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New Tarzan Film To Take on Parkour and Pirates Style

by
December 4, 2008

Tarzan

Well it looks like we finally know the direction Stephen Sommers will take his new Tarzan film. According to Entertaiment Weekly, the project is said to jettison the origin angle and inspire images of "Pirates of the Caribbean with buffed-and-tanned actors flying through the jungle and sprinting up trees, parkour-style." If that weren't souring enough, the film is apparently aiming to be a "1930's-set romp with a hefty helping of romance" and will take on a mixed setting of city and jungle. Not that I was particularly interested in this to begin, but I'm even less so now. Sommers' direction, in a larger sense, smacks of trend-chasing with the success of Pirates and an apparent increased industry interest in parkour.

Sommers is on a cliff in my book. While I can certainly blame him for The Mummy Returns and Van Helsing, I'm actually looking forward to G.I. Joe. But even if he redeems himself with his latest, this new Tarzan film seems dicey. Sommers can pull off Pirates-level action, for sure, but the fact that he's going to include parkour as a primary element is worrisome. The movements and techniques were useful in the opening sequence of the first Casino Royale; but more often than not, the element is used as filler eye-candy (as it is in Punisher: War Zone out Friday) and relied on too heavily. I guess Hollywood finally watched District B13 and decided this might be the next cool thing to throw into action movies.

As always, if done right, parkour could fit well within the Tarzan context, but I don't think I can give Sommers enough credit to use it wisely. Tarzan is being written by Pirates writer Stuart Beattie and hasn't been cast yet. Are you more or less interested now that you know Sommers' vision?

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  • McChunlisonberg
    Mummy Returns and Van Helsing were both entertaining. Not Oscar contenders, that's for sure, but hey, sometimes a movie just has to be fun for fun's own sake. Sommers remembers how cool it was to watch movies like those as a kid, and I believe that's his target audience. Who can blame him for that?
  • j money
    Popcorn flicks for sure. Nothing more, nothing less.
  • The animated Tarzan was really boring. I hope this is better.
  • Darrin
    i actually liked van helsing but not i was a bit disappointed with the mummy returns, but that was decent. i hope that guy from 300, the one who fought alongside the kid who got his head chopped off. Dont know his name. Any way he would be perfect.
  • Tom
    How are you worried about parkour? If it is live action and they need to make it look believable or visually cool, why wouldn't they use parkour? Tarzan only swings from vines? I dont care much for parkour but if I was to think about Tarzan in live action, parkour or some of its elements would definately be involved, especially if they do include some city or urban setting.
  • Hey tom... say Parkour some more. The style fits Tarzan running across rooftops to be sure. He's a naturally graceful, but strong and agile man and I could see it work incredibly well. A man running across 1930's NY rooftops after being brought back to America? YES PLEASE! Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan is the best Tarzan movie and to do a film like that but with today's technique.... yeah I'm in.
  • brou
    Meanwhile, Christophe Gans is in pre-production for his version of Tarzan, "lord of the apes", shooting next spring in australia I think, wth either Natalie Portman or Marion Cotillard as Jane...
  • Fritz Blaze
    I agree with Kent: Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan is the best movie and they should leave well enough alone. All of these remakes and reboots are getting a tad old. Originality has gone down the toilet, my brothers.
  • avoidz
    Somebody remake Hollywood, stat!
  • "Greystoke, The Legend of Tarzan" could have been the best movie, they blew it with the second half following Tarzan's jungle departure with D'Arnot to create a totally new story. To mention just a few: [1] Tarzan's parents were cast ashore by mutineers and not shipwrecked. [2] Tarzan killed his foster-ape father, and later he killed Kerchak, the King ape. [3] Tarzan's first language was French. Taught to him by D'Arnot a French Navy Officer he rescued from a cannibal village after a failed attempt to rescue members of Jane Porter's party. [4] Jane Porter is an American from Baltimore, Maryland and not a ward of Tarzan's grandfather. [5]Tarzan is British and not American. And last but not least, him and Jane were LEGALLY married by Jane's father, who was also an ordained minister. That you will find in the 2nd novel, THE RETURN OF TARZAN. That said, Gordon Scott's movie, TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE still reigns supreme as the best of them and the sequel, TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT, was close on its hills in keeping with the character that Edgar Rice Burroughs created. Weissmueller was the most popular movie Tarzan, but his character fell far short of Burroughs' jungle orphan. Herman Brix, Ron Ely, Jock Mahoney, and Casper Van Dien are the only other actors that stayed true to Burroughs character. Christopher Lambert had a short at it, but the "creative" powers to be, decided to butcher the story once more. Disney dumbed the story down even more, just like they did with Kipling's character, Mowgli in THE JUNGLE BOOK. Which incidentally was not the first Jungle Book movie. That honor goes to the 1942 movie starring Sabu, who made his debut years earlier as The Elephant Boy, from a Kipling story called Toomai of the Elephants. Tarzan is a conflicted person living in two worlds. He was a beast, a killer of men and beasts, as Burroughs often described him. Strip this away and there is no Tarzan story!
  • "Greystoke, The Legend of Tarzan" could have been the best movie, they blew it with the second half following Tarzan's jungle departure with D'Arnot to create a totally new story. To mention just a few: [1] Tarzan's parents were cast ashore by mutineers and not shipwrecked. [2] Tarzan killed his foster-ape father, and later he killed Kerchak, the King ape. [3] Tarzan's first language was French. Taught to him by D'Arnot a French Navy Officer he rescued from a cannibal village after a failed attempt to rescue members of Jane Porter's party. [4] Jane Porter is an American from Baltimore, Maryland and not a ward of Tarzan's grandfather. [5]Tarzan is British and not American. And last but not least, him and Jane were LEGALLY married by Jane's father, who was also an ordained minister. That you will find in the 2nd novel, THE RETURN OF TARZAN. That said, Gordon Scott's movie, TARZAN'S GREATEST ADVENTURE still reigns supreme as the best of them and the sequel, TARZAN THE MAGNIFICENT, was close on its hills in keeping with the character that Edgar Rice Burroughs created. Weissmueller was the most popular movie Tarzan, but his character fell far short of Burroughs' jungle orphan. Herman Brix, Ron Ely, Jock Mahoney, and Casper Van Dien are the only other actors that stayed true to Burroughs character. Christopher Lambert had a shot at it, but the "creative" powers to be, decided to butcher the story once more. Disney dumbed the story down even more, just like they did with Kipling's character, Mowgli in THE JUNGLE BOOK. Which incidentally was not the first Jungle Book movie. That honor goes to the 1942 movie starring Sabu, who made his debut years earlier as The Elephant Boy, from a Kipling story called Toomai of the Elephants. Tarzan is a conflicted person living in two worlds. He was a beast, a killer of men and beasts, as Burroughs often described him. Strip this away and there is no Tarzan story!
  • Peter Zivkovic
    No one seems to remember Lex Barker. He followed Johny Weissmueller. I thought his movies were good, but I liked Gordon Scott better. Peter Z 29/08/09

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