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Close Reads || ||

Hunger Game-Changer: How Suzanne Collins Made the Most of Hollywood's Young-Adult Obsession

Hunger Games Do's and Don'ts

Suzanne Collins can start her victory lap now. The film version of her first Hunger Games novel is on the brink of blowing up box-office records – and critics and fans like it, too. Other young-adult fantasy authors haven’t been quite so successful in dealing with Hollywood. Some of Collins’s success was luck and good timing: her first Hunger Games book was released a month after Stephenie Meyer’s final Twilight novel appeared, sending publishers and studios alike scrambling for the next young-adult franchise. But Collins also skillfully played the game with and for the filmmakers, making deliberate choices about how she wrote the novels and how she helped market them to the books’ fierce fans. Forget teenage love triangles or wizards vs. werewolves; here's a far more practical list of dos and don'ts for when your popular young-adult fantasy book is being adapted by Hollywood. (Spoilers for lesser movies ahead.)
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Behind the Camera || ||

'A Complete and Utter Lie': The Fact, Fiction and Fury Behind John Carter's Woes

John Carter, directed by Andrew Stanton

With John Carter currently drawing both mixed reviews and potentially catastrophic early box-office returns, Movieline today revisits our conversation with director Andrew Stanton and producer Lindsey Collins about the film's troubled back story — and what they and Disney really have to lose. - Ed.

A trade report last month suggested that Disney’s March sci-fi tent pole John Carter was in serious trouble owing to Pixar vet Andrew Stanton’s relative inexperience directing live-action film, citing rumors that production reshoots and late-game rejiggering had bloated the budget from $200 million to as much as $300 million. Speaking with press Thursday, Stanton called the report “a complete and utter lie,” insisting that he stayed on time and on budget – but it’s easy to see how the Pixar way of moviemaking may have made for a bumpy transition for the filmmaker.
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Newswire || ||

First John Carter Reviews: A Flawed But Worthwhile Epic?

John Carter, directed by Andrew Stanton

Negative speculation and prognostication has been brewing for months for Disney's sci-fi actioner John Carter thanks to dismal tracking and rumors of bloated budgets, but Disney's finally released their review embargo for the March 9 would-be blockbuster. So what's the early buzz from the first critiques of Andrew Stanton's take on the Edgar Rice Burroughs saga, about a Civil War veteran named John Carter (Taylor Kitsch) who lands in the middle of a civil war on Mars?
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Adventures in Marketing || ||

Will Action-Packed Final Trailer Fix Things for John Carter?

John Carter (2012)

It's no secret that Disney's been scrambling to counteract bad tracking and mixed word of mouth on their mega-budgeted March actioner John Carter, so it's worth a look to see what they've done with the latest (and "final") trailer for the Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation. And behold! A trailer filled with nearly everything that makes John Carter worth going to see: Alien creatures, political intrigue, Taylor Kitsch in a loincloth, Lynn Collins as Dejah Thoris, and lots of inventive, fantastical action.
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The 2-Minute Verdict || ||

WATCH: Avatar Meets Attack of the Clones in the New John Carter Trailer

Edgar Rice Burroughs created the planet-hopping hero John Carter of Mars way back in 1912 in his serialized novels about a Southern gent transported to an alien world. So why does the new trailer for John Carter, directed by Pixar vet Andrew Stanton, feel so familiar? Shades of Avatar and Attack of the Clones distract from what should be nonstop ooh-ing and aah-ing over giant CG creature effects and Taylor Kitsch in a loincloth. Then again, Taylor Kitsch in a loincloth... thank you for that, Mr. Stanton.

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