‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Hunger Games’ Directors Interested in ‘Tarzan’

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 19th, 2013 at 1:42 pm,

tarzan david yates gary ross Harry Potter and Hunger Games Directors Interested in Tarzan

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.

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Source: Deadline

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TAGS: tarzan

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  1. Lets hope they market this better than “John Carter”. Most people have heard of “Tarzan” though, which is a great help.

  2. I dunno… I guess a new live action Tarzan can be pretty good, but growing up I was surrounded by all things Tarzan (there were the children’s books, the animated movies and the prequel tv series, and I recall a a live action tv series as well? – can’t remember for sure).
    Point is, I think I’ve had my fair share of ‘Tarzan’ for a life time.
    That said, I’ll keep an open mind… I’m not AGAINST a new film…

  3. David Yates FTW

  4. First of all, the artwork used is Neal Adams. He did the covers of the editions I read as a child. I read the first 6 or so.

    Tarzan was a character I discovered first through Johnny Weismueller movies and then through books. The books were something I dreamed about “proper” adaptations. I was really excited about the “Greystoke” movie, but it compromised a lot.

    Anyway, nowadays I’m older and more educated and I can see a lot of problems with a “realistic” live action Tarzan. Basically a human baby couldn’t survive in the wild. Just the weather and diseases would do him in. Would he eat leaves, termites, and raw monkey meat like his adopted family? Then there’s the fact that chimpanzees are a lot stronger than humans. So I don’t know.

    But if they did do it, I don’t mind any changes they decide to make. It would be cool to see a fairly faithful to the books adaptation. I think it should be set in the past though.

    • Also, if you don’t learn human speech and interaction before a certain age (6 or 7 I think), it is supposed that you never will. this is because the parts of the brain that deal with speech, communication etc… do not develop if left without stimulus.

      That’s why real wild children never get up to speed when they attempt to re-educate them.

      • We are going to inject all this “reality” into Tarzan??? It’s ERB at his finest, reality was usually the furthest thing from that man’s mind when he wrote!

        Tarzan is pure Fantasy adventure, complete with mythical lost cities (Opar), miniaturized people (the Ant Men!) and inner earth dinosaurs (Pellucidar). Make it faithful and people will accept it as the Fantasy it is, Lord Greystoke hasn’t been around 98 years because he was so rooted in “reality”, it was just rippin good fun and great reading.

      • Aaahhhh… so that’s why most people my age don’t know how to speak and communicate properly ;)

  5. Tarzan is one of those franchises that has been literally done to death. We have already had multiple movie incarnations (89 to be exact), cartoons, and even TV shows over the years. We don’t NEED a “dark and gritty” or even “edgy” version. There has got to be something better and more original out there than Tarzan.

    • Well, the problem is that Tarzan has never been done RIGHT; as in truly faithful to the subject matter, save perhaps in comics.

      So if they were to make something like the books, people would be surprised, like meeting the character for the first time, and it would feel fresh.

      There are SOME things out there better and more original than Tarzan, but not a LOT of things, certainly not much coming through Hollywood.

  6. Just what we need, another cheesy franchise. I’d be more interested in seeing George of the Jungle, Tarzan, and The Jungle Book fight each other. Remember, dark and gritty. Set up a sequel with Black Panther killing them all.

    • you want george and tarzan to fight a book? i think you meant ‘mowgli’.

  7. didnt read the article but i guess they want to make it more gritty band realistic… am i right? every remake seems too want to do that lol

    • Umm…well maybe you should read the article…

      • dont need to when the title tells me what it is. they are interested in tarzan, another remake.

  8. I could be OK with a Tarzan movie done as a historical period piece in the spirit of the old Johnny Weismuller movies. A modernized one, tho, uh-uh, won’t get the time of day from me. I’d rather see a GOOD Doc Savage movie, done in the spirit of how the books were originally written by Kenneth Robeson (Lester Dent) with the James Bama style of make-up. Or a GOOD Green Hornet movie done like the Van Williams/Bruce Lee series on TV back in the 60s. A serious effort at that would be excellent, as that TV series had the perfect people in every role: Hornet/Britt Reid, Kato, Ms. Case, Dist. Atty. Scanlon, Mike Axford…they had the cast down to a “T” all the way across the board. Now to me that will always be the true Green Hornet. Rogan’s version was garbage!

    • I would love a Doc Savage movie!

  9. sweet! i hope they do it soon! it will force disney to fix that tarzan themed swiss family robinson tree house.

  10. “Modernizing” Tarzan? No. Just no.

  11. @Goldilocks: A good Doc Savage movie would rock! There was an old one from the 70s I think, that I recall wasn’t that good. Doc Savage and the Fabulous Five! All the way!

    • Oddly, I believe THAT Doc Savage was Tarzan…I think Ron Ely played both roles!

      • You are CORRECT, Archaeon!

  12. I have been wishing for a faithful modern (as in made in modern day, not “modernized”) adaptation of Tarzan. Unfortunately, I have zero interest in seeing one made by any of these clowns. The best idea I head was back when Guillermo Del Toro was talking about being interested in directing. Now, that would be exciting.

    I could just imagine: cast Christian Bale as Tarzan, adapt both Tarzan and Return into one movie, use wire/stunt work instead of excessive CGI (like the new Spidey went for), and we’d have something truly special.

    Of course, I thought Andrew Stanton would make a great John Carter movie, and while I don’t know how extensively the studio/producers interfered with him while making it (ie. calling it John Carter because “Princess” was thought to turn away men, and dropping Mars to not alienate women, how’d that work out btw Disney?), but boy was I WRONG. With a couple of the directors they have mentioned, I’d be worried Jane would end up being the main character, as Dejah was in John Carter.

  13. I’m not exactly sure how a modernized version of Tarzan would work out, but I’m keeping my mind open. We’ll see when and if some footage or a trailer comes out.

  14. Jason Momoa for Tarzan

  15. Hope they don’t pull a Snow White and the Huntsman.

  16. I don’t care who makes it as long as they actually follow the original book. I read it for the first time a few months ago and it completely blew me away. It’s a great old fashioned brutal adventure tale, that if made correctly would be awesome.

    No broken english, no chimpanzee companions, no “me tarzan, you jane” and we’re good to go.

  17. I grew up reading the Tarzan novels. With today’s animation and advances in films, I think a new Tarzan flick will be teriffic and be watched by more people than you think. Who ever thought Marvel, DC comics and others would be so popular, I didn’t. That’s why I think the new Tarzan movies will be block busters!

  18. Tarzan has been done numerous times, but there has never been a true adaptation of the first book except perhaps for the silent movie “Tarzan of the Apes” starring Elmo Lincoln.

    I like movies done by Weissmuller, Gordon Scott, etc., but none of these resemble the books very much. Even Hugh Hudson’s movie is not that faithful to the character or story; although, the first half of the movie does somewhat resemble the treatment given in the books.

    I don’t care who helms the new project. I just would hope that whoever is chosen gives it the big screen treatment it deserves, and that they go back to the routes and finally do a period piece, faithful to the first Tarzan book written by Edgar Rice Burroughs which has never been done.