Back when it was announced that Stephen Sommers (Van Helsing) would direct a new Tarzan movie, I expressed my faith in the project but it now seems it will be competing against what will probably be a much better film as one of my favorite directors, Christophe Gans (Silent Hill), has signed on to direct Lord Of The Apes, putting his adaptation of the video game Onimusha and his planned Charles XII Of Sweden biopic Le Cavalier Suèdois (literally The Swedish Rider) on the backburner. Filming will start in February.
Lord Of The Apes will be a retelling of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ source novel Tarzan Of The Apes, but told from the point of view of Jane Porter, Tarzan’s infamous love interest, the girl who discovers the ape man in the African jungle and brings him back to the civilised world. According to producer Thomas Langmann (the live-action Asterix films), actresses Natalie Portman (The Other Boleyn Girl) and Marion Cotillard (La Vie En Rose) are in consideration to play Jane (Nat please!). As for Tarzan, who knows, but rumors point to Gans regular Mark Dacascos (Code Name: The Cleaner).
I saw Babylon A.D. today, and while I won’t write a full review of it at this time, I do have a few things I want to say. Babylon A.D. has been a pet project for acclaimed French director Mathieu Kassovitz (Gothika) for many years, with him being a huge fan of Maurice Georges Dantec’s source novel Babylon Babies. The film had a very troubled shoot and was delayed from its original release date in early 2008. Ultimately, most people had already dismissed the film before it was released, and the final nail in its coffin was when both Kassovitz and lead actor Vin Diesel (Find Me Guilty) trashed the film before its American release. Here’s the catch though: they were talking about the Fox version of the film.
Yes, there are two versions of Babylon A.D., one which runs 90 minutes and is distributed by 20th Century-Fox in the US, Canada, UK and some other countries, and another by Studio Canal, which doesn’t mention Fox at all and lasts 11 minutes more. Now this doesn’t mean that Fox simply cut out 11 minutes from the film and released it…they actually cut out much more, and replaced it with footage that isn’t in the longer version. I haven’t seen the Fox version, but I’ve read about it and can thus tell you that Fox basically removed significant parts of plot development and replaced them with action scenes that are completely absent from the Studio Canal version… Fox changed the beginning, Fox changed the ending, Fox changed the dialogues, Fox changed everything.