Jeremy Medina
June 12, 2009 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Friday Night LightsTaylorKitsch — the breakout star of X-Men Origins: Wolverine — has landed the coveted lead role in Disney’s John Carter of Mars,according to The Hollywood Reporter. Mars will be the firstlive-action effort from Andrew Stanton, the Oscar-winning director ofPixar favorites Wall-E and Finding Nemo. The film, a big-budgetadaptation of the series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, tells the story of acivil war veteran (Kitsch) who is transported to Mars to fight in anepic war between the planet’s opposing races. Kitsch’s X-Men co-star LynnCollins has also been cast. Disney is aiming for an early 2010 start date, with dreams of launching a blockbuster franchise on the same level asPirates of the Caribbean.

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