Willem Dafoe to play alien warlord in John Carter of Mars

According to Variety, Willem Dafoe will return to the fantasy realm, playing alien warlord Tars Tarkas in Andrew Stanton’s (director of Wall-E) first live-action movie, John Carter of Mars.

Dafoe will star opposite X-Men Origins: Wolverine co-stars Taylor Kitsch and Lynn Collins in the adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ sci-fi fantasy series of books.

Tarkas is described as a fierce green Martian warrior, unusual among his savage race for his ability to love. He develops an alliance with John Carter in the film, which is based on A Princess of Mars. They fight numerous battles together throughout the book series.

Kitsch will play the title character in Mars, a Civil War veteran who finds himself mysteriously transported to the Red Planet, and Collins will play the ‘Princess’ character. Stanton is directing the project from a script he co-wrote with Mark Andrews.

John Carter of Mars is scheduled to hit theaters sometime in 2012.

As you may recall, Dafoe is no stranger to fantasy material, playing the Green Goblin in Spider-Man.