Gambit’s moving up in the world. Hot off his memorable cameo in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Taylor Kitsch has been cast as John Carter Of Mars, in the Disney movie of the same name. And, just to make it something of a Wolverine reunion, Lynn Collins – who played Silverfox in the Hugh Jackman mutant prequel – has also joined the cast as Dejah Thoris, aka the Princess Of Mars.

And most recently added to the roster is Spiderman 3 villain Sandman himself, Thomas Hayden Church, also of the excelent Sideways.

Pixar’s Andrew Stanton, who co-wrote the script with Mark Andrews, is directing the lavish epic, which starts filming this autumn, with some location work taking place in Utah.

Before Stanton came along, many directors, including Robert Rodriguez and Jon Favreau, had tried their hand at adapting Edgar Rice Burroughs’ sci-fi tale, about a Civil War veteran who finds himself mysteriously transported to Mars (or, as the locals have it, Barsoom).

There Carter, now somewhat super-powered thanks to the planet’s low gravity, becomes the focal point in a battle between the planet’s natives and alien invaders, along the way winning the hand of Collins’ fair princess.

As you might expect, the scope of this thing is going to be big. How big? Well, with Wall-E director Stanton on board, I’m saying Avatar big. And it’s a huge deal for the likeable Kitsch, who was one of the best things about X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It’s early days yet, but there’s a fair chance that I won’t be giving this movie a shitty review when it hits in 2012

So, what do you think of this piece of casting news, readers? Is Kitsch (who’ll probably have to cut those long flowing locks of his) the right choice? Are you excited about a live-action Andrew Stanton movie? 

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