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In 2012, Disney's John Carter took to the screen, only to be met with disaster. John Carter was faced with stiff competition, with the likes of , Skyfall, The Dark Knight Rises, Looper and others dropping in 2012. The film raked in a mere $284 million worldwide on a whopping $250 million budget, making it one of Disney's largest flops to date. But could we see John Carter return to theaters in the near future?

A 'John Carter' Sequel Might Not Be Out Of The Question

Despite all that, it's not entirely impossible to see a sequel or reboot of the franchise with a fresh start. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Rights have been reverted from Disney to Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.
  • President of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. James Sullos, believes John Carter could be as successful as The Avengers.
  • The original novel, written in 1919, was a catalyst for such films as , , and even .
'John Carter' [Credit: Disney]
'John Carter' [Credit: Disney]

James Sullos released a statement a while back, making his intentions and feelings clear involving the resurrection of the franchise:

“John Carter of Mars was the creative stimulus behind such movie classics as Superman, Star Wars and Avatar. Edgar Rice Burroughs was the Master of Adventure and his literary works continue to enjoy a world-wide following. We will be seeking a new partner to help develop new adventures on film as chronicled in the eleven Mars novels Burroughs wrote. This adventure never stops. Along with a new TARZAN film in development by Warner Bros., we hope to have JOHN CARTER OF MARS become another major franchise to entertain world-wide audiences of all ages.”

Here's Why It Might Not Work

Despite Sullos' optimism, will still have a major hill to climb. A failed film typically means you have to begin with a reboot of the film to build interest again in the franchise. Key to this is finding the right director. Unfortunately, most good directors have their plates full with other projects, and would be part of the competition if Carter were to ever get off the ground.

But one has to wonder, would we be faced with the same outcome? The previous director, Andrew Stanton, had a massive budget and a substantial resume with Pixar, having directed such films as Wall-E, Finding Nemo, and A Bug's Life and having written all three Toy Story movies. Yet even he, with his impressive resume, met with failure trying to bring the strange fiction novel to screen.

'John Carter' [Credit: Disney]
'John Carter' [Credit: Disney]

So here are the factors working against a sequel or reboot:

  • No Disney means a smaller budget?
  • Stronger competition at the box office
  • Finding a director who will want to take on the challenge
  • Not enough people know the story to move on with a part two

Those are just a few reasons a John Carter 2 could fail. But in its defense, I personally enjoyed John Carter and thought it's been underrated. If you gave it a watch today, I'm sure you'd be pleasantly surprised. The original film definitely had that feel to it, a fun cosmic adventure with an end that leaves you wanting to know more. I certainly wanted to know what happened after the movie ended. Having read Burroughs' novel I must say, there is a fantastic story to be told in a sequel to the 2012 film.

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Should the John Carter franchise be revived?


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