Well, this is not really all that much of a surprise considering it's now a standard practice. For anyone who has been paying attention in 2011, major projects like "Real Steel" and "Green Lantern" were already talking about sequels long before they hit theaters. Studios are all about franchises right now, and they don't want to be waiting around for years for a sequel should a movie turn out to be a big hit. Thus, with press assembled right now in Arizona for a massive "John Carter" pow wow with everyone involved with the movie, talk of a followup is already in the air.
ComingSoon chatted briefly with producer Jim Morris who confirmed that director Andrew Stanton and writer Michael Chabon are in initial stages of planning a sequel, which has a working title of "John Carter: The Gods Of Mars," which is also the name of the second book in the Barsoom series by Edgar Rice Burroughs. We'll let you wiki the storyline lest we reveal any spoilers, but needless to say, our hero would find himself back on the red planet for more adventures.
Meanwhile, our correspondent Jeff Otto caught up with Stanton who said if everything goes to plan, he'll do the sequel next but also has something brewing in case it doesn't work out. "I have to have two things. One I can’t talk about because it may not go for a while but I’m very deep in it as an alternative if we don’t do the 'John Carter' sequel," he said. "So I’ve been working very hard on 'Gods of Mars,' which is the second book. And we’re just waiting to see how it does. 'John Carter' would be next if [the first film] does well enough. And if not, I’ve got another thing parallel. [The other film] would be a hybrid [of live action and animation]."
Disney has a lot riding on this movie, and Deadline hasn't helped matters by dropping an overblown story this morning about how the movie tracking poorly. Of course, as we just mentioned, press is in Arizona right now conducting interviews, so the campaign machine is only gearing up, with the studio recently dropping images and clips in the last 24 hours. So is awareness down? With all that considered, sure, but just remember, past Disney movies like "Tron: Legacy" and "Tangled" were also tagged with similar reports before those movies opened, with both going on to earn $400 million and $590 million worldwide, respectively. So, yeah, this movie isn't down for the count yet.
"John Carter" opens on March 9th.