Science Fiction vs. Fantasy Round One: Space Opera and Epic Fantasy!

In this year's edition of io9 March Madness, we're on a quest to find the greatest series in all of science fiction and fantasy. On Wednesday, we kicked things off by making eight classics battle it out just to make it into the tourney. Now it's time to start voting on the round of 64! » 3/14/14 11:18am 3/14/14 11:18am

What ever happened to the "advanced civilization gone barbaric" story?

It used to be a mainstay of science fiction: the story where we visit a barbarian society that turns out to have been highly technologically advanced in the past. You saw this story all the time on Doctor Who and Star Trek, and in the pulps. And now, it's more or less vanished. What happened? » 10/09/13 4:10pm 10/09/13 4:10pm

What's the best movie that failed at the box office?

We were depressed to hear early predictions that Pacific Rim would be a box office bomb. Let's hope it's not true — but there have been plenty of decent or great movies that underperformed in theaters. What's YOUR candidate for the best movie that audiences just didn't show up for? » 6/25/13 2:18pm 6/25/13 2:18pm

The Real Reason Why Science Fiction Westerns Are Such a Hard Sell

On Monday, Syfy launches its $100 million show Defiance, which is full of Wild West tropes, and this summer we're getting the fantasy-oriented Lone Ranger. Lately, tons of people have tried to combine the rollicking Western with the wider expanses of science fiction and fantasy. And they've failed financially. For one… » 4/12/13 8:00am 4/12/13 8:00am

10 Decent Movies That Were Doomed by Unfair Memes

Sometimes a movie sparks everybody's imagination months before it comes out. When a film gets talked about, that's usually a good thing — and it's an even better thing when it becomes the subject of memes and ideas. Unless those memes totally misrepresent what the movie's about, and wind up killing all interest in… » 1/17/13 11:10am 1/17/13 11:10am

Side-by-Side Comparisons Reveal The Magic of Motion Capture

From Beowulf to Avatar, motion capture technology has come a very long way. Did you know Andy Serkis was originally hired as just a voice actor for the role of Gollum? Only to have his performance re-recorded months later, on a mocap stage. Today the little monster from records his expressions on The Hobbit's set,… » 12/05/12 12:41pm 12/05/12 12:41pm

100 Wonderful and Terrible Movies That Never Existed

For every movie that makes it to your local cineplex, there are dozens that never come into existence. In another universe, Mel Gibson directed Fahrenheit 451, Terry Gilliam directed Watchmen, and Batman fought Godzilla. The history of movies is crammed full of weird almost-weres and could-have-beens. A lot of people… » 8/10/12 1:48pm 8/10/12 1:48pm

An amazing behind-the-scenes look at the animation behind John Carter

John Carter may not have conquered the box office, but this groovy animator's-eye-view of the special effects workflow shows just how much effort it took to bring Mars to life. Watch as Blue Sky Studios animator Patrick Giusiano pushes around (folks who I'm assuming are) his family members to give the Tharks' baby… » 7/06/12 10:15am 7/06/12 10:15am

Watch the alternate opening sequence of John Carter. Could it have…

John Carter of Mars was sadly complicated and did not take any breaks to let the audience catch up with the complicated backstory of Barsoom. But in its defense, this movie had a hefty load of source material to adapt. Would it all have been easier to follow if Andrew Stanton had used this original introduction? Is it … » 6/01/12 3:30pm 6/01/12 3:30pm

Retro Science Fiction Movies that Everybody Should See

The greatest science fiction movies don't just have cool ideas or an unforgettable story — they also have a distinctive visual style. And a lot of our favorite films reach back into the past, for retro visions of the future that look even cooler than ever, because they've become classic. » 5/09/12 4:26pm 5/09/12 4:26pm

Exclusive Excerpt from the Gender-Swapped John Carter Novel!

John Carter was a blast — but you might be waiting a long, long time for the next movie in the series, sadly. But you can help fill the gaping hole in your life by reading a new Burroughs-inspired novel, Jane Carver of Waar by Nathan Long. We've got an exclusive excerpt, in which Jane Carver tangles with a big purple… » 5/02/12 6:30am 5/02/12 6:30am

Now this is the trailer Disney should have used to market John Carter

We've poked and prodded at the baffling marketing campaign for Disney's John Carter, which did little to tout the rich history and alien setting behind Andrew Stanton's movie. The team at the John Carter Files goes several steps further, creating a fan-cut trailer that explains just why anyone should care about this… » 3/24/12 2:00pm 3/24/12 2:00pm

The fact The Lorax is a hit and John Carter is a flop makes me want to …

Sometimes you can fool yourself there's some justice to box office results. Movies like Green Lantern crash and movies like Inception rake in the bucks, and it feels like maybe there's a supreme being out there, looking out for us. And then something like this happens: The Lorax is the year's biggest hit thus far, and… » 3/19/12 1:13pm 3/19/12 1:13pm

Some Random Theories About Why John Carter Flopped

John Carter did about as well as anybody expected this past weekend, pulling in $30.6 million domestically, versus a production budget estimated at around $250 million. (The gloating news reports have tended to mention that once you include marketing, the movie's cost is probably closer to $350 million — even though… » 3/12/12 1:20pm 3/12/12 1:20pm

Genital-filled Princess of Mars comic shows off the full-frontal…

If your biggest problem with Disney's John Carter movie is that it didn't contain nearly enough Martian wang, then James Killian Spratt's graphic (in more ways than one) adaptation of A Princess of Mars might be up your alley. Spratt is creating his own comic version of Burroughs' classic pulp, where the action is set… » 3/10/12 11:00am 3/10/12 11:00am

John Carter will dazzle you with the best (and worst) of retro futurism

There is a moment in the movie John Carter where our eponymous hero is fighting an absurdly pitched battle against dozens of the green, tusked, four-armed Tharks. Because he's an Earthman on Mars, Carter has super-strength, and he slays Thark after Thark. The bodies pile up around him in a tableau whose absurdity… » 3/09/12 9:00am 3/09/12 9:00am

Why Is Everyone On Mars British? And Other Pressing John Carter

We had a lot of important questions for Disney's John Carter. For example: Why are all the Martians British? What's with the tattoos? And why do people keep calling these tan people "Red Martians?" We asked the cast, crew and director Andrew Stanton our most pressing questions about John Carter, and here are their… » 3/08/12 3:35pm 3/08/12 3:35pm