The Martian landscape.

I first heard about a "John Carter of Mars" film project some years ago, when rumors were abound that it was being set up at Pixar. This turned out to not be the case, but the rumors started as the project was being helmed by Andrew Stanton. Stanton has worked at Pixar for many years, and is one of the chief creative minds behind the likes of Finding Nemo and WALL-E. These are two of my favorite movies, so my interest was piqued.

I lost track of the project for a while, and hadn't heard anything about its development until a trailer hit the web. As someone not familiar with the John Carter series of books, it gave me a fresh look at what I might expect from this fantastic tale. I'm not usually into the fantasy genre, although I did love the Lord of the Rings movies.

I am however, a huge sci-fi nerd, and what appeals to me about this movie, is that it appears to recreate that sense of awe and adventure we had about Mars a hundred years ago. The discovery of what looked like man-made canals stretching across the surface of Mars sent our imaginations into a world of wonder.

Of course, we know much better than that now. Half a century of exploring the red planet has shown us that the reality is just as amazing. Rather than update the story, Stanton has chosen to represent the setting just as it cold have been imagined when the books were first published. John Carter won't be providing any science lessons, but it sure looks like one heck of an adventure.

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