Finding Nemo and Wall-E director Andrew Stanton‘s first foray into live-action film making is still a ways off, but over the past number of months, many exciting names have been cast in John Carter of Mars. The castings have come in interesting succession, with new additions being revealed every month. We were first informed in June that leads John Carter and the Princess of Mars would be played by X-Men Origins: Wolverine co-stars Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins. Next up was the announcement in July that Willem Dafoe was also cast in the movie as Tars Tarkas, a friendly outcast within a species of vicious warriors. In August, it was reported that three supporting roles were filled by Polly Walker, Dominic West, and Samantha Morton, and all was shaping out nicely.
Like clock work, just before September ends, three new names have been added to the cast, and it keeps getting better and better. Disney has announced that the newest trio of faces added to the cast are Thomas Haden Church, James Purefoy, and Mark Strong. Church is best known for his work in Sideways and Spider-Man 3, and will be playing a warrior (likely of the same species as Dafoe) named Tal Hajus who’s expecting to become ruler soon. Purefoy is best known as Marc Antony on HBO’s Rome and will be playing the captain on a warship named Kantos Kan. Mark Strong has been making quite a name for himself lately and will be playing a god-like figure named Matai Shang. Though Strong has been around for a while now, he’s only recently gained his deserved recognition with movies like Stardust and RocknRolla, and has since landed roles in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.
John Carter of Mars follows a Civil War veteran who somehow is whisked off to Mars, where he finds himself in the midst of a battle between two races. It is based on the character created nearly a century ago by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and is currently aiming at a Spring start date.