John Carter of Mars may be almost eight decades in the making, and production doesn’t get started until 2010, but I’m going to be that guy that gets way too hyped up about it way too early on. After all, it’s been something fans have twiddled their thumbs impatiently about for far, far too long. And now that it’s actually happening, I can only hope that good news continues to flow out like mint julep.

At least today it is, for today sees the announcement from io9 that Willem Dafoe will be shrugging off the weirdness of Antichrist for the weirdness of John Carter when he plays Tars Tarkas – the six-limbed, strangely emotional member of the usually-unfeeling Thark race who becomes John Carter’s friend. As fans know, and as anyone who’s read my posts about the story knows, John Carter is a Civil War soldier (a Virginian!) who winds up on Mars, like you do, and encounters a ton of crazy inhabitants that either want to kill him or be his friend. As it turns out, like these things usually do, he needs to fulfill his destiny which doesn’t include shooting Yankees with ball bearings, but does include becoming the savior for the races living on Barsoom (Mars to you, humanoid).

Willem Dafoe’s involvement is fantastic, and almost ensures that there will be a FIRE FIGHT!

At least it might just be enough to wash the taste of hearing that Taylor Kitsch was playing John Carter out of my mouth. Wait – does hearing something have a taste? That makes no sense.

But what does make sense is that Andrew Stanton will be bringing his brilliance to the project, so it might just have a chance of being wonderful. This will be his first live-action film, but I’m pretty sure that the writer/director behind Finding Nemo and Wall-E can handle it. Thomas Hayden Church and Kitsch’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine co-star Lynn Collins are also amongst the cast.

Plus, it’s being co-written by Michael Chabon. Who is awesome.

Hopefully we’ll get even more good news about the project next week at Comic-Con…

What do you think?

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