One of the major rumors that have swirled around the production of Disney’s upcoming science-fiction epic adventure John Carter is that the mammoth production has gone massively over budget and that the studio is very concerned that the film will be a giant financial bomb.
As the film’s publicity gears up for it’s release in just a couple of weeks, director Andrew Stanton has now lashed out at those rumors calling them “a complete and utter lie.”
In a roundtable interview reported on by Movieline, Stanton categorically denied that the production was ever out of control –
I want to go completely on record that I literally was on budget and on time the entire shoot… Disney is so completely psyched that I stayed on budget and on time that they let me have a longer reshoot because I was such a good citizen, so I find it ironic that we’re getting accused of the opposite.
He further elaborated in an interview with Slashfilm –
It’s always frustrating to hear lies put out there. And it’s always frustrating to see how people are so gullible. I mean by now people should know that if you read it in print, that doesn’t mean its true. And if you read it in print on the Internet, it’s really not true. It’s easy to ignore when it’s not true.
The rumors of possible cost overruns first started circulating last year when the film went into a period of reshoots. At the time stories alleged that the film had severe story problems and that costs had escalated way past the $200 million mark. Partly fueling the rumors was the fact that Stanton was still assembling his film in much the same way that he worked while at directing animated films at Pixar with a lengthy post-production process during which portions of the film are rearranged to work better with new material being produced where needed. Complicating things is the fact that John Carter is fairly effects intensive with many of its alien characters created through CGI and the length of time needed to complete them.
But while Disney has not released any actual budget figures for John Carter, there can be no doubt that they studio has invested a substantial sum in the project. There are a lot of hopes and potentially some careers riding on how well it does. And Disney is hoping to to do more than just make their money back, they’re hoping that this film will be the first of a trilogy. And since Stanton has already planned out the two potential sequels and has turned in a 25-page outline for the first top the studio recently, he certainly has a vested interest in this film turning a profit. And by keeping to the budget for the first one is certainly one way to insure that he is doing what he can for that to happen.