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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

If we got angry about this kind of thing we'd be angry all the time

The Title Of John Carter And Why It Has Everything To Do With Gender And Money In Hollywood

Have you heard of that movie John Carter? Sounds pretty boring, right? I mean, what’s it even about? Some guy named John Carter? Ok, I’m being obtuse for effect, I know what John Carter is but the evolution the film’s title has made just got a little more awful. Writer/director Andrew Stanton recently discussed why the film, based on the novel A Princess of Mars, lost the “Princess” and the “Mars.” Hint: it has to do with us fickle little girls. 

Stanton spoke in London last month at a small preview of the new Walt Disney distributed film,  John Carter. Take a deep breath before you read this. “Here’s the real truth of it,” he said of the film’s title, “I’d already changed it from A Princess Of Mars to John Carter Of Mars. I don’t like to get fixated on it, but I changed Princess Of Mars…because not a single boy would go.”

But, wait! There’s more!

Stanton added, “And then the other truth is, no girl would go to see John Carter Of Mars. So I said, ‘I don’t won’t to do anything out of fear, I hate doing things out of fear, but I can’t ignore that truth.’”

Here’s a truth I can’t ignore – Hollywood are stuck in the Dark Ages, where boys and girls are concerned. I understand them not wanting to take risks but this is just plain ridiculous. I may not like or agree with the Princess part but since when do women not like movies set in space?

This all may be true of Hollywood but it’s still incredibly depressing to hear Stanton saying it. He’s the writer of several of Pixar’s biggest hits like Toy Story, Finding Nemo and WALL-E which are for everyone. John Carter is based on the first in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Barsoom series and while A Princess of Mars is not actually about a Princess of Mars (though it does have on in the plot), it’s still the title and takes place on the red planet. How does it make sense to take one of the biggest aspects of the film out of the title and leave just a simple name for audiences to make sense of?

“All the time we were making this big character story which just so happens to be in this big, spectacular new environment,” said Stanton. “But it’s not about the spectacle, it’s about the investment. I thought, I’ve really worked hard to make all of this an origin story. It’s about a guy becoming John Carter. So I’m not misrepresenting what this movie is, it’s John CarterMars is going to stick on any other film in the series. But by then, it won’t have a stigma to it.”

Starting off by making hackneyed assumptions about your potential audience? Perhaps not the best way to secure a sequel. Just sayin’.

(via Bleeding Cool)

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  • Geramy Forshee

    Kinda like changing the name of Captain America The First Avenger to just the first Avenger out of fear that foreign viewers would be offended >.<

  • Darwayne Michael Coburn III

    Hey here is a idea lets call it what is   WarLord of Mars  the book was called A Princess of Mars   I read this series and reading the comic series of the same series WarLord of Mars. It’s  Disney they are going to market it at the boys and girls. There are so many kids in the world if you can hit that gold mine. You will rake in the money.  Money is the root of everything not “Dark Ages”  It’s about  money it will always be about money..

  • ainok

    Well *now* I don’t want to see it. Also I’m a little nauseous.

    I know this guy, a big buff guy who works as college football coach. I remember chatting with him about movies  while back, and him telling me the last flick he went to see was “Black Swan.”

    I was a little startled, though I didn’t admit it. Just reminded me that we can’t afford to judge people’s interests and categorize them so callously. When we do, we waste opportunities and shoot ourselves in the foot.

  • Anonymous

    As I understand it, they pulled away from the word “Mars” in the title because of the abject failure of the film “Mars Needs Moms”

  • Edcedc8

    dude, chicks making out brah! [chestbump]

  • Anonymous

    Andrew Stanton was honest. He could have repeated his point with the character-driven plotline again and again. I like honest people. If the movie is as good as I suspect, I will see it independent from any title…John Carter will become finally…of Mars.

  • The Lamb

    Makes more sense than my theory that they’re hoping people will think it’s a movie about Noah Wyle’s character from ER.

  • Anna B

    Okay, that ruined it for me.

  • Terence Ng

    What’s better is that two friends of mine never bothered to check the trailer and were horrified when they watched it to its conclusion, because they thought it would be a “Save the Last Dance” affair.

  • Anna B

    Well, it’s no doubt that he was honest, what I take issue with is his “honest” assumption that women won’t go and pay to see a space movie, because that’s just plain a) wrong and b) gender stereotyping (also wrong).  Growing up, all I can remember was *wanting* to watch movies that have to do with space, time-travel, aliens, dragons, medieval warriors, ninjas, Wookies, women assassins, etc., etc.  I’ve never shied away from a movie because of any of these elements. Why is he speaking with some kind of authority in that respect. I don’t even take that kind of gender stereotyping from Helen Mirren (whom I think is awesome, except when she says bizzarely anti-womanist things).

  • Anonymous

    I also like the implicit assumption that girls can be tricked into seeing a movie set on Mars.  I imagine a group of middle schoolers trekking to the movies, deciding to see “John Carter” since that name sounds dreamy, then leaving in a rage when they realize that it’s science fiction.  But it’s too late, girls.  Andrew Stanton already has your money!

    I eagerly await the next picture from Andrew Stanton, due next summer and titled, “Nonthreatening Pan-Gender Moving Images From an Unknown Genre”.

  • Ladies Making Comics

    I’m also wondering why he thinks dudes don’t want to see a “Princess” movie.  They could easily play off Dejah Thoris to be a Princess of the Leia variety, and indicate the epic, franchise-y nature of the movie and call it “John Carter and the Princess of Mars”.  That makes it sound like Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars all rolled into one!

  • Carrie Patrick

    As a huge Burroughs fan ever since I was a little girl, I would watch the hell out of it no matter what they called it, because “John Carter”, “Princess of Mars”, “John Carter of Mars” etc all indicate the same thing to me: OMG SOMEBODY MADE A MOVIE OF IT YES YAY!! So I guess I’m not their target audience, because it sounds like they’re going into this assuming that neither boys nor girls today have any clue who Edgar Rice Burroughs is, or have read/heard of anything he ever wrote. And that makes me sad.

  • Anonymous

    I think you just proposed the best compromise title possible. Not only sound from a marketing perspective, but also actually accurate in its description of the movie.

  • Anonymous

    The Princess Bride, surely, carved this thinking out – in fact, part of it’s charm is it’s title.  In fact, screw this film, I’m gonna go watch The Princess Bride again …

  • Ladies Making Comics

    Ah, but the Princess Bride made very little money at the box office.  The fact that it became a beloved classic that no doubt kept making money on VHS and DVD and now Blu-Ray means nothing.  See: how no one thought to market the Stardust movie as “like the Princess Bride!”

  • Christopher Holden

    In his assumption about boys, that “I changed Princess Of Mars…because not a single boy would go.” I generally see his point. He’s of course talking about little kids when he references ‘boys’ and ‘girls,’ and unfortunately at a young age kids are often still very gender typed in their reactions. For example, the first time I saw The Princess Bride, my Dad wouldn’t tell me and my siblings what the name of the movie was, and he fast forwarded to the part where Wesley is climbing the cliff. I ended up loving the movie, and it’s one of my favorites now; but I know that as a little kid if my Dad had said “Hey, let’s watch a movie called ‘The Princess Bride’” I would have probably thought it was the sequel to “The Little Princess” or something, and would have went into the movie with a negative bias, and maybe wouldn’t love the movie as much as I do today.

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    It still looks like garbage. I don’t care what the title is but unless it becomes John Carter of Garbage I probably won’t waste eight bucks to see it.

  • Anna B

    Like, who under the age of 30–who doesn’t regularly check out this site–knows what The Princess Bride is?

    And don’t say “Inconceivable!”

  • Ammie Hisaka

    Yes, it was feared that, ‘Of Mars’, would be too offputting to those who aren’t into scifi. This article seems to be really reaching, very desperate to attribute it to ‘RAAAAWWRRRGENDER!! FEMINIST ANGRY!! FEMINIST SMASH!!!!!!!’

    Not EVERYTHING is a massive conspiracy to exploit or degrade women; just breathe.

  • Ammie Hisaka

    In which case feminists would scream about how the Princess part ought to be first because to do otherwise is disrespectful to women.

  • Anonymous

    That’s when producers use the “We listed them in alphabetical order” trick.

  • Edcedc8


  • Maiasaura

    Did or did not men buy and read the original story, princessy title notwithstanding?  Clearly they did….

    Speaking as a woman, I would rather see a movie called “John Carter of Mars” than one called “John Carter.”  I happen to like sci fi, despite what Hollywood execs might believe, but I’ve not read the story in question and so would not know who John Carter is just from his name….

  • Edcedc8

    but really, I’m sure that the gym guy was serious. no sarcasm this time. I have been up way to long, so I can’t tell if I’m ‘sounding’ sarcastic.

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t take a massive conspiracy to be stupid and degrading.  It just takes people who earnestly believe… well, pretty much exactly what’s quoted in the article: “[N]o girl would go to see John Carter Of Mars.”

  • Anonymous

    No, we wouldn’t.  You are right, Ammie, that someone around here has an ax to grind.

    But it ain’t us.

  • Eric Stettmeier

    They should have just called it ‘A Movie’ and been done with it. Oh wait, that would have disenfranchised bookstores trying to sell the books which have now been reprinted with the shirtless actor on the cover. Although ‘A Movie: The Novelization.’ would be a fair compromise methinks.

  • Anonymous

    Even if the “Mars Needs Mom” thing is true, Stanton still said it’s because girls don’t want to see a movie with mars in the title.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    Actually, before I knew it was a Neil Gaiman work, I was planning to see “Stardust” BECAUSE I was looking at an ad marketing it as like “The Princess Bride.”

  • Julia Maclennan

    Isn’t this the same reason Disney had changed Rapunzel to Tangled? And that was an animated princess fairy tale musical.

    Next thing you know Disney is going to make all titles that refer to girls and girls names into something incredibly macho. Because girls can watch “boy” movies but guys can’t watch “girl” movies, even if there is no difference. 

  • Bel

    Why do people who don’t like feminist content come to this site?  Christ, go away!

  • Al

    I’ve never heard of John Carter since I saw the film trailer. From a male perspective, knowing that the original book was called “Princess of Mars”, I probably wouldn’t read it. Nothing against it, but based on the title I wouldn’t think it would appeal to me. So if I were at the theater and saw it listed, I would probably overlook it just the same.

    And frankly, John Carter of Mars does sound off putting a bit to females and even males too. To me it kinda sounds like one of those old school B sci fi movies. And most of the women I know generally aren’t into those kind of films so I can see the truth to what he’s saying.

  • Ladies Making Comics

    The novel was published in 1911, of course it’s going to sound old school.  But the point is “John Carter” is such a non-descript title that I can’t possibly imagine casual viewers jumping to see the movie.

  • Life Lessons

    *RASPBERRY* Hey there screenwriter, get a grip on reality.

    Plus little boys who won’t see girl things need a serious education.

  • Daryl Surat

    I think it’s a mistake to equate Stanton’s deliberate phrasing of the terms “boys” and “girls” to mean “men” and “women,” as the original post and several of the comments are operating under. Rather, I believe that Stanton is *specifically* referring to *children* when he’s making these statements using those words. Elementary school-aged boys by and large don’t like things with “princess” in the title (or things to do with girls in general). This is a Disney film, and the last film they released with “Princess” in the title–The Princess and the Frog–did not perform to expectations.

    That is what it seems like he’s referring to when discussing what prompted these decisions, not “women don’t watch sci-fi.” If he did mean that, then yeah he’s crazy.

  • JoAnna Luffman

    The thing this guy is missing is aside from the name not being as off-putting as he thinks, is that the trailer sells it, not the title.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone? I did a review of the book for my senior year of high school and the class knew the movie (not the book tho) so yeah.

  • Anonymous

     This could be a fun game. From now on I shall do this to all book movies

    The Secret World of Arrietty. Arrietty is a girl’s name. Out. The Secret World? Sounds like a space movie (other planet) So…The Secret! Now your children classic adaptation sounds like a thriller/horror movie.

  • Constance Fay

    I was a fan of the Barsoom series from a very young age.  My father read them to me at bedtime when I was in pre-school and onward.  It never occurred to me that I shouldn’t like it because I was a girl and it was about a man.  When I heard they were making a movie version, I was really excited…but everything that I’ve seen thus far seems to be cheapening the story.

  • Anonymous

    The studio didn’t give the film a different name for other countries; it said other countries COULD use just “The First Avenger”. Only three countries actually did.

  • Anonymous

    But the same reasoning stands, I know plenty of young girls who love sci-fi. 

  • Anonymous

    What an idiotic reason to change the name. “John Carter” sounds like “John Q” – just some random everyman. Who knows what the movie could be about, based on the name?! At least with “John Carter of Mars” you’d know it’s probably a sci-fi film!

  • Anonymous

    Disney has done the same thing before with their movie, “Tangled”.  Originally called “Rapunzel” they were afraid it would scare little boys away.  They thought that the reason “The Princess and the Frog” didn’t do well (by Disney’s standards, the movie actually did very well not to mention the tons of merchandise they sold along with it along with it being critically acclaimed by most film critics) was because it had the word “princess” in it and boys wouldn’t go see it.  I find this logic to be sexist and ridiculous.  I understand Disney is a corporation and their first priority is to make money, but if they look at their heritage and past, their company is built on princesses and their tales.  Disney did this again by changing “The Bear and the Bow”‘s film title to “Brave”, although I have no idea what gender word is present in “The Bear and the Bow” but they feel that will bring little boys in.  Not sure why Disney isn’t satisfied with their female audience but hopefully all this press will make them rethink their priorities and their “logic”.

  • Charles Olafare

    I think people are deliberately missing the point Stanton was trying to make. 

  • Heather Anderson

    I feel almost certain that, in a “suit” driven company like Disney, _he_ didn’t make the decision to change the name but, since it’s done and over with, is obligated to give the pretty explanation of why it happened.  Not uncommon at all, and many companies coach their folks in what they are and are not allowed to say.

    That said, if they had been really true to the books, “Princess” in the title wouldn’t have kept ANY males away from the film when the princess is topless the whole time.

  • T.A.Bryan

    The movie is HUGE among most of my friends since and during highschool (currently a grad student). When I was 16 and my friends found out I hadn’t seen it they were appalled.

  • bchez

    Huh. It seems like boys are buying the MARVEL COMIC “John Carter: A Princess of Mars” 
    Although, I think it sounds a little like John is the Princess of Mars LOL
    They could easily have done: John Carter and the Princess of Mars. 
    But whatever, this movie is likely to tank no matter what they name it. 

  • Ammie Hisaka

    See, I want to see the context, the interview, everything, because that does not sound at all like what’s he’s said before about changing the title. Not that i’m accusing the editors of MS of making shit up to rile up the angry feminists per se, buttttt…if the shoe fits….

  • Ammie Hisaka

    Really? Not having ‘Princess’ as the first part of the title is holding women back? REALLY? Tell me this, have you ever spray-painted a WO onto the Men’s Warehouse sign? Because that’d help about as much.

  • Is foiekaj

    To cheer ourselves up by indulging in the paranoia and self-induced misery of others.
    I’d draw parallels with a reality TV show.

  • Teresa Jusino

    Children don’t pay for movies, though. Their parents do. I used to babysit a 7 and a 4 year old boy, and their parents took them to see The Princess and the Frog. And yeah, they hemmed and hawed. “But MOOOOOOOM! DAAAAAAAAD! It’s about a PRINCESS!” But they really liked the movie once they saw it. :)

    I love it when adults use children as an excuse for crappy decision making.

  • Timothy Tankersley

    When I heard of John Carter: Princess of Mars I was confused. Then I heard of it as john Carter of Mars. Then I saw the trailer for John Carter and was disappointed that it had niether a princess nor Mars in it. I have no idea what the film is about.

  • Teresa Jusino

    OH MY GOD, I AM TOTALLY WRITING “A MOVIE: THE NOVELIZATION.” You will totally get credit for the title. :)

  • Teresa Jusino

    I know you’re just a troll, but I have to say:

    Men’s Wearhouse = store for MEN’S clothes
    A Princess of Mars = story for EVERYONE.

    How exactly are those even comparable examples?? If you thought it a stupid example, I agree. Because no one would do that!

    The point isn’t that this ONE movie has done this, the point is that this is one of MANY times where stuff like this happens. Girl stories aren’t valued by Hollywood, because society doesn’t value them. Society doesn’t value them, because they’re never taught to. And rather than be a part of the solution, Hollywood continues to be part of the problem. THAT’S the point.

  • Teresa Jusino

    I love how they talk about what boys and girls will like, as if they’re the ones spending money. When I was little, my parents were all “We’re going to the movies!” And I was all “Yay!” And we saw whatever they bought tickets for. Maybe if parents made decisions for their children instead of the other way around – and took the trouble to make educated decisions, rather than falling back on tired habits like what “girls like” and “boys like” what boys and girls like might, I don’t know, CHANGE.

    I’m all for giving children a voice, but these days it feels like children run the show in a way they really shouldn’t.

  • Anna Jugo-Balasi

    Okay, so I’ve been hanging around the wrong 20-somethings.

  • Anonymous

  • literatewench

    Like a hotel room. In trying not to offend anyone, they offend everyone and leave behind a product that makes you vaguely nauseous and ashamed. 

  • literatewench

    The Chronicles of Narnia! Chronicles sounds long and boring, and Narnia sounds weird. Let’s go with “The Of”. 

  • Anonymous

  • Null

    Some of us like to hear the other side and occasionally discuss ideas. Sometimes I even get convinced I’m wrong. Just because no PUBLIC talking head ever admits to a change of mind doesn’t mean it never happens to ANYBODY.

    Besides, I otherwise lean to the left (prochoice, in favor of more income redistribution, rights for GLBT people, more environmental regulation, think John Stewart is funny), so it’s not that far off. I read both left and right-wing blogs and news sources. 

  • ZenPoseur

    Oh, look.  Another angst kitten come to write hateful screeds about how unreasonably angry and unreasonable we all are.  Haven’t had one of those in a while.

  • TOKYOPOP Manga

    What makes me laugh is that this whole issue about the name could be solved by combining the current name and the original name: John Carter and the Princess of Mars.

    Now doesn’t that sound like a fairly interesting story? You’ve got two characters, a setting and a question: what are these two people doing together?

  • Ammie Hisaka

    Why do you think I’m trolling? I’m being completely serious. This shit has gotten out of hand big time. I think women should have the right to vote and be President and not be leered at or abused and all, but, when you’re blatantly making shit up to get women not to go see a movie because a man made it, that;’s just wrong and disgusting and you suck for doing it.

  • Ammie Hisaka

    I’m not being dishonest; I just want to see the interview wherin Stanton suddenly reversed his entire reasoning behind dropping the ‘Of mars’; from the tilte. I’ve been following the creation of the film closely and have not seen anything about not wan ting women to see it or whatever–I honestly want to know where that quote comes from, so that, if it’s warranted, I can rightly be disgusted too.

    If, on the otherhand, the quote has been missattributed, or even made up, then it’s wrong and disgusting of the MS to propagate it. Or is that only when it’s a man telling lies about a woman?

  • Anonymous

    I’m kinda with you here. Went from intrigued to put off just like that.

  • Anonymous


  • Maiasaura

    The Lord of the Rings.  Well, obviously only girls like rings, right?  They’re jewelry!  We could call it The Lord of the, but then nonreligious people will assume we mean God and be put off.  The of the.  Perfect title.  

  • Maiasaura

    Is the point of changing the title to trick people into seeing movies they won’t like?  Like, nobody will know it is a science fiction film, and women will assume…I have no idea what they are hoping women will assume, unless it’s that John Carter is very handsome.  Instead of making different movies for different audiences or even pandering to a wide audience, do they think you can just make the title really vague and no one will even read a summary before buying a ticket?  If this is how marketing is supposed to work, we live in a very strange world.  

  • ZenPoseur

    No one is claiming that Stanton doesn’t want women to see the film.  No one said, implied, or even hinted at such a proposition, either in the article or the comment thread.  Kitten, that’s why we call you dishonest:  because you make things up and then get mad at us for it.

    Tell me, do the made-up people that you’re arguing with appear superimposed over the comments here, or do they exist as voices in your head, or what?  It’s for a book I’m writing.

  • Anonymous

    Nobody’s trying to hate-bait, aight? They’re just pointing out how silly and sad it is that Hollywood thinks boys wouldn’t go see anything about a girl and vise versa. It’s not a concept The Mary Sue just pulled out of thin air. Disney’s been all about this recently. Remember the Disney movie Tangled? They named it Tangled instead of Princess Rapunzel because they wanted to stop making movies with the word ‘Princess’ in it, because they felt it turned away all the boys.

  • Anonymous

    You know how I know you’re a troll? You won’t go CLICK ON THE DAMN LINK YOURSELF. 

  • Anonymous

    See, but here’s the problem. Little boys don’t read stories about girls and value them because we don’t act like they should. Have you thought about how many stories with a male protagonists and centered on male characters us ladies have read and watched over the years, even as very young girls? We are constantly asked to identify with male perspectives and value them, while boys can easily ignore The Secret Garden and Sense and Sensibility because they are girl stories. A big case in point (and relevant to this very article): after ELEVEN YEARS of making blockbuster hits for the whole family, Pixar is realeasing its very first film with a female lead next year. 

    Just ask yourself, where were you getting the cues to dismiss “Princess” stories? It certainly wasn’t your Y-gene. 

  • Anonymous

    This is for your own good:

    Seriously, read it all and know thyself. 

  • Anonymous

    Agreed. Also….what’s with resurrecting a story about a white confederate who happens to magically be the only thing that can save an entire planet of aliens (non-whites)? White Savior much? No offense to Mr. Edgar Rice Burroughs, but he wrote his story in 1911, I would hope that we could choose better stories to tell a hundred years later. 

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    If I remember correctly, he was a slave-owning white, as well.

  • Anonymous

     Because John Carter’s confederacy had nothing to do with how awesome he was, and his whiteness had nothing to do with how awesome he was (that’s Tarzan.)  Carter was stronger, faster and more athletic on Mars because the gravity was weaker.  Like Superman on earth, except here there’s a reason he looks like a handsome white human male.

    “If he wrote his story in 1911″… Erm, yes, what with 1911 being almost *one hundred years ago*, I think it’s fair to say that values have somewhat altered in the past few generations.  And we know Burroughs in particular would do this because he DID become less racist as he got older, much like Howard, Lovecraft, and other people who were brought up in a highly racist world.

    If we’re that concerned about a minuscule aspect of a story that, apart from that, has little to do with human ethnicity, it’s a wonder the likes of “Heart of Darkness” ever gets made.

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

    I bet he wasn’t; the Confederates in the movies always hate slavery and just fought the Union because some douchey Yankees raped their wife. 

  • Anonymous

    Ok, so first, a story about a white man saving an entire planet with his awesome abilities is not a story where race doesn’t matter. This has nothing to do with how much you enjoy the story. I love Dances with Wolves, too, but recognizing and calling out White Savior stories is an important way to criticize media representations of race and I’m getting really tired of seeing this one get greenlighted. Even if this guy was a Latino from the 14th century (and why shouldn’t he be? that would at least be a step in the right direction for a new version), he is a foreign hero who comes to save the natives who have no agency or ability to save themselves. Can you recognize how this is a problematic? If this was the only move ever made with that narrative, I could give it a pass, but it gets made all the time. 

    Secondly, I was not judging Burroughs choices in writing his novel, if you go back and quote my comment correctly. I am judging a studio in 2011 that thinks this story is a good one to tell now. 

  • Anonymous

    Stay intrigued.  Brilliant movie and the sex scene was done very well and not exploit-y 

  • Adam R. Charpentier

    You made me actually go and check, damn it. His family was a proud plantation-owning southern family of great wealth, but he was only the “son of” this success and did not own slaves himself. This is, of course, all Burroughs says on the matter.

  • Ammie Hisaka

    So why claim Stanton is doing it malaciously? that’s slander.

  • Ammie Hisaka

    Didn’t see there was one, twatlicker.

  • Ammie Hisaka

    It’s more the point that they wouldn’t otherwise even give it a chance, writing it off out of hand as ‘boring scifi’ for having Mars in the title.

  • Shard Aerliss

    Before I even read passed the jump; I don’t know what John Carter is about! Saw the trailer on PotC4 disc and thought it was a rip-off of Prince of Persia… and then there were some cowboys, or something. The Hell? I have no interest in seeing this; the title and trailer tell me sod all.

    Yeah, I don’t even care enough to read passed the jump…

  • Anonymous

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but I’m not sure what, if anything, your poor-me story has to do with feminism. You couldn’t get a girlfriend when you were young, so that’s feminists’ fault, and now you’re taking it out on them? Whatever…

  • Anonymous

    The dumbest thing about all this is that, as many have observed, ‘John Carter’ is an awful title – how much more bland can you get? I only know what the movie’s about because I follow science fiction blogs which have been talking about it; if I was an average movie-going teenager, the name ‘John Carter’ would mean nothing to me. ‘John Carter of Mars’? Now that’s a much more interesting title right there!

    To be honest, the younger me would have been put off by ‘A Princess of Mars’, but a good trailer could have made me want to see it nonetheless. Sadly they’ve failed on that front too.

  • Anonymous

  • Nicole Kiser

    Honestly, I suspect this is more a DISNEY thing than Andrew Stanton’s personal decision. Disney is notorious for using this kind of logic, and I suspect some people had a “talk” with Stanton about what kind of name to give the movie.And the honest truth of it is that Hollywood in general is sexist AND racist. It’s why they “white wash” movies, they believe that white America won’t be interested in movies with a non-white cast. (Akira, anyone?) They’ve created a system where sexism and racism makes money, and they won’t stop using the system until someone makes a whole lot of money proving them wrong. More than once. (And sometimes not even then. =_=;; )

  • Nicole Kiser

    I just asked my husband about this. Here is his two cents:

    Princess of Mars… Guys will think “Ugh, Princess? Stupid glittery romance story… of Mars? What the? Girl nerd crap? What the? No way!”

    John Carter of Mars…. Girls will think “Ugh, guy scifi flick. Probably an action flick with a lot of nude shots, for nerds.”

    He firmly believes this is how the MAJORITY of middle America thinks. *He* does not necessarily think this way, but everyone else probably will.

  • Anonymous

    Note: This is in response to your “that’s slander” comment. I don’t see anything up there where The Mary Sue is directly attacking Stanton. They DO say Hollywood is stuck in the Dark Ages, which is not an attack against Stanton. And it’s depressing to hear Stanton say such a thing, which is also not an attack against Stanton. And it’s probably “not the best way to secure a sequel,” which is furthermore not an attack against Stanton.

    They’re disagreeing (strongly) with his sad comment and providing commentary. Which – I hate to get this technical – is not slander. Slander is when you’re talking, literally, about someone and what you’re saying isn’t true and/or is meant to harm their reputation. What you
    mean to say is libel, which is the same thing except with written word. But! Both are incredibly hard to prove or argue in a court of law (so that should say even more about your odds of trying to accuse someone of libel in a comments section), because you have to have evidence that the author/speaker was writing/speaking with intended maliciousness (IE – “actual malice”). And, yeah, there’s none of that here. Just a bunch of commentary. Which is not slander or libel. You just disagree with what’s written. Which is your right… but it is not an individual attack against Stanton.

    Sooooo… why don’t you just agree to disagree with The Mary Sue’s blog?

  • David Knight

    I think he’s just being honest, and while I would go and see a film called The Princess of Mars my girlfriend certainly wouldn’t go see John Carter of Mars, I had a hard time convincing her to watch Space Odyssey. However big the science fiction crowd think they are, they’re not the majority. I think he’s right when he says a lot of people aren’t willing to give a science fiction film a go. My girlfriend liked Space Odyssey, but there is stigma attached, look at Star Wars, or Star Trek, a lot of my friends use these as examples of why they don’t like science fiction (and I can’t say I blame them, they’re rubbish in my opinion). 
    If you’re making big budget film you HAVE to make sacrifices, and it seems like Stanton has only had to sacrifice the name, and not the content he wanted to make. I call that a win! 

  • bananas

    The title ‘Princess of Mars’ sounds way cooler than ‘John Carter’. You get some idea of setting. And honestly, why wouldn’t a heterosexual man want to see that? Knowing hollywood, said princess would probably be sexy, AND in space. Just ‘John Carter’ sounds boring.