the predator city, moving, devouring, draining Barsoom of energy and life."

"Only the great city of Helium dared resist, stood strong, matched airship for airship, holding fast for a thousand years."

"Until one day the rulers became cornered in a sandstorm . . . and everything changed."

Warriors of Helium attack the ship of Sab Than, the Jeddak of Zodanga.

Swords are drawn as the Helium warriors board the Zodanga ship, a great battle rages on. One side blue and the other side red.

Suddenly a powerful force strikes and destroys the Helium ships along with the warriors of both armies, except for Sab Than.

On the red ship, three bald figures float down onto the ship and approach Sab Than.

They give him a blue mesh device, it morphs onto his hand.

He realizes it's a weapon that gives him the ability to shoot bolts of energy, but when he tries to shoot the three figures he is instead blasted backwards. They are Therns, representatives of the Goddess.

The Thern leader, Matai Shang, "We serve the Goddess . . . and she has chosen you to receive this weapon. Do as we command and you will rule all of Barsoom. . . with none to defy you. . . and nothing to stand in your way."

In New York City, 1881, a man eludes another in the crowded streets. He appears anxious, and eventually enters a building.

Inside he pays extra to send a telegram special delivery.

A young man receives the telegram -- his uncle is urging him to hurry and save him.

The young man travels to the uncle's large estate where a lawyer explains the uncle, John Carter, died suddenly and left everything to the young man.

He passes the young man, Edgar Rice Burroughs, an old diary.

After the lawyer leaves, the young man begins to read. The story begins in Arizona, after the Civil War. John Carter, a decorated former captain in the Confederate Army, is prospecting for gold.

The locals don't seem to like him. Colonel Powell of the cavalry tries to press Carter into service to fight the Apache.

Carter refuses to cooperate, and after several failed escape attempts, he tricks a cell guard and escapes Fort Grant on a stolen horse.

Powell and the rest of the cavalry give chase but are forced to halt when they see that Carter has met up with a mounted Apache war band.

Both sides are armed and wary, and a language barrier increases the tension.

One of Powell's men gets trigger happy and kills an Apache, a gunfight breaks out.

Carter takes the chance to run off, but Colonel Powell is shot, and Carter returns to retrieve the injured man.

The two escape into a box canyon and find a small cave. The Apache approach but quickly withdraw, cowering as if in fear. Carter and Powell are puzzled by the Apaches' retreat.

Carter returns to where the Apache had been standing, and notices a spider symbol on the rock face.

Leaving Powell near the opening, he goes deeper into the cave to investigate. There Carter finds a chamber with strange markings . . . and he finds gold embedded in the cave walls.

Entranced, he misses the stranger who appears behind him, and Powell is almost too late to shout a warning. The stranger is a bald man in a shining robe with a knife that seemed to have manifested out of thin air.

The two fight, Carter shoots the other and notices that the bald man had retrieved a blue-glowing medallion.

Picking it up, Carter repeats the words he heard the other say, and suddenly he awakes in a strange desert.

Carter tries to walk but stumbles and appears to float. He spends several minutes learning how to walk in in this strange new environment. (The gravity is much lower than what he's accustomed to, but he doesn't know that.)

He makes his way to the nearby tor and finds a nest of eggs hatching green six-limbed infants.

Disturbed, he is about to leave when he notices a group of green creatures approaching. They are mounted on large beasts and armed with firearms, and when they see Carter they open fire until one of them tells the others to stop.

This tall green alien with 4 arms lays down his sword and rifle and greets Carter. As with the Apaches, there's a language barrier but the two manage to give their names. The green man is Tars Tarkas, the Jeddak, or leader, of his tribe.

Tarkas knows Carter is not a local, and asks him to jump again. Carter takes the chance to jump towards Tarkas' weapons, but before he can fight he is overpowered.

Again Tarkas waves off the rest of his group, telling them to spare Carter. They collect the hatchlings, killing those who seem too weak, and take Carter to their home in the ruins of an ancient city.

By this time Carter is horrified and out of his depth, he wants to go home and knows the medallion is likely the only way. Unfortunately, Tarkas has recovered the medallion and wears it.

NEXT > > >

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Page 01

Space Opera Main

Star Wars

Star Trek

The Last Starfighter



The Fifth Element

More Space Opera

Home | More Sci-Fi | Site design by SFMZone. Copyright 2010 - 2024 All Rights Reserved. | Site Info | TOP^