Warner Bros. Developing Yet Another ‘Tarzan’ Movie

Published 4 years ago by

Warner Bros. developing dual Tarzan movies Warner Bros. Developing Yet Another Tarzan Movie

Somewhere in the vicinity of eighty-nine Tarzan movies (or, rather, films with Tarzan in the title) have been produced by Hollywood since the early 20th century. So it’s not all that shocking that Warner Bros. is planning to revisit that well yet again and produce another motion picture based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ famous creation.

As it stands, the studio looks to recruit two different writers to begin work on a script for the new Tarzan flick – thus allowing for more leeway in terms of the direction of the project.

According to Deadline, Adam Cozad (whose blacklisted script Dubai was the basis for the upcoming Jack Ryan reboot) appears set to work on one prospective screenplay for the new Tarzan movie. Meanwhile, Craig Brewer (Hustle & Flow) will simultaneously craft his own script about the vine-swinging jungle man. If Warner Bros. approves both men’s visions, it’s possible that one script will be used immediately – and the other could be saved to serve as a template for a sequel.

Warner Bros. released the last live-action Tarzan flick (Tarzan and the Lost City) back in 1998, with Casper Van Dien playing the role of the iconic jungle warrior. That project was a critical and financial bust that seemingly left the franchise for dead – at least until a year later, when Disney struck gold with its traditionally-animated take on the character. All the same, there hasn’t been another Tarzan movie given a theatrical release since.

Tarzan animated and live action Warner Bros. Developing Yet Another Tarzan Movie

The most recent incarnations of Tarzan.

Updating classic literary and/or old-fashioned heroes for the big screen is all the rage in Hollywood nowadays. The minds behind upcoming flicks like Zorro Reborn or Lone Ranger have stated their intentions to vividly re-imagine the titular characters for the 21st century – though the approaches are rather different (a gritty vs. more whimsical and post-modern bent). Heck, even Miss Marple is going to be transformed from an elderly English woman into… well, Jennifer Garner, in Disney’s new film!

Warner Bros. will likely go the “gritty” route with Tarzan – that is, develop plans for a more “grounded” and realistic version of the character. One thing that can almost definitely be counted on is the new Tarzan movie being either conceived for or actually shot in 3D. Even Disney saw the potential for immersive vine-swinging sequences in its 1999 animated feature; that Tarzan pic integrated CGI jungle landscapes with hand-drawn animation to turn Tarzan into (basically) a tree surfer.

Check out what I mean by watching the “Son of Man” sequence (towards the end) in the clip below:

A 3D Tarzan movie could look pretty cool, especially if it was shot on location in a real jungle setting and mixed digital effects with footage of an actual stunt man swinging around (like what The Amazing Spider-Man is doing). On the other hand: is there really a strong desire or need to see yet another Tarzan movie at this point?

We’ll keep you posted on the status of the new Tarzan movie as more information is released.

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Tarzan
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  1. If anything I hope they keep it dated like Peter Jackson did with King Kong.

    There is no need to bring it to the modern/mainstream world.

  2. I thought Greystoke was the definitive version.
    I am skeptical any new version will do the story justice.
    Now Sandy, I found your phrase “tree surfer” funny as hell :)

    • Agreed Robert. GREYSTOKE is the definitive version dispite its few flaws. Doent tnat mean Jane Porter has to be definitive as well? Jane is a Blonde yet she wasnt blonde in Greystoke but what they did get right about her is that she’s an American from Baltimore,Maryland and NOT a Brittisher as she’s commonly portrayed.

      • Hi,
        As far as I’m concerned, the definitive Tarzan movie has yet to be made. I find it hard to believe that Hollywood has found it so hard to get this story right. I still think that a true version of ERB’s great story can be told on the screen. It just needs a great screen writer and director who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Ones who will strive to stay as close to the true story as possible. As far as Greystoke goes…one of the few things they did get right in my opinion was the setting. I can’t say much for the rest of it. Chris Lambert, although pretty to look at, was definitely not my idea of what Jane described as her ‘forest god’. And I agree with you on Jane. I don’t understand why they felt they had to change her whole character. I’m not holding my breath that anybody can really do the story justice, but we can always hope!

  3. My big question is are they going for a true rendition of the books or of the bastardized hollywood version many people who have never read the books are used to? I am a major ERB fan and while I never cared as much for Tarzan as I did Burroughs other books I still don’t enjoying seeing his creations stripped of all the integrity that made them memorable.

    I agree with Aknot, they need to keep it set in the turn of the century since the modern world is not anywhere near viable for the storyline.

    • From a 35 + year ERB & Tarzan fan, I say BRAVO !

  4. tree surfing is exactly what he did in the disney movie.

    why was that one script blacklisted, if anyone knows?

  5. When I was really young as a kid (1960s), my heroes were Tarzan, The Green Hornet, Bomba The Jungle Boy, Zorro, The Phantom, and Jungle Jim, and to a lesser degree the Lone Ranger. Soon thereafter I discovered Doc Savage and also comic book super heroes (and those especially were big for me). These are all “sacred memories”, so if we do a movie, great, all for it, but let’s be true to the source material in costume, persona, setting, plot, special effects, etc.

  6. The problem is that many people feel a lot of the characters cinematic staples are always a necessity when they aren’t.
    That stupid yodel he does wasn’t supposed to sound like that according to the books. It was supposed to sound like a feral or primal roar that was terrifying.
    The apes that raised him were a fictional breed, not literal gorillas (at least I think lol)
    And if they made it how it should be, it would be a very violent movie. Not just about some tree hugging, bleeding heart jungle boy. He was savage and brutal in the books.

    • Also, all that vine-swinging Tarzan does would not actually be possible, since the vines described are not nearly strong enough to carry a human. Burroughs wrote about the jungle but did not have first-hand knowledge.


      • Not entirely true. Although Burroughs did get some facts wrong (like some animal species he mentions that you won’t find in African jungles}, he was right about the vines. I live in South Africa and often vacation in some of these rain forests. The jungles in Mpumalanga and Tsitsikama have vines (called bobbejaantoue) just like Burroughs describes. They easily hold my weight (and I weigh just over 100kg). As a joke we even swing on some of them. For someone like Tarzan it would be a piece of cake to use.

        • Gys…

          I shall defer to your knowledge of that area and of the particular vines, since I have NOT been to Africa or experienced the flora, myself. I remembered reading, years ago, about ERB’s literary liberties in the Tarzan stories AND Hollywood’s even sillier liberties in the various films and serials/series and recalled the strength of the vines being one of the points mentioned. I was actually referring to Tarzan swinging through the trees in the various visual interpretations.

          Though I have enjoyed several of the literary tales, I must admit to feeling a certain nostalgia for the Weismueller films I watched in black and white on TV in my youth.


        • That’s fine but when ERB describes Tarzan swinging through the trees he meant like monkeys and apes – from branch to branch. Vines may have been used occasionally but were not his primary mode of transport. Handled right this would be thrilling to watch in a movie – more so then merely long swinging arcs on a vine.

  7. In the books, Tarzan is both man and beast. It would be great to see a film that truly explores the relationship between both. Something that no other Tarzan movie has really done yet. And yes I have seen Greystoke, (great film), but that film falls a long way short in this department IMO.

  8. Very impressive, the number of readers(as opposed to just watchers), who are commenting on this subject. I thought I was the last true Burroughs\Tarzan fan. A true to the literature Tarzan movie would be cool, but pretty difficult. If I could add to the observations already made here, Tarzan did not swing on vines. He swung from branch to branch. He also did not speak broken english, for ex. “me Tarzn, you Jane” etc.. He became extremely well educated and spoke many languages. And Hollywood if you are listening, in 24 Tarzan novels you wont find a chimpanzee named cheetah. Hope they make a good movie.

    • I agree with you 100% Even I (who am a regular lurker here) can’t resist to comment. So far, in my opinion, they have yet to make a good Tarzan movie. Just stick to the source material and you can’t go wrong. I think that the perfect medium for a Tarzan movie would be CGI, the same style Spielberg and Jackson is using for Tintin.
      I also applaud Vic for using Russ Manning’s version of Tarzan in this article – his is arguably the definitive Tarzan (also close to the source material, and beautifully drawn). Also thank you for this excellent site.

  9. Considering what they just did to the Green Hornet (and what it seems they’re going to do to the Lone Ranger), I assume Tarzan will be played by Jonah Hill.

  10. So far, there hasn’t been a good Tarzan movie. Every attempt has been a weak and butchered copy of the character in the novels. If you haven’t read the books, do so. The movies will disappoint you afterwards.

  11. I just finished reading the first Tarzan on project gutenberg. Of all the remakes that are happening, ie smurfs, conan, stretch armstrong, dardevil, robocop … they should definitely find room for a good Christopher Nolan-esque Tarzan.

  12. I hope they FINALLY do a movie that is actually true to the book!! Off all the movies and TV shows made, NONE have ever been close (and have all sucked by comparison). The story in book needs no re-write and is incredible as-is.

    And as someone else mentioned, PLEASE keep it set in the correct time period.

  13. This writer needs to actually read some of ERB’s Tarzan
    books. He does not swing from vines. He swings through the trees
    from branch to branch (up and down) with dizzying speed, fictionally
    of course.

  14. Steve you are SO CORRECT. Tarzan doesnt swing through the tree-ways by use of vines but by branches and hurdling himself across great distances of trees by great speed. I applaude GREYSTOKE but as good as it was it wasnt the definitive Tarzan film it should’ve been. If this is a definitive Tarzan film then doesnt that mean Jane Porter has to be definitive as well? Jane was a blonde and NOT a brunette. She was an American from Baltimore.Maryland and not Great Brittan. “”GREYSTOKE”” mentioned she was from Baltimore but they never explained her presence asa little girl growing up in Greystoke Manor/Casrle. Im sure that most people didnt pick up the dialouge stating that she’s an American. I long for a Tarzan film based closely on reality as well as Burroughs’s writtings. I prefer they make no attempt at all than to attempt a Tarzan film that is a complete bastardization of the source.

  15. I have read all the Tarzan stories the ERB wrote. So far I have seen nothing that tells the story that ERB told in his books. The story of Tarzan is one of survival in an violent environment. Even ‘Greystoke’ didn’t get it right.
    At least have a character with the right hair and eye color for Pete’s sake. Surely Hollywood can get that right!
    In this time of movie violence, and grit and gore, I think the whole, unedited story that ERB wrote could be brought to the screen by one of the better action directors. If they do this, they need to find actors who, as much as possible, fit the characters that ERB wrote about. They were larger than life, for the time he wrote them in, and deserve to be represented accurately. The ‘Jane’ in the Greystoke movie was completely off…Jane was not a ward of Lord Clayton, and didn’t sit at home in the ancestral castle. That really disappointed me. If they are going to do a new Tarzan film, please make it accurate to the book. The story is worth it.

  16. I just watched the new tarzan movie and I must say I do like what they have done with it the only problem I had with the film was that tarzan didn’t talk that much. He did a few words but no much and it was abit of a downer but apart from that I thought the film was excellent and I.hope they will do a sequel to it. What I would like to see in the sequel if they do one is that Clayton comes back for revenge against tarzan and what jane s father is going to do with the energy rock he got from the meteor.

    • Hi Katie,
      What new Tarzan movie? I’ve only heard about an animated version they were thinking about making. I’ve read all the Tarzan stories that ERB wrote, and I don’t remember any about Jane’s father finding an energy rock fm a meteor…which one was that? I am still hoping that someone will make a movie that reflects the true story that ERB wrote. Considering some of the action movies that I’ve seen lately, I think Tarzan’s true story could be told by one of the better action directors..Maybe Ridley Scott?
      Anyway, I’m still waiting for a movie that sticks to ERB’s story. Here’s hoping!