BARROW-IN-FURNESS – After the mega-flop that was Andrew Stanton‘s John Carter – AKA John Carter of Mars – the idea of a sequel was as welcome as a policeman with a grim expression ringing your doorbell at 4 o’clock in the morning to tell you they’ve found the body.

However, it turns out Disney made loads of toys that they haven’t sold and so for artistic reasons will be making a sequel after all, but one with a much lower budget. Andrew Stanton – the ‘director’ – said: 

We’ve slashed the budget. And we’ve decided we’re going to have to be much more creative . Unfortunately when you don’t have a large budget it does impact on the kind of story you can tell. So for instance, John Carter of Mars? Well, Mars is kind of expensive. Barrow-in-Furness on the other hand is a small English industrial town in the North West of England, where accommodation is very cheap. Importantly, for some of the action sequences, so is life.

Located south of the Lake District and with a population of 69,000, Barrow-in-Furness has been used before as a location for John Hilcoat’s The Road and Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, where it stood in for New York. Giorgio Valentino – Mr Kubrick’s dentist – said, “It looks nothing like New York, but it is cheap.”

In the original film, John Carter was able to jump massive distances due to the difference in gravity between Mars and Earth. As he will only be travelling from America to England such jumping advantages is likely to be eliminated.

John Carter Manager of Stitch Express

“I consider that a win win,” Stanton says, “The jumping looked silly and it will be cheaper not to do it. Plus we won’t have a huge civil war between alien races. Rather, I think we’re going with story in which John Carter becomes manager of Stitch Express and gets into a row with the herbal store next door but they unite to defeat the council who are digging up the road for maintenance work on the sewers.”

John Carter 2: John Carter of Barrow-in-Furness will be released in 2017.


BARCELONA – Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar finally put paid to rumors that have been circulating for years concerning his sexuality.
‘I’m gay,’ he told journalists, feigning surprise at the question. ‘I’ve never made a secret of my sexuality. Jesus Christ, look at my films.’

Journalists were horrified to discover Almodovar was not married to Penelope Cruz as many had assumed, nor engaged, nor dating, and she was in fact married to Javier Bardem, another Spaniard, who played the gay villain in Skyfall.

Is Bardem gay as well?
‘No,’ he said. ‘That was acting.’
Antonio Banderas is also Spanish.