Bad Ideas: Disney changes "John Carter of Mars" to just "John Carter"

For reasons unknown to us, Disney has decided to change Andrew Stanton's much-hyped, live action adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' classic novels John Carter of Mars, to simply, John Carter.

Dark Horizons broke the title change news. Some people are speculating that Carter's name change was enforced to distance the film from the poorly performing Mars Needs Moms — although will anybody even remember Moms by next year?

Perhaps if they flush all of the science fiction-sounding words like "of Mars" the public won't figure out it's about aliens? But for goodness sakes, Willem Dafoe plays a four-armed giant green alien named Tars Tarkas. People are going to figure out it's science fiction one second into the trailer. Now it sounds like a movie about Noah Wyle's character on ER, or some sort of mislabeled Jimmy Carter biopic. Just terrible. These are classic science fiction works — the rest of the world doesn't need trickery to go see this film. What's next: posters of Taylor Kitsch (the actor playing John Carter) in Army fatigues? Will they wipe out the tiny loincloth entirely, and push this film as a straight-up Civil War epic? We certainly hope not. We're in a post-Avatar world now, people are ready to embrace these sorts of classic alien adventures if they can tell there's a solid story.

In other ridiculous title-changing news, Andrew Niccol's futuristic class war film (starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried) is getting yet another title swap. First it was Im.mortal, then it was changed to Now. And now it's getting changed to In Time. Congrats — all of those titles are terrible.