Regular readers of Vulture are probably aware that we here at Vulture HQ are more than a little fascinated by the forthcoming John Carter, which arrives next weekend and stars Friday Night Lights’ Taylor Kitsch as a Civil War solider who gets transplanted to Mars and helps various aliens fight other aliens, all while aided by his loyal pet calot Woola. Consider all the elements here: Tim Riggins being directed by the guy who made Wall-E in a movie with a $200 million budget, marketing problems, and the balls/lunacy to make the movie’s adorable animal sidekick look like a svelte Jabba the Hut. In short, our fascination is not mercenary — it is actual fascination. Believe us when we say we would like nothing more than for Carter to be a big hit, if only because it would mean we have a reason to write about Woola for the rest of time. That said, because we have been thinking about John Carter so much, we have an entire litany of extant questions about the film. With just a week and a half to go, we thought we would share them with you.
1. Would Tim Riggins see this movie?
2. Why would the denizens of Mars use the same term for Earth that we do? Because they call their own planet Barsoom.
3. Disney shortened the title from John Carter of Mars because they were afraid women wouldn’t go. What if John Carter were from Venus?
4. What would John Carter from ER be like if he found himself on Mars?
5. It’s cute when an annoyed John Carter tells the persistent Woola, “Quit it!” but isn’t that phrase sort of an anachronism for a Civil War soldier to use? (We know, we know: A movie about an Earth man fighting on Mars with a giant alien dog, and this is our nitpick?)
6. Where will Woola rank in the hierarchy of other excellent, loyal non-human sidekicks, including Falcor, Chewbacca, the Sprites from Rainbow Brite, and Orko from He-Man?
7. And does Woola’s nose look like Voldermort’s face on purpose?
8. If you woke up with a stuffed toy Woola next to you, would you scream?
9. Why are all the posters for the movie so red-tinted and Mars-y when the movie itself looks like it takes place in a desert in Utah?
10. And who decided to make the green aliens so dusty they look almost gray? And was that person afraid of the aliens looking too much like those in Avatar?
11. Fine, this isn’t a question, but a greeting: Hi, Taylor Kitsch’s chest hair! Nice to finally make your acquaintance!
12. Seeing as John Carter can jump really high, isn’t there an obvious Nike tie-in that Disney should be taking advantage of?
13. And how exactly does the gravity work on Mars? Because sometimes they’re walking normally, and sometimes they’re flying, and it doesn’t look like John Carter has any sort of gravitational device attached to his ankles to calibrate this thing, so shouldn’t he just go flying off into space?
14. Wouldn’t the scenes with Taylor Kitsch facing off against the giant monster be much better with cutaways to Coach Taylor on the side, clutching his clipboard and grimacing?
15. Does getting sand in your loincloth chafe?
16. Is it racist to say that all the aliens in this movie and Green Lantern look alike?
17. Why are all sinister alien humanoids bald?
18. And why are aliens still so skinny?
19. Why do people on Mars dress like sexy gladiators?
20. And what is the efficacy of wearing a “shirt” that is basically a giant espadrille? Since it’s not warmer, and you can’t hold anything there, wouldn’t shirtless be better?
21. And why is it that advanced civilizations in movies who have flying devices used more or less like cars are still always staging gladiator competitions?
22. Why market your movie about a soldier who goes to Mars with these broken-toothed gorilla monsters who look they belong in an ad for the Museum of Natural History?
23. And wouldn’t being in the ring with one of them be hard enough without being chained to a giant rock?
24. Why is John Carter all covered with blue at one point? Is it an intentional Braveheart thing?
25. What on earth will Samantha Morton and Thomas Haden Church look like, since they are all in this movie?
26. What do you think the chances are that Taylor Kitsch can be convinced to say “Mars Forever” at some point on the John Carter press tour?