John Carter Sequel Titles & Details Revealed by Director at SDCC

While 2012’s John Carter is considered to be one of the biggest box office bombs in history, this is not due to its quality, as the movie has garnered a passionate fan following since release. Though we will sadly never see the planned sequels come to fruition, director Andrew Stanton has now detailed what we would have seen happen to John Carter had the franchise been allowed to continue. Speaking at San Diego Comic-Con (via Collider), Stanton revealed that the next John Carter installment would have been titled Gods of Mars, and would have picked up after John had been away from Mars for a decade.

“John Carter was on Earth for 10 years. His wife Dejah had their baby while he was gone, gets kidnapped by the villain Matai Shang. Carter arrives back on Mars to discover Dejah has gone back down the river, convinced it will lead her to the Thurns and their stolen child. Carter reunites with Tars Tarkas, Willem Dafoe’s character, they follow her down the river when they discover an underground city with complete modern technology run by a race called the Firstborn. And they’re technologically advanced beyond here or Mars. And they’ve been managing the planets existence since the beginning: water, air, food, plants that eat you. And they’re also zealots that worship the Goddess Isis who exists in person. But this Goddess is actually our shapeshifting villain Matai Shang — that’s his day job.”

Gods of Mars Would Have Introduced John Carter’s Superhuman Son

Walt Disney Pictures

“And as you might expect, Carter will reveal Matai has a false god to the Firstborn, track down his son who turned out to be this superhuman warrior that was ordered to kill Carter. Matai had genetically advanced the baby to an adult age, and [Carter] nearly kills his own son. And all this comes to a climax. As the helium air fleet […] descend down a dormant volcano to rescue our heroes. And Carter, Dejah, and his manchild son are reunited. And the three races the Red, the Green, and the Firstborn are now chasing the Thurns out of there.”

Andrew Stanton continued, revealing that the third outing in the John Carter series would have been titled Warlord of Mars and would have thrown us into this “giant ticking clock and the world will end if Carter can’t track down the Therns and kill them before they kill the planet.” Buying themselves time, “these shapeshifting Thurn spies keep posing as leaders of other Martian races and cause infighting and chaos much like Putin and the bots right now, and Martians are too busy fighting themselves to focus on uniting and eradicating the Therns.”


“Meanwhile scientist Dejah has invented a device to detect these Thurns, but the spies destroy it, and they assassinate Carter, and that’s when we remind the audience that it was just a copy, his original body wakes up on Earth. There’s Thurn Pinkertons there, they’re ready to kill him, but Edgar bought a shotgun and he uses it correctly and kills him, Carter returns to Mars but keeps his existence a secret and while the threat of the World War rises on, him his wife and his son with their one surviving Thurn detector prototype go up to the top of the world following the Thurn trail where he finally faces off with our villain Matai Shang. And of course, as you would expect, he stops the Thurns, saves the planet and is given the official title Warlord of Mars.”

Leaning even more into the science fiction lore and themes would have surely been a delight for John Carter fans. That we will never see these sequels on the silver screen will always hit us with a huge pang of disappointment.

John Carter is currently available to stream on Disney+.