Like Jodorowsky's Dune, Tim Burton's Superman Lives, and George Miller's Justice League, Kerry Conran's John Carter of Mars is one of these strange, big-budget projects that never got made, but did get far enough into pre-production that we can gaze at what could have been with a removed fascination. Like when you look at Facebook photos of that person from high school who you never asked out, and even though it doesn't matter anymore, you still think, "Well, at least now that's not MY dopey-looking kid."
Before Disney let Andrew Stanton tackle John Carter in 2012, resulting in one of the most notorious flops of the decade, Conran pitched his own take on the Edgar Rice Burroughs tale to Paramount. Conran had previously directed and made his own flop for Paramount with Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, a charming but flawed film that actually worked fairly well as a John Carter job application on its own, showcasing an imaginative, invented world that fully embraced its pulp influences. But Conran nonetheless made an actual John Carter presentation video for the studio, too, and now you can have a look at that thanks to Harry Knowles, who was also for some reason involved in this would-be production. Head below to let some animatics and test footage wash the Kitsch from your palate.