For much of the last year I’ve been caught up in what was at first a hopeful experience–my favorite book series from my youth finally making it to the screen–but gradually turned into a nightmare as I watched a marketing disaster of epic proportions lead to it being declared a horrific flop before it was even released . . . .but within days of its release it started generating extremely passionate fans, and my blogsite up until today continues to get 200-300 hits a day from people searching “John Carter Sequel” or “John Carter 2”. Anyway, the whole eperience led to me creating first the blogsite The John Carter Files, and eventually writing a book entitled John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood that tries to figure out just what went wrong . . . . and which makes the case that this film series isn’t quite dead yet. The book was released today . . .it’s on Amazon and for sale on our sites as well. I’m truly proud of the book — it’s me doing my bit for the old grandmaster Edgar Rice Burroughs, a true genius who inspired us to dream big and believe in ourselves and the possibilities that life holds for us. Ray Bradbury said this of Burroughs: “Burroughs is probably the most influential writer in the entire history of the world. By giving romance and adventure to a whole generation of boys, Burroughs caused them to go out and decide to become special. . . .Burroughs probably changed more destinies than any other writer in American history.”
In true Burroughs style, this timely tale ends with its own, real-life cliffhanger: will the concluding installments of the Burroughs/Stanton trilogy ever see the light of day, or, more to the point, the warm, inviting light of an IMAX theater? Against all odds, Sellers shows how that just might happen.
A not particularly critical look by a fan who’s fanaticism over a middling movie out of place and time is mildly entertaining, but not for the reasons one might suspect. It’s a glimpse into an uber fan’s well meaning, if obviously skewed love of the pulp novellas and it’s translation into one of the biggest motion picture blunders ever. The film itself couldn’t convince audiences to care–it never rises above just another content filler for late night cable tv filler.
The information on the films mishandling by marketing is certainly the most interesting part of this book. Why would Disney not properly promote a film, no matter how weak, that it spent so much money on? It’s certainly far better, as a film, than dreck like Tim Burton’s moneymaker Alice in Wonderland and the bomb Tron Legacy.
Ultimately, the book can’t shake it’s “fan-boy” status, and it’s passionate argument for a sequel isn’t very convincing. Taken with a very large grain of salt, it’s more interesting as a peek into the culture of fan-dom than a serious look at the perils of Hollywood moviemaking.