So I guess Christian Bale's denial was accurate, eh?

Look, I've seen the first season of "Friday Night Lights," and I think Taylor Kitsch did a really solid job as Tim Riggins, local bad boy and football star.  I guess I'm just a little nonplussed to see Andrew Stanton cast a guy Kitsch's age in the role.  I've always pictured John Carter as a man in the most basic definition of the word.  Rugged.  Battle-hardened.  Older.  To be fair, though, he was perpetually 30 years old, no matter what happened.  Something about his travel to and from Mars kept him the same age while his family grew old around him.  So Kitsch isn't wrong as far as age.  He's not 6'2" with jet-black hair, though, but I'm not going to be the guy who pitches a fit based on a mere physical description.  If he convinced Stanton that he's the guy, then I'm willing to wait and see how it plays onscreen.

As far as Lynn Collins is concerned, her work on "True Blood" would suggest that she's got at least two of the primary qualifications for the role as Dejah Thoris, and I'm not just making a sleazy sex joke, either.  As Edgar Rice Burroughs originally described her, she spent most of her time topless, and Collins certainly seemed happy to do the same on "True Blood."  I didn't really care for her work in "Wolverine," but it was a thankless role that wasn't really her fault.  Maybe she's great.  Maybe she absolutely killed in the audition.

[more after the jump]

The other news that broke this week is that Utah appears to be the spot that the production has chosen to stand in for Mars when filming starts later this year.  Having just served as Vulcan for the latest "Star Trek," Utah's getting excited about the possibility of a film as big as "John Carter Of Mars" shooting there, particularly since it could kick off a whole series of movies if it works.

The big question for me is how Stanton plans to bring the rest of Mars to life.  When Harry Knowles was a producer on the project, I saw a ton of the pre-production work that he did with Rodriguez and Favreau and a small army of some of the best production illustrators around.  And it is, without a doubt, one of the most demanding properties in terms of bringing it all to live-action life.  And since this is Stanton's live-action debut, I'm going to give him credit for taking a chance.  If it works, "John Carter Of Mars" could be spectacular, and if it doesn't, it's going to make that 80-something years of development look like a lot of wasted time.

So... you know... no pressure, guys.

We'll have more on "John Carter Of Mars" as it moves forward.

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