‘Green Lantern’ Star Mark Strong On What Makes ‘John Carter’ ‘Exceptional’

What lies in the nooks and crannies of Mars’ vast mountainous landscape? You’ll find out in “John Carter,” the first live-action film from Pixar fixture Andrew Stanton.

Green Lantern” actor Mark Strong stars in the movie as Matai Shang, the leader of a mysterious race called the Therns — “Nobody is sure if they exist or not,” the actor teased when we spoke with him at the “Lantern” press junket this week — but according to Strong, fans can expect to see a few adjustments made to the se big-screen aliens than the ones you’d find in the original Edgar Rice Burrows novels.

“In the books, they’re all bald, but they wear these strange blonde wigs in the books,” he said. “I think the feeling was that recreating that on film was a little bit strange. So it’s much more of a traditional alien look: very shaved, pale, has a big robe. Very powerful.”

Even if there are some visual departures from the stories as Burrows envisioned them in his 11-part “Barsoom” series written in the early 20th century, Strong assures fans that Stanton is going to deliver a beautifully unique finished project.

“Andrew’s such a great storyteller. We’re in very safe hands and you know he’s going to make something exceptional,” he said. “The thing that I think will distinguish it, which I’m most excited by, is that even though it takes place in space — it’s science fiction — it’s from a Victorian point of view. Because Edgar Rice Burrows novels were at the turn of the century, and his perception of space was very different from ours. The Martians, for example, wear breast plates and swords and helmets with wings on them. I think that’s what’s going to distinguish it [visually].”

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