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John Carter In Disney Digital 3D

March 1, 2012 by staff 

John Carter In Disney Digital 3D, To hear Willem Dafoe (“Spider-Man”) tell it, there was no way he wasn’t going to work on Walt Disney Pictures’ 3D sci-fi fantasy “John Carter” with Academy Award®–winning writer/director Andrew Stanton.

“I was very lucky because the project was quite far along in its casting when I came around,” Dafoe explains. “I was in Los Angeles, where I rarely am because I don’t live there. I knew Andrew was meeting with people for `John Carter’ and since I had worked with him before and was aware of the project, I said that I’d like to have a meeting with him. And he showed me some of the art. When I read the script, I got excited. I said, ‘Listen, you want me to play a Thark, I’ll play a Thark. I would love that. I would love the physical challenges.’

“My character, Tars Tarkas, is the head of a warrior tribe called the Tharks,” he explains. “They are very tall, green-skinned Martians with four arms and tusks. There’s a feeling that their culture is in decline; they were once a great society and now they’ve been reduced to being a nomadic, warlike society, moving from place to place to survive. There’s a feeling of sadness and lost empire to them and it very much informs who Tars Tarkas is. The Thark culture is brutal, primitive and warrior-like, but it hasn’t always been. Tars remembers a more refined, civilized past. He secretly yearns for those days and for a more humane society. He knows there’s got to be a better way than how they’re surviving now.”

The challenge for Dafoe and the other actors playing Tharks was to convey the depth and feeling of their performances while adapting to the technological and physical realities of performing in this particular project. Dafoe and his fellows Tharks spent their time on set dressed in gray jumpsuits covered in black dots and on stilts. They also wore helmets with cameras mounted on them; the cameras were pointed at their faces at all times to capture their expressions. “This film had lots of challenges, not only because of the stilts, but some of the gestural language and the fact that we had to learn a Martian language for part of it,” Dafoe says.

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