Andrew Stanton Explains Why It’s Still JOHN CARTER OF MARS… Technically

The director of Disney's big budget Martian adventure explains the title change and how 'Of Mars' is still in the film. Also: why Disney was afraid to mess with him.

Once upon a time John Carter was called John Carter of Mars, but Disney got cold feet on the last two words and the film got stuck with a title that is, frankly, beyond generic. But Andrew Stanton, the director of the film, says he's okay with it because the 'Of Mars' is still in there... it just comes up at the very end of the film, right before the closing credits.

At the time there was panic about Mars Needs Moms. That wasn’t convincing to me to do anything. Then they did all this testing and found out that a huge bulk of people were saying no off the title. You can’t lie about that stuff, that’s the response you’re getting. I was like ‘Eh, that’s what the movie is.’ But I don’t want to hurt people from coming to the movie. Then I realized the movie is about that arc [of John Carter's character], and I said, ‘I’ll change it if you let me change it at the end. And if you let me keep the JCM logo.’ Because it means something by the end of the movie, and if there are more movies I want that to be what you remember. It may seem like an odd thing, but I wanted it to be the reverse Harry Potter. With the latest Harry Potter they had Harry Potter and the Blah Blah Blah Blah, but you just see the HP. I wanted the JCM to mean something. 

According to Stanton this was one of the only times he bowed to Disney. 

I was pretty hardball. To be honest nobody ever fought me, but it was the fan in me that gave me the guts. That, and I have a day job. I just felt like if anybody had a chance of making this without it being fucked up by the studio, it might be me. They’re too afraid of me - they want me happy at Pixar. So I thought I should use this for good, and make the movie the way I always thought it should be made. If at any one of these points if they were going to push back, I would have pulled out. It’s the best way to buy a car - I don’t mind walking away. So it pretty much got me through to the end. I never saw a studio person on the set until the reshoots.

John Carter opens March 9th. This is just the beginning of our coverage, as I have more Badass Interviews and video interviews lined up to bring you right to the release.