Variety reports that Alexander Skarsgard (TRUE BLOOD, BATTLESHIP) is the front-runner to play Tarzan in a new film directed by David Yates (HARRY POTTER 5-8).
Unfortunately, no one heard my prayers and this is going to be a “re-imagining” (Can someone please put a curse on Tim Burton for coining that term?) of the classic hero. Actually, that may be a bit of an overstatement. Rather, it’s a film that will take place after the events of the first few TARZAN novels.
In this version, John Clayton, a.k.a. Lord Greystoke, a.k.a. Tarzan, has been living back in English society for some time now. Queen Victoria asks him to intercede in a conflict taking place in the Congo. Teaming up with ex-mercenary George Washington Williams, Tarzan goes against a warlord controlling a lucrative diamond mine.
Samuel L. Jackson is being heavily courted for the role of Williams.
Don’t take my earlier comments for any assumption that this new film won’t be good. Yates has proven himself a very capable director and Skarsgard is a solid choice. It’s just strange that with dozens if not hundreds of previous TARZAN films, no one has done a faithful adaptation of the first novel. Just as people did not learn with JOHN CARTER earlier this year, all that’s necessary is to take a single Edgar Rice Burroughs novel and have fun with it. Each 200 page book has more than enough action, adventure, intrigue and character depth for a two and a half hour feature.
Should Skarsgard sign on, as he is expected to, TARZAN should start filming in the summer, meaning Yates’ film will swing into theatres (DAMMIT!) in 2014.