While "John Carter of Mars" was once considered a doubtful project -- if not a totally doomed one -- fate has seemingly turned in the film's favor with several major casting announcements, including the much beloved Willem Dafoe as Martian warrior Tars Tarkas.
Today, a trio of new actors are joining the "John Carter" cast, providing further proof that the long-gestating movie is picking up steam. Dominic West, Samantha Morton and Polly Walker are all signing up for the trip to "Mars," according to The Hollywood Reporter.
West, best known as Detective Jimmy McNulty on "The Wire," will play Sab Than, prince of the Zodangans who believes he is entitled to rule Mars. Even though most of West's fans know him as the troubled-but-well-intentioned McNulty, the actor has proven himself in villainous roles before. His politician character in "300" was nothing short of loathsome and his over-the-top portrayal of Jigsaw in "Punisher: War Zone" was one of the film's admittedly few highlights.
Morton, meanwhile, is playing the role of Sola, the daughter of Dafoe's character. The Hollywood Reporter describes Sola as having to "hide her softer side from her warmongering race."
Walker's character is more in line with West's, the merciless Sarkoja. Like West, the actress is hardly unfamiliar with antagonizing roles, as seen in her days as Atia of the Julii on HBO's "Rome."
The new actors join the previously mentioned Dafoe and the film's two leads, Taylor Kitsch as the titular John Carter and Lynn Collins as his love interest, Princess Dejah Thoris. "WALL-E" director Andrew Stanton is helming "John Carter" with an eye to start shooting in Utah in early 2010. The movie has changed hands many times over the years, including a failed attempt by "Iron Man" director Jon Favreau.
Are you intrigued by the casting of West, Morton and Walker? What roles do you know them best for? Let us know in the comments section!