Despite the fact that the character has been around for almost 100 years, and that the book series was extremely influencial for much of the science fiction written in the 20th century, the 2012 movie starring Taylor Kitsch is the first big screen adaptation of one of his adventures.
If you don't know much about him, John Carter is set in the early history of the United States, and tells the story of a military man who sees himself transported to Mars, where he encounters a dying kingdom that needs his help.
The film is being directed by Andrew Stanton, the man who directed Finding Nemo and Wall-E. This is the first live action movie that he's directed. He's the second high profile Pixar director making a film debut in the last year. Mission Impossible 4 was directed by Brad Bird, who had never done anything but animation before.