It’s no secret that John Carter went through extensive additional photography in its two-year gestation period from production to premiere. While director Andrew Stanton gave a full-throated defense of the new scenes as a part of the creative process he’d learned while working at Pixar, the bad press caused by them contributed to the impression that John Carter was a troubled movie.
One of the biggest scenes that Stanton reshot was the opening to the film. In its Oct., 2011, profile of Stanton, The New Yorker chronicled the Pixar brain trust’s reaction to the scene, which heavily featured Lynn Collins as Barsoomian (i.e. Martian) Princess Dejah Thoris: “[T]hey were confused by the film’s beginning, in which Princess Dejah delivered a lecture about the state of the Barsoomian wars, and they found her arch and stony.”
The opening was re-imagined with a pithier history of the Barsoomian wars, cutting directly to a pitched aerial battle, and much of Collins’ scene was reshot and placed later in the film. But you can see the original scene in this exclusive clip from the John Carter Blu-ray edition (out June 5) below. Many of the visual effects are not complete; the shots of rock faces in the Arizona and Utah desert, for example, were meant to be digitally remade into the crumbling edifices of once-great Barsoomian buildings. But the thrust of the scene is still clear. Check it out: