Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Reel Facts & Opinions: Who the hell is JCM?

A lot of people have been asking, “who the hell is this John Carter guy”, and “what is with this JCM business” ?

FACT: Disney pictures is producing an adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series of novels, in which John Carter undertakes adventures on the planet Mars. The Carter character first appeared in A PRINCESS OF MARS in 1912, and followed up with seven other novels. The film will star Taylor Kitsch (Gambit in WOLVERINE) as Carter, and co-star Mark Strong and Willem DaFoe.

OPINION: Many Earth-dwellers have not caught on to fact that the upcoming film (set for a 2012 release) is an adaptation of one of (or many) of Burroughs’ novels, due in part to the marketing strategy the Mouse is taking. The trailers are pushing a title of JOHN CARTER, while many of the theatrical posters simply say JCM.

Why the departure? First off, Disney is likely avoiding reference to Mars to avoid any connection to the shitty films we’ve had in the past ten years dealing with the Red Planet (GHOSTS OF MARS, RED PLANET, or maybe even MARS ATTACKS!). The strategy will likely work; after all, all they really need to do is get people into the theatres. The flip side to this is any fans of the original novels might not even realize that the promotions they are seeing are for those early works. Disney clearly went with going for a broad appeal.

But what can be annoying is Disney taking an epic series like the Carter adventures and reducing it to the trendy acronym thing that’s everywhere now; the newest MISSION IMPOSSIBLE film is MI:4, the next MEN IN BLACK film is MIB3, etc. Such is the world of the YouTube generation; where these young whipper-snappers have to have the entire message spelled out for them in five seconds or else they are lost. The scheme does work as people are getting their asses into the theatre; but eventually all these titles like MI:4, MIB3 and JCM are going to blend together like alphabet soup. What good will that do?

What say you?

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