Monday, July 16, 2012

John Carter Sequel: Can the Fans Make a Difference?

Consider this an "Opinion Time" piece.

With the past week's San Diego Comic-Con now over and all of the big movies and TV shows previewed-from Iron Man 3 to Pacific Rim-the John Carter Sequel Facebook Group, which you can visit here https://facebook.com/groups/backtobarsoom, was out to stir up support and get signatures for a petition to get Disney to make a sequel. Most of their activity was covered by the John Carter Files so you can head over there for all of the updates-including a surprise appearance by James Purefoy-at http://johncarterfiles.com.

The movement also caught the eye of Indiewire writer Kevin Jaegernauth, who wrote about it http://blogs.indiewire.com/theplaylist/sad-trombone-john-carter-fans-use-booth-at-comic-con-to-collecting-signatures-for-a-sequel-20120713#.UAClYu1WLaq. But according to him all of this activity may have been for nothing: "There is an earnest sadness about this whole effort, which will largely be futile in the end. Frankly, these are kinds of fans Disney could have used before the movie came out, not after." (It should be pointed out that Jaegernauth also wasn't a fan of the movie, giving it a "D" rating on Indiewire a few months back.) But it raises a question: Can the fans of this movie have an impact and get that sequel going?

If you ask them I'm sure the answer would be an enthusiastic and very defiant "YES!" They're determined to get that sequel made, despite Disney writing it off. The question is can they make it happen? I have to agree somewhat with Jaegernauth here-Disney had no interest in building up or listening to the fans before the movie came out, why should they start now? To them they have other franchises to pursue-Marvel and its numerous comic book characters, OZ: The Great and Powerful, The Lone Ranger, Pixar's Monster University-and they probably feel even with new chairman Alan Horn in place that a sequel is just not worth the financial risk. Or even going in with Andrew Stanton again since Stanton was the one held most responsible for the budget problems and being hard to work with, especially with the marketing department.

What many of them are clinging to is the belief that the fans can make a difference. And it has happened before. From Star Trek to Firefly, devoted fans have kept what was considered a flop alive and even brought it back from the dead. I admit my own opinion about the movement is split. I can empathize with their desire for Stanton to get to make his sequels but I just can't support Stanton. I feel he was the major reason John Carter didn't work for me as a film and I'm just not that interested in seeing him return. But I will say this: If they succeed and convince some other company to make it, then I'll be there. I will give it a chance. Because they deserve to have another film. John Carter of Mars deserves it too.

So in closing the fans can make a difference by not giving up. I may not agree with them but I can see where they are coming from. And finally: Thor: The Dark World? Anyone want to explain that title?

1 comment:

Dotar Sojat said...

I think this is a fair-minded assessment. Obviously it's a long shot with Disney, and my personal expectation is that the movement may have to "move" past Disney and it may take quite a few years--but the fans who are involved in the movement are having a blast building a community who share their enthusiasm, and there's value in that. And the presence of a fan movement that's organized and vocal may help on the margins in various ways -- including, possibly, getting other ERB material up on screen. And at a minimum it is already helping change the narrative about the film and, indirectly, Burroughs -- from "dismal flop" to something more like "emerging cult classic". There's value in that too.