Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Books into Movies, or A Common Occurrence

Obviously, in my opinion, books are awesome. And as I said in a previous entry, I've been reading a lot of e-books. I've talked about the differences between Edgar R. Burroughs' version of Mars and Ray Bradbury's, and now I'm really getting into Burroughs more.

After finishing A Princess of Mars I sought out as many of the other books as I could. I'm currently reading #7, A Fighting Man of Mars. Each individual book is great in itself, but together the series almost always sounds the same: Man falls in love with woman, woman spurns him, woman gets kidnapped, man rescues her, she falls in love with him, they get married, yadda yadda. Despite the fact that they're all pretty much the same book with different characters, I really am enjoying this series and want to own them all (particularly to put them on a table at my wedding).

Recently I read an article on IMDB that there is a movie being made called John Carter based on at least the first book of this series (I don't see Thuvia on the cast list, and she appears in the second book, so I assume it's only the first book being done now). The casting looks to be pretty good, with a mix of big-names and no-names. I'm curious, though, how they're going to make this movie actually look good because the scenery, characters and creatures are all so varied and impossible. I mean, the description of Tars Tarkas alone is nearly impossible to picture in my mind. I ended up just seeing him as a huge green troll, rather than the four-armed monster he is. It doesn't help that Burroughs refers to all the races of mars as "people" or "humans," which makes it hard for me to picture Tars Tarkas with four arms and eyes protruding from his head. Thoats appear in my mind as really fat camels with fat legs and padded feet. I see Woola, the faithful "hound," (and this is honestly how I picture him when I read) as the footstool puppy from the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast but bigger, and with a more ferocious mouth.

So how do you think they will do these characters? I wonder if they're going to have Willem Dafoe (as Tars Tarkas) in full-body green makeup with lots of stuff all over him, or if they're going to make him more of a CG character with Dafoe's voice. I wonder how they're going to make Lynn Collins (as Dejah Thoris) into the most beautiful woman on the planet, since there are plenty more beautiful actresses out there and she's not even that pretty to me. I've never seen Taylor Kitsch in anything even though he's apparently popular, but from the main picture on his IMDB page he looks like a great choice for John Carter (although I always pictured John as an older man, in his late 30's or early 40's).

I also wonder if they will continue the series or cut it off at the first book. Since all the other books are very similar in plot, they will probably cut their losses and only do the first book. But with the sequel choices Hollywood has been making lately, I wouldn't be surprised if they decided to run the gamut and do them all, and mutilate the stories so much they wouldn't even resemble the books.

Are you looking forward to this movie? I sure am. You can bet I will be seeing this in theatres if it's released around me!

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