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Stuart Beattie on What to Expect in His New Tarzan Movie

by
July 20, 2009
Source: Collider

Tarzan

Here's a project that I'm sure most of you weren't expecting to hear about. One of the many projects that Pirates of the Caribbean screenwriter Stuart Beattie has in the works is Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle, another live-action Tarzan movie for Stephen Sommers to eventually direct. Collider caught up with Beattie and talked with him about a lot of his projects, but this is one in particular that we haven't heard much of recently. Additionally, Beattie talks quite a bit about the script, the setting and details of the story, and just what we can expect. As for its status, he explains that Warner Brothers is currently fine tuning the budget.

Beattie's Tarzan is set around 1933, "the time before technology." "It's the period of Raiders of the Lost Ark," Beattie explains. "It's that kind of swashbuckling, fun, I mean Great Depression--I can't believe it's that much fun--but you know it's that era of all those serials and everything that was so great and so popular. Big jungle adventure film." So in essence, it's a "fun summer spectacle," which does sound a lot different than the Tarzan that Guillermo del Toro once wanted to bring us. Coming from the guy who did co-write all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, that's almost something we should just be expecting.

"Tarzan is, I think, probably the most filmed story of all, so our belief in doing a Tarzan movie today was you couldn't go tell the raised by gorillas and loincloths and 'Me: Tarzan and You: Jane'-story because it's been done so much and it's just not interesting anymore. So it was much more big romantic action-adventure film with supernatural stuff and a witch doctor and lots of really fun stuff. And mythic Africa, like that deep dark heart of Africa stuff, you know, where the trees are twice as big and the vines stretched forever and the canopy is a whole world in itself and just really cool looking place to spend a couple of hours."

That does sound like a cool place to explore in a movie, but I'll admit I was only ever looking forward to a Tarzan movie when Guillermo del Toro is involved. Now with Stephen Sommers attached, especially coming off of all the G.I. Joe mayhem, Beattie's going to have to do a lot of convincing to get me excited in Tarzan again. Could this be Sommers' next project after G.I. Joe if Warner Brothers works out the budget? "If they reach an agreement, yeah. Very much could be." Who knows, though, if G.I. Joe bombs, they might want to find someone else to direct. I'd even be fine just waiting decades until Guillermo del Toro could get to it.

If you want to read the full transcript regarding Tarzan: Lord of the Jungle and much more, head over to Collider. We also published an article late last year about how this Tarzan movie would involve parkour and other high energy action, so expect it to be different than anything you've seen before, that's for sure.

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  • Fuelbot
    Big romantic action-adventure film?! To be fair, Tarzan was always a big romantic action-adventure film but this sounds horrid. Like a big screen version of that horrible CW show. Oh and Stuart Beattie, Collateral was your only good film. You can stop writing now.
  • DoomCanoe
    what a shit ball idea. and Sommers... seriously... that guy's rap sheet is almost to Uwe Boll status.
  • In_rainbows
    So it's like The Mummy but instead of an Egyptian sorcerer in the desert, it’s an African witch in the jungle. Seen it.
  • J.White
    George, George, George of the jungle... WATCH OUT FOR THAT !!!... Tree.
  • steel
    If anyone should make a tarzan film it should be dedicated to the books and there needs to be more violance, because frankly Tarzan has a big ego and is very brutal. Read the books and you'll see what I mean.
  • Chris Crews
    I read all of the ERB books by the time I was 12. Soooo.....I re-read, and re-read them over a period of several years. ALL of the past Tarzan movies have TOTALLY missed the point. Nobody want's to see a remake of "Tarzan the Ape Man"!! Nobody wants to see the "Me Tarzan, you Jane, where Boy??" stuff anymore either. I'm telling you now, if you really want to have this film succeed and and not go straight to DVD, you'll stay true to the actual Tarzan Character. That means no living with Gorillas, to baby chimp as a sidekick, and so on and so on. Tarzan was a savage who was pragmatic and vengeful. Don't go into a bunch of goofy voodoo witch doctor crap. Stick with lost cities, raw meat, and murder. That's the real Tarzan. The only romantic part of his character is that he is willing to give everything up for the love of Jane. Over and over he protected her, and in fact she was the only thing keeping him from reverting to the savage beast that he is deep down.
  • First, they would have to have someone like WWE wrestler like Batista,with long hair,and witout those GOOFY TATTOOS, so far the closest movie to the real Tarzan starred Bo Derrek, not Tarzan . The guy who played Tarzan in that pic is the first person to even come close to looking like the real Tarzan,but the only good part was BO NUDE. Peter Jacksons King Kong was more like Tarzan than any other , if you can understand Kongs curiosity to the girl and how Tarzan would feel in relatation to Jane. Johnny Weismuller and all the others not listed here other than an old 80s saturday morning cartoon are not even close . I would think a longer movie with a mix of a few of the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs starting with the first book and the 3rd(i beleive,its been a long time since i read all of ERBs Tarzan books) The Beasts Of Tarzan#3 Tarzan and the one where Tarzan fights the Natzis ,the charater Russian Paulavich ,was it paulavitch,and throw in a little Jewels Of Opar would put in a nice twist to make Jane Jealous would spice it, would have to be a long movie of course,maY 2 3 OR 4, like The Lord Of T he Rings , best movies ever made by the way, especially from a book ,Good Job Peter!!! Are you involved? If not yall might wanna fire this Pirates guy, though the Pirates Of The Carriebean were good. And hire Peter Jackson!!! TARZAN RULES
  • Arthur
    They need to do a complete reboot of Tarzan from the begining with todays cinematic technology it would be awesome but it would need to be like Batman Begins and stick to the true dark nature of the character! Tarzan was dark and lived by the law of the jungle kill or be killed. I remember as a young man reading Edgar Rice Burrough's novels and how Tarzan ripped out someones throat with a savage bite! Tarzan needs to be savage not a campy, romantic, box office clown!
  • Silvio Renzulli
    I'm an ERB enthusiast. Burroughs for me growing up was an escape. He inspired the writer/artist in me and is to this day mentor, if only in spirit. What I would like to see in a Tarzan movie is one that actually brings the novels as written by Burroughs to the screen. Every Tarzan film to date has been some Hollywood incarnation that not even remotely resembles or does the character justice. Yes, and that includes "Greystoke." My vision would be to bring the first four novels to the screen in a series of four films. My director of choice would be Peter Jackson who faithfully and wonderfully brought The Lord of the Rings trilogy to screen. After seeing the Lord of the Rings movies, it is my opinion, that only Peter Jackson as director and or producer could really bring the novels to the screen as they were envisioned by Edgar Rice Burroughs.

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