I’ve seen the scene portrayed in this still image a couple of times now – once at Big Screen, once at a presentation with co-writer and director Andrew Stanton a couple of weeks ago. In both cases it was the last scene shown. In both cases it was easily the least of the scenes shown.
But it seems to have a solid role in the narrative, so it’s likely to play way, way better in context. Andrew Stanton has told Entertainment Weekly:
What we did is we made the White Apes a formidable creature that you kind of hear about throughout the movie, but you never really witness. There’s a subtle sense of anticipation for what these things might be like. Then Michael Kutsche — who did a lot of the designs on Alice in Wonderland – came up with this design on his own, for just their scale. He made them nocturnal, almost like moles — they stopped using their eyes, and just had a heightened sense of smell. We just love that. We needed a scene where Carter was going have to get out of his execution sentence in order to move the story forward, and we thought what better than having to go up against this formidable creature?
Way to screw that subtle sense of anticipation, showing them off at every juncture.
I’ll have a lot more to tell you about John Carter soon, things I learned from Stanton’s presentation, and especially from getting him riled up with a question that I really wasn’t expecting to be so provocative. Stay tuned.