A trade report last month suggested that Disneys March sci-fi tent pole John Carter was in serious trouble owing to Pixar vet Andrew Stantons relative inexperience directing live-action film, citing rumors that production reshoots and late-game rejiggering had bloated the budget from $200 million to as much as $300 million.

However, speaking with press Thursday, Stanton called the report a complete and utter lie.