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John Carter is a 2012 American science fantasy film directed by Andrew Stanton from a screenplay written by Stanton, Mark Andrews, and Michael Chabon. The film was produced by Jim Morris, Colin Wilson, and Lindsey Collins, and is based on A Princess of Mars, the first book in the Barsoom series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch in the title role, Lynn Collins, Samantha Morton, Mark Strong, Ciarán Hinds, Dominic West, James Purefoy, and Willem Dafoe. The film chronicles the first interplanetary adventure of John Carter and his attempts to mediate civil unrest amongst the warring kingdoms of Barsoom.
Several developments on a theatrical film adaptation of the Barsoom series emerged throughout the 20th century from various major studios and producers, with the earliest attempt dating back to the 1930s. Most of these efforts, however, ultimately stalled in development hell. In the late-2000s, Walt Disney Pictures began a concerted effort to develop a film adaptation of Burroughs' works, after a previously-abandoned venture by the studio in the 1980s. The project was driven by Stanton, who had pressed Disney to renew the screen rights from the Burroughs estate. Stanton became director in 2009; his live-action debut, as his previous directorial work included the Pixar Animation Studios films, Finding Nemo (2003) and WALL-E (2008). Filming began in November 2009, with principal photography underway in January 2010, wrapping seven months later in July 2010. Michael Giacchino composed the film's musical score.
John Carter was released in the United States on March 9, 2012, marking the centennial of the titular character's first appearance. The film was presented in Disney Digital 3-D, RealD 3D, IMAX 3D, and conventional formats. Upon release, John Carter received a mixed critical reception; receiving praise for its visuals and action sequences, but criticism towards the characterization and plot. The film performed poorly at the North American box office, but set an opening-day record in Russia. It grossed $284 million at the worldwide box office, resulting in a $200 million writedown for Disney, against total production and marketing costs of $350 million.