Pre-production has officially begun on the Alexander Skarsgård-led Tarzan movie from Warner Bros., set to be filmed in 3D, and coming with a swath of big names attached. Due to arrive July 1, 2016, Harry Potter vet David Yates will direct the live-action film, with a screenplay based on the writings of Tarzan creator and author Egar Rice Burroughs, whom also created the much beloved John Carter. Yates’ film will be joining Zack Snyder’s 2016 untitled Man of Steel sequel as yet another big, summer tentpole for Warner Bros.
What a difference a new year makes, as April of 2013, the project was considered mothballed due to budgetary and casting issues, the most noteworthy of which was a rumored difficulty in getting Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx onboard. It appears now that Foxx may be out of the equation all the same, as the current cast includes The Wolf of Wall Street star Margot Robbie as Jane, Django Unchained actor Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson (who is not Laurence Fishburne). Jessica Chastain was also a name attached to the project last year, but like Foxx, also appears to have moved on.
Skarsgård will play a Tarzan long out of the jungles he called home as an orphan, having acclimated to the societal norms of London. He is called back to his primal past at the request of Queen Victoria, who sends Tarzan back to the wilds to investigate some unpleasant deeds at a mining encampment. Invariably, some vine-swinging will most certainly ensue.
WB President of creative development and worldwide production Greg Silverman said of the project, “We have assembled a phenomenal international cast to tell this extraordinary story. Warner Bros. has also enjoyed long and successful collaborations with both David Yates and Jerry Weintraub, and we look forward to seeing what they and the entire team have in store for this timeless tale.”
Weintraub, who produced Ocean’s Eleven, said of his association with WB,”I am so pleased to be reuniting with the team at Warner Bros. on this thrilling project. David Yates and I are going to be using the best of today’s technology in creating this new adventure, and we can’t wait to get started.”
If 2016 feels entirely too far away, Summit Entertainment’s animated, 3D Tarzan may hold fans over, as the Kellen Lutz-voiced King of the Jungle gets a far earlier head-start in theaters, with a stateside release date of February 20th.