The cast of Disney’s big-screen adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ John Carter of Mars keeps on growing, adding three English (read: talented) actors to the roster. Joining John Carter of Mars will be Dominic West (The Wire, 300), Samantha Morton (In America) and Polly Walker (HBO’s Rome).

The three English actors join Willem DaFoe, (supposedly) Thomas Hayden Church and Wolverine stars Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins (Gambit and Silver Fox), who will be playing lead characters John Carter and his love interest, Mars princess Dejah Thoris.

According to The Hollywood Reporter: “Morton will play Sola, the daughter of Tars Tarkas (DaFoe), who must hide her softer side from her warmongering race. West plays Sab Than, prince of the Zodangans who believes he is entitled to rule Mars. Walker plays Sarkoja, a merciless, tyrannical Thark.”

Writer/Producer/Director Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo, Wall-E) will be making his live-action directorial debut; the script was co-written by Stanton and Mark Andrews, with acclaimed novelist Michael Chabon (Wonder Boys) turning in a recent rewrite. John Carter of Mars is expected to mix live-action and CGI Martian creatures, and will be a PG-13 epic adventure/fantasy, which is expected to (hopefully) kick-off a trilogy.

So far I’m good with the cast of this film. The casting agents have successfully managed to avoid “Channing Tatum Syndrome” – i.e., casting an actor and/or actress that immediately lowers the stock of the film in people’s minds. HBO fans are especially familiar with West and Walker from their stints on The Wire and Rome respectively, and the strong impressions both actors made on those shows. (I still remember the first seconds of Rome‘s first episode featuring Walker in the buff. Ooo la la!)

John Carter of Mars is reportedly set to start filming this November for release in 2012.

Source: THR via Slash Film