Friday, August 02, 2013

"John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood": A Review

Didn't expect to be posting again so soon, but I just finished this book and I wanted to get my thoughts down while they were fresh.

John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood is author Michael Sellers' history of the way in which Edgar Rice Burroughs' character came to the screen (after a century in print), how the resulting film was marketed, and why it is--perhaps wrongly--considered a failure in movie circles.

It is also the beginning of Sellers's campaign to convince the powers-that-be that a sequel is not only in order but capable of being a hit.

The story of the making and marketing of Disney's John Carter is well told in the book, and Sellers carefully spreads the blame around...though most of it seems to fall on studio chief Rich Ross and marketing director MT Carney. In that, he is probably not wrong. But I think his idea that all that has come before can be overcome in producing and marketing a sequel is wrong. The likelihood of convincing the movie-going public...and especially the "gods of Hollywood"...that John Carter's problems were not inherent to the material is pretty slim.

As much as I'd like to see more of director Andrew Stanton's vision of Barsoom, I suspect Sellers is on a very quixotic quest.

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