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.