For our fantasy reboot of John Carter of Mars, we select for the role of Dejah Thoris . . . .

John Carter Fantasy Reboot, John Carter of Mars

So if there’s fantasy football — why not a fantasy reboot of John Carter of Mars?  To do this, it will be necessary to assemble a fantasy cast and crew. First up:  Dejah Thoris.

Since this is a fantasy reboot, I’m not going to re-cast anyone who was in the Disney movie.   This is not a negative judgment on any of them — but re-casting any of them would muddy the waters between reboot and sequel and this is definitely a fresh start reboot.

I do not endorse someone for the role of  Dejah Thoris lightly.  For me, as for most ERB fans, Dejah is the coalescence of all things desirable in a woman.  She is, after all, “the incomparable Dejah Thoris.”  She is the “heroic daughter of a heroic world” — not a warrior princess but capable of defending her life and honor.  When conscience demands it, as with the marriage to Sab Thaan (in the books, not the movie), she puts her people above her own happiness.   When she sees Sarkoja attempting to blind John Carter during combat, she fearlessly protects him.  When she is captured by the Tharks, she makes an incredibly articulate and passionate plea for amity and honor.  (See In Defense of Dejah Thoris for more on her character.)

Here are some pix of my first choice — there are more pictures below at the end of the post.  If you don’ t know who she is, keep reading — she’s someone you will be hearing about.   Her popularity with global viewers is surging — in fact, as of today, she is ranked overall #4 on the Internet Movie Data Base Starmeter  — a reference tool that producers definitely consider when casting.    She’s risen to that level from about 2,000 a year ago.  Definitely “one to watch” ….and as I mentioned, she’s the lead in a new US Netwrok TV series (which of course is what’s propelled her to where she is at the moment on the Starmeter.)  Her name — Priyanka Chopra.  Read on after the pix … there are more pix and more about her.

Priyanka Dejah 4a

So what are the characteristics I would look for in an actress to play Dejah?

First, she must possess the kind of beauty that radiates from within.  She must have a spiritual presence, she must have strength of character yet not be so aggressively strong as to lack vulnerability.  Her external beauty must have an exotic quality that supports the feeling that she is not of this planet, a creation of another world.   She must possess dignity of a special magnitude, yet compassion and a gentleness. And of course, intelligence, and she must convey a deep sense of honor and purpose.

It’s a tall order.

Now, after thinking about it, and giving the whole matter a 360 degree analysis, I’m prepared to take a position. Indian actress Priyanka Chopra (who is now working in the US and starring in a US Network TV show)  is my number one draft pick for Dejah Thoris.  After spending a significant amount of “rumination time” thinking about it and researching her, I’m convinced she is “the one” — with the physical, intellectual, emotional, and acting skills to carry the part.

As noted, she’s currently starring in a network TV show in the US. The character she plays there is quite different, as is the look/presentation of that character (an FBI agent) …  so last night while watching the Dodgers get whupped by the Mets, I assembled some photo-collages designed to present Priyanka in a way that supports and helps communicate the reasons for my decision to use her. The photos below are Exhibit A in my choice — as well as the featured image above which I created from a photo of her using some paint effects.

By the way, she has 11 Million Twitter  followers and 17M facebook followers, so she’s not exactly an unknown worldwide…..just new to the US.

And by the way — Rena Sellers, My Princess, fully approves of the choice and endorses it!

Priyanka Dejah 1

Priyanka Dejah 2

Priyanka Dejah 3

Priyanka Poster



  • I always thought Olivia Munn would be a good choice for Dejah Thoris. Not only was it before Lynn Collins was cast but before she started her acting career. Plus she looks good in her Slave Leia costume. As for mixed race, she is Chinese on her mother’s side and English, Irish and German on her fathers.

  • I couldn’t agree more, she was my choice back before John Carter was cast. No one fits my image of Dejah better than Priyanka, If there is a reboot I would enthusiastically endorse her for the role. Crossing my fingers for both to happen!!!

  • Dotar Sojat: Vikander is beautiful, no doubt about it, but if I was your casting director, I’d try to find an Asian-East Indian for the eyes and delicacy of features. Still hoping that someone with the romantic bones of Jon Favreau (at least as shown in his project reel) will embrace the series with the same passion that Peter Jackson took to LOTR.

  • Beautiful lady! I know nothing whatsoever about her, but if her acting skills are on par with her looks, I would say pretty close to perfect.

  • On Facebook I’m getting some “no reboot, no way” reaction — not at Back To Barsoom (I didn’t post it there), but on ERBzine, which is a little surprising to me. I thought that by now, most people had made their peace with the fact that Disney abandoned the rights, the ship for a Disney sequel has sailed. Reboot is the only way to get more John Carter (of Mars, dammit) on the screen…… That’s just reality.

  • Hi Phil….yes, I agree altough I would qualify it by saying that any kind of blended ethnicity would probably achieve the desired sense of “otherness” that is so essential for Dejah. And it could theoretically exist even within a Caucasian … Alicia Vikander who did such an amazing job in Ex Machina is a caucasian actress who could possibly achieve it. But my instinct, like yours, is to go with someone who is ethnically different from John Carter. By the way, here is a link to a shot of Alicia Vikander which I find pretty persuasive — particularly in light of the otherness she achieved in Ex Machina.

  • First of all, nice redesign of the site! You’re going to force me to bump up my own…

    Second of all, but more to the point, I agree with your stipulations about the incomparable Dejah Thoris. Particularly the issue of an exotic beauty. Certainly the gorgeous Ms. Chopra fits the bill, but should she not be available, I would love to see any other non-white, non-European, woman get the role. Of course, a young and beautiful form is of absolute necessity, but only, for those of us of the Caucasian persuasion, can a non-white actor signal the kind of alien allurement that a Barsoomian princess should radiate. And please, please, PLEASE, give her a red skin. Not bright red, not just a set of red tattoos, but redness like the Navajo, the Apache, the skin tone of the Native American or more. I fully believe that to have been the color that ERB intended in the novel and I see no reason in the world not to make the Red Men (and women) of Barsoom as deeply rich in color as possible.

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