Andrew Stanton had a different opening than the one scene in the cinema. This alternative opening had Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins) talking to the camera and giving a speech about Mars. It does remind me an awful lot of the opening to David Lynch’s adaptation of Dune.
Both feature an attractive Princess of an alien desert planet talking straight to camera explaining some of the history and politics of the planet.
One of the biggest scenes that Stanton reshot was the opening to the film. In its Oct., 2011, profile of Stanton, The New Yorker chronicled the Pixar brain trust’s reaction to the scene, which heavily featured Lynn Collins as Barsoomian (i.e. Martian) Princess Dejah Thoris: “[T]hey were confused by the film’s beginning, in which Princess Dejah delivered a lecture about the state of the Barsoomian wars, and they found her arch and stony.”
The opening was re-imagined with a pithier history of the Barsoomian wars, cutting directly to a pitched aerial battle, and much of Collins’ scene was reshot and placed later in the film. But you can see the original scene in this exclusive clip from the John Carter Blu-ray edition (out June 5) below. Many of the visual effects are not complete; the shots of rock faces in the Arizona and Utah desert, for example, were meant to be digitally remade into the crumbling edifices of once-great Barsoomian buildings. But the thrust of the scene is still clear.
What are your thoughts of the alternative opening? Should they have used this or the one they went with?