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My last interview this week for Disney's "John Carter" is with the man charged to finally bring this 100-year-old character to life on the big screen, Andrew Stanton.
First, let me just say that anyone whose favorite film is "Lawrence Of Arabia" is okay by me, and especially when you can see that so clearly in the film they've made. I'm not sure I ever would have made the connection between that film and the work of Edgar Rice Burroughs. It feels natural when you see how Stanton does it, though, and that was just one of the things we discussed when we sat down at the Boulders resort in Carefree, Arizona, to talk about his movie.
Stanton is a great spokesman for his film, and I feel like the Pixar team that's been part of the company from the start is the contemporary equivalent of the group of filmmakers in the '70s who helped create the blockbuster in the first place. There was that explosion of creativity that came from guys like Lucas and Spielberg and De Palma and Scorsese and that entire peer group, and watching how their work evolved over the decades since that first amazing wave of films has been impressive. The Pixar team is now starting to move into live-action, and seeing how they maintain their voice, I'm starting to believe there's nothing these guys can't do.
The ultimate fate of "John Carter" won't be decided this weekend. All the opening weekend box-office is going to do is prove that Disney botched the marketing of the film. What's going to really tell the story of whether or not Stanton succeeded is the way the film settles into public opinion over time. Good movies have a long tail as people see them and share them and as they eventually find the people who should have seen them in the first place.
If you need any further convincing, check out my review of the film. We've also run interviews all week, including Taylor Kitsch, Dominic West, Lynn Collins, and Willem Dafoe. I hope you see this if for no other reason than so I can take that second trip to Barsoom in a few years.
"John Carter" opens tomorrow.