Tarzan to swing again?
There had been a version of Tarzan in development for some time but it never managed to get off the ground, well that's not true it got hold of some vines and got ready to swing but then the trees were chopped from beneath them and…let me stop the analogy, the production was halted because of escalating budget.
Now though it looks like the production is back on course, well they have casting in place to try and persuade a studio to take on board the project again.
The project began back in 2006 when we first heard that Guillermo del Toro was in talks to direct a new version of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan (Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan) with negotiations also happening with John Collee, who wrote Master and Commander: Far Side of the World and Happy Feet to write the screenplay.
Leap forward again to 2011 to find that Craig Brewer is the man who was set to direct the film with John August also having been involved somewhere along the line. That was superseded by the story that David Yates was finally put in place as the director of the adaptation, a story which soon disappeared behind us when we heard that the production was stopped when budgetary issues raised their ugly head.
Now we're hearing through Variety and First Showing that despite the previous halt on production there's a move forward with the film. Casting has been announced in a concerted effort to get studios behind the adaptation and have it made.
Alexander Skarsgård is reportedly signed up to play Tarzan with Christoph Waltz playing the…wait for it, see if you can guess…the villain! Wow, imaginative casting there. Joking aside though that is a strong cast and it's an interesting choice for Tarzan I think, not the kind of person who immediately springs to mind.
The next round of casting is looking for the new Jane character and according to the articles Jessica Chastain was at one point connected with the role and the project sounds like the previous iterations haven't been wasted as the writers credited on the script are Stuart Beattie, Craig Brewer, John Collee and Adam Cozad with the articles mentioning Cormac Wibberley and Marianne Wibberley as well.
The story for this new iteration of Tarzan may have changed, and may well yet, but last we heard was that this wasn't going to be an origin story (thankfully!) and that it would follow Tarzan once he had been reintegrated with society. He would apparently be requested by the Crown to investigate a conflict in the Congo and find himself teaming up with an ex-mercenary to fight against a warlord who controls a massive diamond mine. That was the plot and we're still waiting to find out if this will be the plot that will be used to sell the film on to studios once again, we'll probably find out more once the deal is struck, if it's struck.
I'm already interested in the idea because it's not an origin, I'm a little tired of reboots and restarts going back to the start to rewrite and ignore everything that has come before. Here we have an idea that acknowledges what has been and has the strength to try something new.
Will the studio fund it though, that's going to be the next issue. If the budget was too high the first time why not scale back on the big set pieces and explosions that I'm sure they are trying to fit in, perhaps trying to emulate the template from the big budget Lone Ranger, and go for something smaller, something more character based perhaps?