'Tarzan' gets a major make-over in upcoming film

Jun 20, 2016
david yates talks tarzan remake 2016

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan has remained one of the most enduring characters of 20th-century popular culture since the character's first appearance in the 1912 story Tarzan of the Apes. The legendary “lord of the apes” has inspired films, TV serials, radio plays, stage productions, comics and video games.

But what the filmmakers of the upcoming action adventure “The Legend of Tarzan” found in the new script by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer was a fresh and entirely new take on the legend. “It has great characters, romance, humor and fabulous action,” says David Barron, the film's producer (Jerry Weintraub, as well as Alan Riche and Tony Ludwig also served producing the film). “It’s a large-scope, audience-friendly film, but with a thinking mind and a beating heart.”

david yates talks tarzan remake 2016

“It’s not Tarzan as you know it,” director David Yates adds. “It’s not a bloke in a loincloth. It’s a big, epic theatrical experience that’s grounded in how we see the world now – in how we connect with each other and the animals we share the planet with.”

The film isn’t telling an origin story – it’s set years after Tarzan has left the jungles of Africa behind. But, the director says, we will see glimpses of Tarzan’s life growing up in the jungle, with his nurturing ape mother, Kala, and the violent alpha male of the group, Kerchak, who never accepts the sight of a human in their midst. “We see in flashbacks how Jane, as a young girl, goes through the jungle tracking the mysterious ghost of Tarzan,” the director explains. “She’s the one who teases him out of the jungle and rescues him from this fairly brutal life. She saved him, and over the course of our movie, he has to save her – because he can’t really survive without her.”

david yates talks tarzan remake 2016

From Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures comes the action adventure “The Legend of Tarzan,” starring Alexander Skarsgård (HBO’s “True Blood”) as the legendary character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. 

The film also stars Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (the “Captain America” films), Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” upcoming “Suicide Squad”), Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Gladiator”), with Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (“Iris”), and two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”). 

It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Robbie) at his side.  

Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash. 

David Yates (the final four “Harry Potter” films, upcoming “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”) directed “The Legend of Tarzan” from a screenplay by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, story by Brewer and Cozad based on the Tarzan stories created by Burroughs.

Opening across the Philippines on Thursday, June 30, “The Legend of Tarzan” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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