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Me David Yates! You Gary Ross! ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Hunger Games’ Directors, Among Others, Vie for ‘Tarzan’

In a roundabout spiral of movie news from Cinema Blend via The Playlist via Deadline Barsoom, we are seeing another explosion of development frenzy. This time, instead of competing movies about Snow White or The Wizard of Oz, there are now multiple Tarzan movies getting put through the development wringer.

According to the story, screenwriter Adam Cozad (Untitled Jack Ryan Reboot/Remake/Redo/Rehash) talks about his script for Tarzan generating interest from some major directors, including David “Four Harry Potters” Yates and Gary “Only One Hunger Games” Ross. Suzanne White, who is most known for her work on television but recently directed Nanny McPhee Returns, has also expressed interest.

This film would be the second one in development, based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ famous novels about a boy stranded in the African jungle, raised by great apes. Craig Brewer (Footloose and Hustle & Flow) is already developing his own version of the story based on his own script and starring Twilight beefcake Kellan Lutz. No word yet whether Lutz as the title character will rap or sparkle in this film, but it is hard out here for a pimp ape man.

This isn’t the first time Hollywood has streamlined two projects in development at once. Snow White and the Huntsman trumped the similar Mirror Mirror this summer, and four films based on The Wizard of Oz are coming down the pike. Other similarly-themed competing movies in the past include Volcano and Dante’s Peak, Armageddon and Deep Impact, and A Bug’s Life and Antz. And that’s just for 1997 and 1998 alone.

There’s no word yet on which director will snatch up Cozad’s script. Yates seems a good choice because he just came off four wildly successful franchise films. However, with a background in more modest BBC productions and being already scheduled for the ambitious Al Capone pic Cicero, he might want something smaller to tackle. Gary Ross is fresh off a runaway hit, but he claims that he bowed out of Catching Fire to develop something himself. That leaves Suzanne White, and some credits that include Boardwalk Empire are intriguing, but do we really want to hand off a potential major franchise to “that Nanny McPhee director”?

Kevin Carr crawled from the primordial ooze in the early 1970s. He grew up watching movies to the point of irritation for his friends and was a font of useless movie knowledge until he decided to put that knowledge to good use. Now, Kevin is a nationally syndicated critic, heard on dozens of radio stations around the country, and his reviews appear in a variety of online outlets. Kevin is also a proud member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Central Ohio Film Critics Association (COFCA).

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