Looks like things are finally starting to move forward on Disney’s long-gestating John Carter of Mars, with the first two major casting announcements coming this week and another rumoured addition possibly to follow. Some may remember that this project went through various producers and directors over the years, most recently billed as potentially being Pixar’s first ever live-action film. There was a point when some thought that Brad Bird might direct, but since then Andrew Stanton (Wall-E, Finding Nemo) has taken over the reins (although Pixar itself will not be involved).
This week The Hollywood Reporter confirmed that Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) will star as the film’s protagonist John Carter, an American Civil War veteran who is transported to a dying planet Mars. Based on the first in a series of pulp novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs from the early 1900s, the movie finds John Carter caught in the middle of a war between Green and Red Martians, where he must rescue a princess and help restore order to the planet.
Lynn Collins, who also starred in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and had a recurring role on HBO’s True Blood, will play the princess Dejah Thoris. Thomas Haden Church also recently revealed to Coming Soon that he will have a role in the film, although that has yet to be made official. The movie is still a couple years out from theatres, but Disney is already hoping to spin it into a massive franchise. What do you think, is Taylor Kitsch the right man to carry this series? And does this mean we won’t be seeing a Gambit spin-off any time soon?