Tarzan Returns: From Guillermo del Toro to Stephen Sommers

September 2, 2008


Way back in 2006, we wrote about some news that Guillermo del Toro had been lined up for a live-action Tarzan movie, but that was way before we knew he'd be directing The Hobbit. Now nearly two years later there's finally an update on this Tarzan movie, but it's not necessarily good news. Director Stephen Sommers, of everything from The Mummy to Van Helsing to the upcoming G.I. Joe, is in negotiations to direct. Stuart Beattie has been hired to write the screenplay, which will be inspired by Edgar Rice Burroughs' "Tarzan of the Apes" book rather than the Disney film or otherwise, but isn't specifically based on that or any other previously material. Apparently the new take on this is being kept very secretive.

We just mentioned in the TMNT article that Hollywood is consumed with the idea of reboots, and although Tarzan isn't really a reboot of any major franchise previously, it definitely will be a new (and presumably darker) take on the character, which to me is as close to a reboot as you can get. Hollywood power producer Jerry Weintraub is producing this film, which is set up at Warner Brothers. I hate to call this out this early, but I'm already expecting this Tarzan movie to flop as bad as 10,000 B.C. For some odd reason, these films feel all too similar, and unless Stephen Sommers changes my mind next summer with G.I. Joe, I don't expect him to create anything amazing. Does anyone really think this could turn out any good?

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IF this movie was an Epic type movie like LOTR, it would rock. But it's so hard to make a movie like this with out being childish about it or corny. I hope it turns out ok but I am sure they will put in some stupid scences like Mutt Jones swinging with the monkeys in the last Indiana Movie....what a shame that was.

AllmightyKeim on Sep 2, 2008


This is a bad idea. Disney has set too high of a precedence for this movie to not be compared to it by everyone who sees it. The alternative is that it ends up being King Kong on a lesser (physical) scale, in which case, we've seen it already. --IK

Ian Kazimer on Sep 3, 2008


I'm one of the very few Stephen Sommers apologists out there. Deep Rising is a guilty pleasure of mine and I actually think that The Mummy is a quality film. People need to hold out judgment on him at least until GI Joe comes out and we know if it's any good. Anyways, I agree with you in regards to another Tarzan movie being a total flop. The character just doesn't interest me at all and I think most moviegoers would agree with me. Stephen's movies have all had huge budgets, so I doubt Warner Brothers would ever recoup their investment in the movie.

Drew on Sep 2, 2008


Let's just wait and see, and give it a chance. It's about time for a change. So far Edgar Rice Burroughs' character 'Tarzan' has never seen a matching movie adaption. Disney's version may have something going for it, but it's still kidd's stuff. ERB's Tarzan isn't! And there are a lot more fantasy aspects to the original stories than shown in any of the Tarzan movies so far. The original Tarzan character, as created by author ERB, can compete with all the superhero and actionhero characters, and come out on top. I'm still sorry about the fact that Guillermo Del Torro bowed out of the project, because I think that he could have come up with an interesting version. It takes a good script (many of ERB's Tarzan stories would qualify for that!) and the courage to drastically change the concept of Hollywood's misinterpretation of the character. First see the film, and judge later I'd say. Rob

Rob Donkers on Sep 3, 2008


If they want to do an Edgar Rice Burroughs' character they should seriously look at doing Jon Carter of Mars. If they did a quality movie it could turn into a great serial with dozens of stories available for movie conversion.

Ken on Sep 3, 2008


Leave it as a cartoon. Didn't they already revamp it early 2000 (WB I think it was) as a TV show that flopped?

Ryan on Sep 3, 2008


the only good tarzan film i ever saw. including the black and whites with johhny weismuller and the crappy tv show in the 70's s(ron ely) was Greystoke. that movie was really dark for its time. it actually took the tarzan story serious.. the effects( men in monkey suits) were limiting and could be much better with CGI like king kong was, but still a good movie.

ruprect on Sep 3, 2008


Without del Toro, I don't give this movie much of a chance, but at least we know what Brendan Fraser's going to be up to.

Skinnyn on Sep 4, 2008


There is a possibillity of making it the biggest movie ever!! just cut the bullshit and stay on the original serious story instead of making silly jokes. If you have the right director/ the right actor to portray the TARZAN character(very important!) and positive minds with positive negativity-then theres a big change of making it an oscar winning motion picture! No matter what you do in life THINK BIG!!!!!!!!!!

Dewet Du Toit on Nov 13, 2008


Tarzan will always be a flop until someone finally has the courage to admit there is no 'FAMILY VALUE' here (though it is a super positive story for boys and men) and they tell the story AS IS. It's horribly bloody and violent (Apocolipto-esque). Stop candy coating the original work to make a buck. Too few Zach Snyder directors out there. Too many crap screenwriters who must put their own personality into a great work of art. Do it right or LEAVE IT ALONE. The studios have lied EVERY SINGLE TIME saying that they will give us a real Tarzan story only to cheese it at the last minute. They deserve to flop.

Kinneas on Nov 29, 2008


in reply to Ken: Absolutely! Especially now with 2012 coming, everyone looking for Disclosure Project nformation and all the data on there being a society on Mars in the past (recently destroyed as I hear) by the Orions and Draconians. This is a great time to bring out John Carter. IF they stop cheezing all of E.B.'s work! ----------------------- On Greystoke: That in particular is one time the studio really blew sunshine up everyone's rear-end saying it would be an honest representation of the book. That is a perfect case where the screenwriter had to put his own mark on Tarzan and jack it all up and not even getting the main points of Tarzan across. What a hack storyteller. He could not even comprehend the sequel or adventure idea either. Greystoke was one of the biggest let downs ever for me personally. The first four Tarzan books were the first books my father gave me. He hated going to the movies and I read everything the studio put out on Greystoke saying it would be a true adaptation. I uptalked it so much my father relented and took us to it. He WALKED OUT on it half way through and waited in the lobby for us until it was over. Thank GOD it spared him from Chris Lambert crying on the rooftops like a baby for his father. You can understand why am so venomous towards people who want to make Tarzan movies. --------- Listen to Dewet Du Toit!

Kinneas on Nov 29, 2008


If theres anyone out there thats gona make a move for a new TARZAN movie go for it! Just dont make some old mistakes guys. I say they should shoot the movie in Africa and gave the lead role to a South African actor, to have that accent. Look for South African actors, theres a lot of quality and potential actors, give them a try and see! We're all waiting for a new TARZAN MOVIE, but for the right one, not some fake one please!! You guys have all the money and equipment... now MAKE AN OSCAR WINNING TARZAN MOVIE!!!

Rudolf Du Toit on May 27, 2009


They should make the Tarzan movie related to the novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and then the character, according to me, should have some muscle! The way Joe Jusko portrays the character is the best! Lets bring back the 80's people, all the new action heroes as they arise!! Be creative!

Rudolf Du Toit on May 27, 2009


I also recall reading the Tarzan books as a child. What a delight! Few have ever match ERB's storytelling ability. All the movies have been a huge disappointment as they departed from the concept of the books. But if the project is undertaken, they should NOT try to film on location. ERB never actually traveled to Africa. He did not know the first thing about real apes. If one wants to make a movie that is true to the book, then stick with the book and leave all actual facts about Africa behind (rather like the way one would leave behind all facts about Mars in doing the John Carter series). For my part, I would love to see a movie that was faithful to the book.

John stevenson on Oct 1, 2009


I have been waiting my entire life--I am 57--to see a good Tarzan movie. Hollywood always screws it up. If they would follow the original Burroughs tale Tarzan of the Apes, they would have a classic. The book's character has never made it to film. The closest was the Lambert film, in catching the feel, but they completely screwed up the story. Let's face it. Hollywood rarely gets it right when it takes on literature, and Tarzan is classic literature that can't be improved on by trying to update and restructure it. The book is still read and enjoyed by kids and adults almost 100 years after it was written. It deserves a quality and true depiction in film. Every time I hear there will be a new film, I get my hopes up and feel betrayed when I see it.

Randy on Dec 9, 2009


tarzan above all my childhood heroes remaines the ultimate one ! i never grow out of or tired with the story & my imagination runs riot whenever i hear of a new movie in the works. i don,t know enough on directors to comment who should or shouldn,t be directing it. however i do believe if the right one was appointed it would most certainly be a hollywood blockbuster. as many of the others have said - they should remain loyal to the book Tarzan of the Apes . with todays technology they could bring to the screen many of the blood -curdling, savage battles with the great jungle beasts & make him super agile & majestic exactly how the book portrays ! with ERB,s book Tarzan of the Apes centenery year approaching lets hope hollywood gets it right this time , then maybe they could leave it open for many more adventures in the future .. look at Rocky, Rambo & Indiana Jones!!!!

shaun on Jan 12, 2010


Firstly, if they stuck to the book it would be a great movie. If you have read the series as I have over and over. These are not apes at all. So to protray them in the form of a gorilla is wrong. It states clearly in the books, that these are a species different than Bolgani the Gorilla. They are more on the line of Bigfoot and or Sasquatch. They walk mostly on two legs. They are very tall, and have a language. They need to show how Tarzan eats raw meat and how his muscles developed to extrodanay proportions. How his immune system permits him to heal very repidly from injury. Which allowed him to adapt. How his body adapted to our Neanderthal history and permits him to smell things miles away. How his eyesite and hearing also adapted. None of this HooHoo, Haa Haa like in Greystoke the legend of Tarzan movie. Thats what Gorillas and Chimps do. I suggest to the Director and script writer to read anything and everything about Sasquatch and Bigfoot on record. Than read the first book, Tarzan of the Apes. Than you will understand, these are not Apes, Chimps, Orangs at all. These apes are a different breed, close to extinction. Hope this helps. Peace

jim on Feb 7, 2010

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