Tarzan Returns to the Big Screen
Tarzan is returning to the Big Screen but not as an animated musical sequel from Disney but a played-for-straight adventure from Warner Bros, and director Stephen Sommers (The Mummy). Variety reports this morning that Sommers and Stuart Beattie will be co-writing the screenplay. The duo last worked together on 2009’s G.I. Joe film for Paramount, which recently completed lensing.
Producer Jerry Weintraub has been trying to mount a new live-action version of Tarzan since 2003, working from a screenplay by John August (Shazam!) and at one point Guillermo del Toro was in talks to direct the film.
Ever since Edgar Rice Burroughs first wrote about his man raised by the apes in 1912, it has been repeatedly interpreted for serials, movies, radio, television and comic books. Burroughs penned some 23 books featuring his character in addition to creating other fantastic realms and characters including John carter, Warlord of Mars and Pellucidar. While Johnny Weismuller’s performance informed the image in the minds of a generation or two of moviegoers, today more people probably know him from the 1999 Disney animated feature.
This will be Warner’s second go-round with the Lord of the Jungle after 1984’s underrated Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes from Hugh Hudson. The film introduced us to actor Christopher Lambert later known for Highlander. Warner’s television network, the CW, had a disastrous version of Tarzan in 2003.