Warner Bros. has been actively developing two new, but different, interpretations of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan story – with the intent that one ”modernized” version of the classic tale will eventually make it into production.
Craig Brewer (Footloose) is writing the script for one of those competing projects (for more, read our interview with him), while the other is being penned by Adam Cozad: a screenwriter whose career is slowly burgeoning, thanks to his work on the impending Jack Ryan reboot – and, a planned Brad Pitt vehicle titled The Gray Man.
In a Deadline report about Cozad signing on with CAA (hat tip to The Playlist), there’s a tidbit about some of the filmmakers who are considering Cozad’s Tarzan script as their next directorial effort. That list of candidates includes Harry Potter series alum David Yates, The Hunger Games director Gary Ross – and Susanna White, the director of Nanny McPhee Returns and the acclaimed TV mini-series Bleak House (she’s also helmed episodes of Generation Kill and Boardwalk Empire).
White, as you probably picked up, is the left-field candidate to take on a tentpole production like Tarzan. Although her resume is quite solid, Warner Bros. may prefer to have a bigger name working behind the camera on a rejuvenating installment in the iconic jungle adventure franchise. On the other hand: White’s not only equipped with some verifiable skills (and a more flexible schedule), she also comes with a cheaper price tag. So, she could feasibly land the job, when all is said and done.
Following the release of the final Potter movie, Yates flirted with a handful of ambitious ventures – like a Doctor Who movie and a film adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand - but the only significant item on his plate right now is Cicero, which isn’t expected to begin shooting until some (unspecified) date in 2013. Similarly, after Ross passed on Catching Fire, he began circling Houdini; however, his involvement with that project is far from a sure thing.
If either Ross or Yates were to land the Tarzan directing job, then there’s a good chance Warner Bros. could abandon Brewer’s project – in favor of the one with a director experienced in the art of big-budget filmmaking. White and Brewer, however, are on more equal footing, seeing how neither one has really taken on a movie like this before (or helmed a major box office hit). So that (theoretical) showdown could go either way.
Let us know who you want to see take on a new Tarzan movie – or, rather, if you even want to see another Tarzan flick, in the comments section.