Warner Bros prepping new Tarzan movie

Now that Hellboy II director Guillermo Del Toro will helm The Hobbit, Warner Bros has chosen the less prestigious Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing) to replace him in directing a new Tarzan movie. While it certainly would have been interesting to know what Del Toro would have done with Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic tale, I actually think Sommers is a perfect fit for the job.

Stephen Sommers is an extremely underrated director who delivers films which are meant to be entertainment and nothing else, and he does that well. If you need proof he can churn out a good Tarzan, check out his 1994 adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.

Stephen Sommers’ movie will be an original take, not a retelling of any of the books or previous movies (though I’m sure elements will seep through). He will write the screenplay with Stuart Beattie, with whom he already collaborated on his next movie, G.I. Joe: Rise Of Cobra, to be released next summer.

Tarzan is best known to moviegoers for the 1999 eponymous Walt Disney cartoon and Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes, starring Christophe(r) Lambert. Others may recall a series of twelve films starring Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller in the thirties and forties. No date has been set for this latest adventure.

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2 thoughts on “Warner Bros prepping new Tarzan movie

  1. Lord Greystroke, Tarzan of the Apes is Edgar Rice Burrough’s golden-boy exemplar of “natural selection” used by the author to model the arrogance and ignorance of 19th Century colonial imperialism. Burroughs, like his contemporary brethren Arthur Conan Doyle, was a staunch Darwinist, promoting the iconoclast of European white male superiority (a white man lording through the jungle) over the “darkies” of primitive Africa with unashamed abandon.
    The 21st Century challenges for the Continent are, to say the least, multifaceted and multi-layered, involving both culture and ecology, the horrors of global neglect and apocalyptic famine, incurable diseases and genocidal wars—all this, while being subjected to the kinds of exploitation (blood diamonds, Draconian oil deals, Machiavellian retribution, etc.) that will skewer or sidetrack any conventional re-telling or traditional interpretation of the Tarzan motif as conceived by Burroughs.
    Any attempt to produce a “great summer action movie” rated PG-13 will be an anathema in the current zeitgeist and an historical anachronism that by now belong not in the 19th Century—for that matter, not even inside the Matrix of a 1999 Disney cartoon. Stephen Sommers talents notwithstanding, except for the ignorant, Tarzan’s time has past.

  2. Pingback: Competing Tarzan movie announced « The Movie Planet

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