Rumor has it that The Dark Knight Rises’ Tom Hardy (Bane) is on the top of the studio’s wish list to take on the ape-man role, but they are also looking at the upcoming Man of Steel star, Henry Cavill, among others. I don’t see Cavill or Warner Bros. mixing the Superman brand with the Tarzan brand, but I have to say that Hardy could be an interesting choice. (With Bane, he has already proved that he can deliver a great performance without being able to intelligibly speak.)
The Lord of the Jungle is celebrating his 100th birthday this year and Tarzan fans couldn’t ask for a better present than word of a serious reboot of the beloved character’s movie career. But before we blow the candles out on that birthday cake, let’s get our wishes straight for this upcoming film.
To: David Yates (Tarzan Director)
From: Bob Leeper (Nerdvana Contributor)
Re: Getting new Tarzan film right
- Tarzan has starred in about 90 movies going clear back to the early days of silent films. But Hollywood has yet to do the movie correctly. Sure there have been some entertaining attempts and I have a soft spot in my heart for many of those old movies, but it’s time for a mature version of the ape-man’s story that closely adheres to the original story by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
- Forget Tom Hardy and Henry Cavill for the ape-man part and go with a talented newcomer who can embrace the role without having any iconic baggage to carry from another film. This will allow the audience to enjoy the character for who he is and not fill their heads with thoughts like, “Wow, that Superman played a pretty good Tarzan.”
- We have the technology and you have got to get the apes right. I’m assuming you’ll be using a mix of digital and conventional special effects and my advice to quickly consult, if not outright hire, the incredible Andy Serkis. He is king of the motion-capture performance (see King Kong and Gollum in the Lord of the Rings films) and he will immediately add an air of quality and legitimacy to this film.
- The original Tarzan story begins in 1888 and this film should be a period adventure-drama set during that time, complete with the politically incorrect trappings of that era. Let’s make it as historically accurate and realistic as possible.
- Please no Phil Collins songs or comedic monkey sidekicks.
- The Tarzan story is about survival and the courage of a young boy and man who is the ultimate outcast, but who despite all odds manages to overcome incredible adversity to one day become the King of the Jungle and reclaim his birthright as a British Lord. The key is to capture the drama and adventure of the overwhelming hardship and immense loneliness that the young John Clayton must endure. It’s not all about swinging in the trees (but you need to get that part right too.)
- Ensure this film is marketed correctly. Don’t call it “John Clayton.” Let’s avoid the advertising mistakes that led to John Carter’s undeserved demise.
- Generations of Tarzan fans are counting on you to get this right. It’s important. Don’t mess this up.
MORE TARZAN ON NERDVANA:
- First look at German CGI animated Tarzan film
- Interview: Author Robin Maxwell turns the table on classic Tarzan tale
- Tarzan of the Apes: Simian-man saga celebrates a century
Watch the very first Tarzan silent film from 1918, directed by Scott Sidney and starring Elmo Lincoln: