One of the most common complaints about the marketing for Disney’s upcoming sci-fi adventure John Carter is that it, well, doesn’t quite let you know what the movie is about. Director Andrew Stanton is on record for being vigorously opposed to trailers that give away too many spoilers about the plot. But a few days ago, he tweeted out a fan-made trailer for the film made from footage available online that accomplished a few things that previous trailers had not. Check out the homemade trailer below:

This version does three things. First, it gives us a sense of how John Carter got to Mars, i.e. he was zapped there from a cave on Earth; two, it touts Stanton’s two previous films, Finding Nemo and WALL•E, which if nothing else communicates that This Guy Knows How To Tell Great Stories; and three, it touts the fact that Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 100-years-old John Carter books have inspired a century’s worth of science fiction. Somehow, between those three simple additions and some clever re-editing of the existing trailers, this trailer brings the film into much sharper focus. It could even convert skeptics who’ve heretofore kept their arms folded about the film.

Now check out Disney’s Super Bowl version of the trailer.

There appears to be a guy who looks like Friday Night Lights‘ Tim Riggins (i.e. Taylor Kitsch), who appears to be able to leap great distances across a vast desert, and there are ships, and green four-armed aliens with tusks, and some kind of blue energy, and a beautiful raven-haired woman (X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘s Lynn Collins) who walks around in skimpy clothing and appears to be linked in some fashion to Carter. But for many, how these things relate to each other within the context of a coherent story seemed a frustrating mystery.

Did the fan version give a better sense of John Carter? Would either trailer entice you to see the film?

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John Carter
  • Movie
  • 132 minutes