Pixar's John Carter of Mars Casting Update

September 30, 2009

The cast for Pixar's movie John Carter of Mars, to be helmed by Andrew Stanton, is getting stronger by the day. While not everyone was pleased as punch with the selection of Taylor Kitsch as John Carter (he was a kitschy choice), the new additions should make fans a lot happier.

To begin with, James Purefoy -- the guy we're soon going to see rock the title role in Solomon Kane -- was cast as Kantos Kan, a captain who meets Carter when both are doing a stint in Warhoon prison. They get thrown into a gladitorial match together and bond in the process.

Also joining the cast are Thomas Haden Church and Mark Strong, both actors who are very strong in their own right. SciFi Squad tells us this about Church's character:

Church will be playing Tal Hajus, who THR calls "a vicious Thark warrior who is determined to become king." In the books, he's a Jabba the Hut type who lusts after Princess Dejah Thoris, and is happily ensconced as a leader, so this might be one of the first big changes you'll see in the story.

Mark Strong will play "Matai Shang, the revered ruler of the Thems." Well, shucks, if you're not excited about the movie now you never will be, this is a downright solid cast with some exciting actors you wouldn't expect to be in a film of this kind.

This could be the next big thing from Pixar, although, let's be honest: every new movie Pixar makes is the next big thing from Pixar. That said, it's nice to see that the questionable quality of Kitsch's casting has been balanced by better, boast-worthy talent.

Try saying that one time fast.

Looks like Toy Story 3 is going to have some competition after all. Any thoughts on who's going to play Princess Dejah Thoris? Wild, random guess that will probably be completely off-base: Olivia Wilde. Or Natalie Portman. Or Zooe Deschanel. Ok, that was three guesses -- I still get credit if any of them turn out to be right.

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