Competing Tarzan movie announced

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).

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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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