Back in the day I read pretty well all the science fantasy of Edgar Rice Burroughs, from Tarzan, through the Pellucidar series and the tales of Barsoom — Mars — with its scantily clad Princess. Inevitably those of my generation (and possibly of later generations) imagined the muscular heroes, and in particular John Carter and his princess Dejah Thoris, in imagery based on the art of Frank Frazetta, as it appears on the cover of the 1970 edition of the first of the Barsoom books, A Princess of Mars, and the later A Fighting Man of Mars:
Frazetta’s fantasy art, along with that of Boris Vallejo, provided a muscular, dynamically iconic vision of John Carter and Dejah Thoris, as his cover art also did for Conan the Barbarian (perhaps even more so).
With the imminent release of the new Disney fantasy blockbuster John Carter (US-2012; dir. Andrew Stanton), which is due to open in Australia on 8 March, the current generation will acquire, I suspect, a new vision of Burroughs’ characters — even if from the look of recent publicity there is a certain familiarity to it all (as there should be). Check out this latest poster, which ups the fantastical ante over previously released collateral:
The stills below tell a similar story and the lush re-imagined familiarity of them makes me very keen to see the film. John Carter has been long overdue to make a big-budget appearance at the movies — one fitting Burroughs’ neglected importance in the genre.
If you haven’t already seen them, check out the trailers and the following clips: