Space Ships In John Carter Will Be Like 18th Century Tall Ships, Says Star
Dominic West Sab Than in the Disney/Pixar space opera
reveals some tantalising titbits about the eagerly-awaited Martian epic
sfx ~ November 1 2011

Actor Dominic West, who stars as the villainous Sab Than in Pixars first ever live-action film, the Mars-set John Carter, has revealed to SFX that the film is going to have a strong swashbuckling vibe.

We were flying around on ropes and fighting, he says. Its shot on film and I think its the last film Disney will ever shoot on film. Its got an old fashioned feel to it, at least thats what I think [director] Andrew [Stanton]s going for. The spaceships are like tall ships from the 18th century there are lots of ropes, theres lots of brass and wood and huge sails that are powered by light. The spaceships are actually ships. . . .

West describes his character, Sab Than, Prince of Zodanga, as a fairly straightforward evil villain who wants to take over Mars and get the girl. So thats what he tries to do but inevitably the hero stops him doing that.

It feels extraordinary walking onto a set they spent $350 million on, or being in a film with a huge budget like that. That in itself was very exhilarating, then meeting and working with Andrew Stanton was really interesting because hes one of the best around at the moment. . . . I said to him, It seems incredibly efficient, your film; its really well run and I got scripts through four months ahead. It just seemed really efficient. And he said, God, its so inefficient compared to animation its incredible inefficient! I suppose its because there are so many more variables than in animation. But he took that very much in his stride. Certainly in terms of story and how to construct a story hes probably the best there is in the world at the moment in terms of his track record. It was fascinating working with him and also seeing the technology.

In terms of acting its difficult because youre usually acting to a cross on a big green screen. I tend to be doing a lot of that, running up with a stick that was half-formed on a set that was only half built and reacting to a tennis ball. Its a whole different discipline. And hes very eager to see the final film: I cant wait, I think itll look like nothing youve seen before. It starts off as a Western and then it goes to Mars and becomes Star Wars. Its a pretty extraordinary film. More>>>


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