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« "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" Is Coming... Eventually | Main | Anticipation: Osage County »
Wednesday
Nov142012

Skarsgård, Lord of the Apes

Last week I hoped (in vain) that they'd go with an unknown when they finally attempt a reboot of the long dormant Tarzan franchise. Instead, word is, they're interested in going with the very known but still big screen underutilized Alexander Skarsgård of True Blood fame. 

Careful Skarsgård. In Tarzan pictures, there's always an alligator in there!

Though I think the discovery themes of the Tarzan franchise warrant a more "who is that?" choice, Skarsgård deserves more big screen opportunities (I was sad when he missed out on Thor since he's the closest thing that showbiz has to a Norse God) and his Swedishness and comfort with nudity are surely good signs for the exotic vine swinger. Variety says the concept goes like so:

Years after he's reassimilated into society, he's asked by Queen Victoria to investigate the goings-on in the Congo. Tarzan teams with an ex-mercenary named George Washington Williams to save the Congo from a warlord who controls a massive diamond mine. 

I'm super pleased that they're skipping an origin story. Lord (of the Apes) knows more franchises should try it since origin stories so rarely reward on multiple viewings, let alone multiple iterations of said origins! But Warner Bros interest in Samuel L Jackson for the Williams role is, if you ask me, a very bad omen. Jackson is a fine actor but last time I counted he had already starred or co-starred in over 12 franchises or would be franchises. He's where Jeremy Renner will be in three years if he keeps saying "yes" to every big budget project in existence.  Jackson is arguably a sign that no one on this project is remotely interested in doing something fresh, but just churning out another regular revenue stream for studio coffers and Jackson, being at home in the big budget franchises, is the only person who even came to their minds. When you use the same faces for everything, all franchises feel yet more homogenous.

The animals already love him!

I suppose this is the same problem I have when they cast my beloved Streep in everything involving an older woman and I'm forced to be frustrated at the monotony rather than be thrilled to see her, the latter of which should always be the case. It comes down to this realization: I'm just not at all monogomanous when it comes to the movies but shamelessly slutty. I need a vast array of faces, a huge collection of movie stars and character actors to entertain me.  I wish, given the state of modern cinema, that this was not so, that I could be happy with only a handful of faces to entertain me, but I am who I am. 

Will you gladly swing with Skarsgård and Jackson in a year or two or do you think the Lord of the Apes should stay retired?

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Reader Comments (4)

I'd love to see a new Tarzan film - but I do hope they can make it good.

And to answer your point from a few days earlier, Nathaniel, about why the mention of Tarzan seems to attract such little interest...I don't know whay exactly! I was brought up on the Johnny Weissmuller films on British TV in the 1980s and loved them all, I bought my dad both Warner box sets when they came out a few years ago, and so on - I'm definitely a fan of the material. But yes, it seems people don't talk about Tarzan much at the moment. I wonder if it's because Greystoke wasn't a very popular movie, and John Derek's film of Tarzan The Ape Man was seen as something of a laughing stock (I haven't seen it, so can't comment on its quality), and so it's been generations since there was a version of Tarzan that people could really get their teeth into.

Also, is there perhaps some nervousness about the whole subject matter these days? Not around Tarzan himself necessarily, but perhaps around those who will oppose him in the story? If it's a period piece, the risk is it will resurrect uncomfortable feelings of 'natives' and the Empire. If it's a contemporary story, then who exactly is the opposition?

So...if they can find a way to do it well, I'll definitely be up for it. And I hope it doesn't go all ominous and overly serious like a lot of blockbusters these days. Hopefully they can find a good way to make it fun.

November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

I voted for other options, but bring in the loincloth, or don't ;)

November 15, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

But, Swedes hate animals!!!! " :

Protest the Killing of Wolves in Sweden (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/38/stop-the-killing-of-wolves-in-sweden/)

Those aloof, distant and spontaneity-free Nordic ppl. shall NEVER play Tarzan, anyway,.... ewwwww!!!

November 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel

I wanted Skarsgard to play Jack Reacher.

But when it comes to thinking of a serious Tarzan, I have to admit my heart belongs to George of the Jungle. In the back of my mind, I keep thinking, George is more fun, sweeter, cuter, nicer. Once a serious character/film has been made into a comedy and poured into impressionable minds, can we ever go back?

November 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradri

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