According to The Hollywood Reporter Disney has found its two leads for writer/director Andrew Stanton’s upcoming John Carter of Mars. Taylor Kitsch, last seen as Gambit on X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Lynn Collins, also last seen in the same film playing Wolverine’s love interest, have signed on to play the title character John Carter and Dejah Thoris receptively.
In case you’re not familiar with the story, the film is adapted from the Edgar Rice Burroughs series of novels and centers around John Carter, a Civil War veteran who is miraculously transported, via astral projection, to Mars. Once there, he meets Martian princess Dejah Thoris, wins her hand, rediscovers his own humanity after the ravages of war and eventually becomes Warlord of Mars. Along the way he also manages to get in quite a few sword fights and battles.
This movie is a big deal for all involved. It marks Stanton’s first live-action film after directing Disney’s Finding Nemo and Wall-E and its great for Kitsch and Collins, who will need to carry this one on their shoulders. And as a fan of the books growing up, I’ve always visualized what this movie might look like.
In truth, I’m not 100% sure on the casting choices but I think Stanton has the vision to pull off something very interesting. Still, Stanton reportedly was considring both Josh Duhamel and Jon Hamm for the role of John Carter and in my mind, it might of made more sense to go with someone like Hamm. Oh well, no matter what happens, we’ll find out soon enough as the film begins shooting later this year for a release in 2012.