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Jon Favreau Of Mars

Exclusive: Director talks sci-fi epic

Empire recently spoke to Zathura director and one time Swingers star, Jon Favreau, about his upcoming projects and got the full story on his proposed move into grown up action territory, John Carter of Mars…what do you mean you've never heard of it?

"It was written by Edgar Rice Burroughs (Tarzan) close to a hundred years ago," says Favreau for the unitiated. "It’s actually been a bit of a creative well spring than influenced Star Wars a great deal and Superman can kind of be traced back to it. Basically any science fiction goes back to the grandfather, which is John Carter. It’s about a civil war veteran – a cavalry captain – who finds himself transported to Mars and finds himself in the nexus of all these warring tribes on this dying planet with diminishing resources...He also finds himself with what I guess you would call super powers. At the time it was written we didn’t understand anything about going to planets with lower gravity and so the way it was expressed was that he had superhuman strength and leaping abilities. So he’s the guy who finds himself at the end of a war that was pretty meaningless, basically, and wasteful on Earth and ends up showing up on this planet as a super warrior who can actually make a difference. So it’s a bit of a fantasy in that respect."

See, Star Wars meets Superman and goes to war. Now that's exciting. The project has been on various Hollywood drawing boards for years, "since an animated version was proposed around the time of Snow White" according to Favreau. "This thing has gone through dozens of incarnations and because of how expansive it is and the fact that there’s only one human character and most of the other characters are fifteen feet tall green martians there has never been the technology available to bring it to the screen. But now with the technology that exists (Favreau sites Peter Jackson’s King Kong as the film that proves it can be done) I’m pretty confident that we come up with something really cool."

The movie is still in the development stages, but has the potential to be enormous. “The way it stands is that we have artists working on research, we’re working on a script and we should know by the spring whether we’re going ahead or if the project goes back on the woodpile…It’s pretty big. Theoretically it could spin out into a fully fledged franchise, which is, I think, what the holy grail is for the movie studios now.”

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