According to Variety, Willem Dafoe has joined the cast of Disney’s John Carter of Mars, which already includes Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins. In the film, which is being directed by Wall-E helmer Andrew Stanton, Dafoe will play Tars Tarkas, a fierce green Martian warrior, who’s unusual among his savage race for his ability to feel compassion and empathy.
In the film, which is based on the first of Edgar Rice Burroughs Mars novels A Princess of Mars, Tars develops an alliance with John Carter after Carter, a Civil War veteran, is miraculously transported, via astral projection, to Mars. Once there, Carter meets Martian princess Dejah Thoris, wins her hand, rediscovers his own humanity after the ravages of war, teams up with Tars Tarkas and eventually becomes Warlord of Mars.
And did I mention that Tars Tarkas is also about eight or ten feet tall with four arms and green skin? At least he’s that way in the book. Fortunately, this isn’t the first time Dafoe has been green in a film, so it shouldn’t be too much trouble for him. The real question is how will he play someone with four arms who’s that tall? Of course, he’s a very good actor, so I’ll bet he can pull it off — with a little help from some movie magic.