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The John Carter Sequel We Never Got To See

Released a decade ago on March 9, 2012, Disney's "John Carter," an adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels about a 19th-century soldier stranded on the planet of Mars, was meant to be a massive blockbuster hit. The director, Andrew Stanton, had proven himself in animation previously with Pixar films like "Finding Nemo." And the company hoped that the sci-fi franchise, with Taylor Kitsch starring in the title role, would be their "Star Wars," generating lots of sequels and merchandise (via The Wrap) — before Disney outright bought Lucasfilm, of course.

Instead, bad marketing and the company's increasing apathy towards the completed product gave the film bad buzz before it was even released. Eventually "John Carter" made $284.1 million, but lost $200 million for Disney, making it one of the biggest box office bombs of all time (via The Los Angeles Times).

Yet once people actually gave it a chance on home video, it was clear that "John Carter" was what The Wrap called "a flawed movie, but...also endlessly charming," with a strong visual sense unique to a director who'd spent time in animation.

The blockbuster actioner built up an audience over the years, but Disney lost the rights to the books in 2014, meaning we never got to see these sequels to the original's cliffhanger ending.

Stanton's unmade sequel would have been called Gods of Mars

Andrew Stanton in fact had plans for two sequels, titled "Gods of Mars" and "Warlord of Mars," respectively. And years after they were scrapped in the wake of the financial disaster wrought by "John Carter," the director described some of his pitch details for the sequels in a retrospective on the original film for The Wrap.

The second film would have shown John waking up back on Mars in his burial suit and encountering another Thark, as well as his old friend Kantos Kan (James Purefoy). He also finds out that his child with Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins), Carthoris, has been kidnapped by the secret race of Therns, and Dejah has set out to find him.

"Gods of Mars" would have then followed Carter as he pursues Dejah and Carthoris, as well as uncovered more about how the Therns have controlled Mars for ages. "Like 'Beneath the Planet of the Apes,' it all takes place, everybody going into the earth to find out who's really been controlling the whole planet," Stanton said. "There's a whole race down there that has been with high tech. Basically, it's been a third world without anybody knowing it on the top of the surface and the first world's been inside the whole time operating the air, the water, the everything to keep the world functioning."

It's a shame we'll never get to see the sequels, as the other actors did want to return once they knew where the story would go. Lynn Collins said that "He pitched it to us...which is why it's so heartbreaking...because it was like, oh my God. Oh my God."