(SLATE) — Right before the credits roll at the end of Disney’s $250 million science fiction movie John Carter, two initials slowly fade in on the screen: J.C.

If it hadn’t occurred to you during the previous hours, a realization may dawn at this moment: The big-budget action flick is a surprisingly Christian movie, with a hero that at times looks a heck of a lot like another J.C., Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Is John Carter a Christian allegory? No, but it seems to have been inspired by Christian imagery. John Carter is adapted from the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel Princess of Mars, part of the author’s Barsoom series (Barsoom is a fictional version of Mars). Princess of Mars isn’t a Christian allegory either, but Christian themes can be found throughout Burroughs’ work, and director Andrew Stanton—a Christian himself—has chosen to emphasize many of those elements.

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