First up, courtesy of EW, is the Great White Ape. A particularly deadly section of the Martian wildlife, they are considerably smaller in the source but have been beefed up for the movie.
Stanton tells EW, "They were always cool, just from a visceral standpoint, [but] they don’t really have a narrative function in the first book. So what we did is we made the White Apes a formidable creature that you kind of hear about throughout the movie, but you never really witness. There’s a subtle sense of anticipation for what these things might be like."
Good thing all that build up pays off in an EW exclusive picture, right?
Stanton continues, "Then Michael Kutsche — who did a lot of the designs on [the Johnny Depp movie] Alice in Wonderland – came up with this design on his own, for just their scale. He made them nocturnal, almost like moles — they stopped using their eyes, and just had a heightened sense of smell. We just love that. We needed a scene where Carter was going have to get out of his execution sentence in order to move the story forward, and we thought what better than having to go up against this formidable creature?"
The image, the design and the plot set-up feel very Attack of the Clones, which is never a great impression to walk away with; we can only hope the story is better.
Next up is a selection of images (via SFX Magazine), likely taken from the new upcoming trailer.
A spaceship. Fairly standard stuff for a science fiction movie.
John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) rides a space-gondola and a space-camel. OK, that's something different.
Here is Woola, John Carter's pet, who accompanies him on his travels to protect him from such native dangers as White Apes.
Here is Tars Tarkas, played by Willem Dafoe, a great warrior of the Green Martian race known as the Tharks.
Dejah Thoris, "The Princess of Mars", played by Lynn Collins.
Now, little background mixed with unsolicited opinion. Disney are desperate to crack the elusive "boys" market, Prince of Persia failed, Pirates of the Caribbean seems to skew heavily towards girls and they have yet to release any Marvel Studios titles under their banner. John Carter is another grab for the XY demographic, they have put a lot of money behind it and nabbed one of Pixar's premiere directing talents, Wall-E's Andrew Stanton, to helm the picture.
The Barsoom books have mined to the point of depletion by other scifi properties, namely a little movie called Avatar. Dueling concepts are no new thing, there is room for two movies about human outsiders entering a savage alien world.
The original trailer was light on fantasy imagery and the title change felt like they were intentionally avoiding the biggest hook of the property - Mars!
These new images at least attempt to show there is more to John Carter than just a lot of sand and stoic heroes.
Time will tell, perhaps seeing these images in motion on the big screen will help, but right now I am just not getting the same feeling of awe and discovery that I got from any given scene in a Pixar movie.