Disney is going to take a $200 million dollar write-off on “John Carter.”
The worse thing is that it shouldn’t have happened, because after an initial stumble (the first half hour or so), the film was actually pretty enjoyable. I don’t know who’s responsible (other than Andrew Stanton, who’s fingerprints are to be found on many aspects of the production) but whomever gave the order to finance such an expensive movie, based upon relatively obscure subject matter, with no big stars, and a director that has never done a live-action film, needs to find another line of work.
And Andrew Stanton, the director of “Wall-E” and “Finding Nemo” (both are good films, though Wall-E is remarkable) will hopefully helm more projects, though he needs to be reigned in because–this is going to sound weird because I can’t stand Tyler Perry produced television shows, and haven’t seen a movie of his yet–but I would have given him a chance at a big-budget film before Stanton because he’s at least shown time and again that he consistently knows how to make profitable films cheaply, efficiently and with discipline.
Now “John Carter” is way beyond the scale of a ‘Medea’ film, though I imagine that the lessons that Perry learned doing so are universal.