At this point, the character of Tarzan has been around for over 100 years, since Edgar Rice Burroughs first published his novel Tarzan of the Apes back in 1914. And through twenty-five sequels and countless comics, films and TV series, the wild man has managed to live on in pop culture all this time. Raised by apes in the African jungles, he embodies the classic hero archetype, while largely being untainted by the larger world.
Tarzan has become a kind of mythical being, who is smart, strong, loyal and courageous. While he can pass within society, he prefers to not conform to the rules of civilization, and instead chooses to lead a simpler life being one with nature. The character has often been compared to Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli (who was a big influence on Burroughs’ creation of Tarzan), which is oddly fitting since a new live-action The Jungle Book was just released earlier this year.
Later this week, Warner Bros. Pictures will release their addition to the Tarzan legacy, The Legend of Tarzan. Directed by David Yates and written by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, the film actually takes place years after Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) has left the jungles of Africa for an aristocratic life in the United Kingdom as John Clayton with his wife, Jane Porter (Margot Robbie). He’s then invited back to the Congo Free State to serve as a trade emissary, unaware that he is a pawn in a plan masterminded by Belgian Captain Léon Rom (Christoph Waltz). Check out some new clips from the film below:
Africa is where Tarzan feels most at home, as evidenced by him fighting off gorillas, running with lions and more in these new clips. Meanwhile, his love Jane is dealing with the more political aspects of their return to the Congo, while she faces off with the despicable Captain Rom. The change of scenery for John Clayton combined with having to save his wife may just push him over the edge. As the layers slowly peel off, fans will get to see Tarzan come alive and let his animal instinct out.
Of course, the The Legend of Tarzan wouldn’t be anything without the supporting characters, too. Samuel L. Jackson plays George Washington Williams, based on the real life American Civil War soldier who fought against King Leopold II’s regime that controlled the Congo Free State. In just twenty years, millions were killed at the hands of Europeans and Africans in the region for rubber, ivory and minerals to sale around the world. No doubt, this fact is also going to be a large part of the film, judging by the natives seen in the last clip here. Part fiction, part reality, Tarzan could well prove to be a very interesting summer movie.
The Legend of Tarzan opens in U.S. theaters on July 1st, 2016.
Source: Warner Bros. Pictures