New John Carter image arrives

A new image has been released from upcoming sci-fi flick John Carter , and it looks as though our eponymous hero has landed himself in a very sticky situation…

The beastie seen here making all the commotion is known as a White Ape, and will make its entrance in one of the film’s climactic set-pieces. In Edgar Rice Burroughs’ source material, the apes are commonplace foes faced by Carter from the outset, but director Andrew Stanton has bigger plans for the hulking great brutes.

“They’re sort of an oversized gorilla in the books,” explains Stanton to Entertainment Weekly , “and they’re kind of ubiquitous. They’re littered everywhere through at least the first several novels. They were always cool, just from a visceral standpoint, [ but ] they don’t really have a narrative function in the first book.”

“So what we did is we made the White Apes a formidable creature that you kind of hear about throughout the movie, but you never really witness. There’s a subtle sense of anticipation for what these things might be like. Then Michael Kutsche came up with this design. He made them nocturnal… they stopped using their eyes, and just had a heightened sense of smell. We just love that.”

“We needed a scene where Carter was going have to get out of his execution sentence in order to move the story forward,” he continues, “and we thought what better way than having to go up against this formidable creature.”

So how will our hero get out of this predicament? Well according to Stanton, it won’t be easy…

“He’s not Superman,” says the director. “He has this one Superman-like ability where he can leap farther than we can here [ on Earth ]. But it’s like being a man on the moon. It can’t be forever.”

“This green species called Tharks, they know his one special jumping ability, so they chain him to a rock. It’s entertainment. It’s entertainment to watch this execution. They give him a nice long length of chain, so he can bounce around, but he can’t go out of the arena. It’s an interesting problem to have for that guy.”

John Carter stars Taylor Kitsch as the titular space adventurer, and arrives in UK cinemas on 9 March 2012.

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