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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The Hollywood shuffle game continues

Release dates just won’t stop changing ever since Warner Bros moved Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince to next July. The latest “victim”? Australian war drama Australia (actually an American co-production), which was pushed back from November 14th to November 21st in the US.

The epic, which is set to be one of the big events of 2008’s last quarter, will mark the return of acclaimed director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) and stars Nicole Kidman (The Golden Compass) and Hugh Jackman (Deception). The movie, which Luhrmann co-wrote with Stuart Beattie (30 Days Of Night), tells the story of an English aristocrat, played by Kidman, who inherits a ranch in northern Australia at the dawn of World War II, and hires Jackman’s character to protect it from a takeover. Then, the Japanese start bombing.

The American change shouldn’t affect other release dates, and as far as I know, Australia will still premiere in Australia on November 13th.

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