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Skarsgard Pantsless at MTV Awards Turns Out to be a Great Plug for Legend of Tarzan

Legend of Tarzan (Movie)

I saw a pic of this earlier but thought it was Skarsgard showing Swedish humor and just being Skarsgard, as he did when he went to the premiere of Diary of a Teenage Girl as a drag queen. (That turned out to be a statement of LGBT solidarity after filming in SF with many LGBT crew members.)

Anyway, I didn’t get the full context until now — and now that I have — I have to say, this is a smart little piece of marketing that’s just as clever as the “Margot punched Skars in a sex scene” bit — and whoever came up with it — hat’s off to them. Think about it – -it didn’t just happen. Somebody involved with promoting Legend of Tarzan had to first of all get Skarsgard and Jackson invited to present an award at the MTV Awards, then they had to prevail on the show to let them plug Tarzan in their presentation — and then somebody had to come up with the quirky clever pantless bit they ended up doing. “Me Tarzan. Gotta give the fans a little skin,” Skarsgard said during the bit. “I was going to go shirtless but someone told me Zac Efron did that two years ago,” he added.

It also seems like a bit of a riff on the “where’s the loincloth” mini brouhaha.



  • I think for some fans/viewers it was a little too subtle at first, what they were really doing, but it does mean that WB are paying attention to the comments. I like that they were able to play with the ‘why is he wearing pants?’ section of the trailer viewers.
    As for convincing MTV to do this, not hard. This awards show is much more promotional than anything, and it was filmed at WB’s back lot. The hosts were Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, of WB’s upcoming Central Intelligence. Other upcoming WB movies were featured, it was a WB promo night. Marvel did get some Captain American promo in apparently, but it does seem to have been WB that was most prominent.
    I’ve seen grumpiness from some fans: Why did he stoop so low as to do a stunt on the MTV awards? But, as you wrote, like the sex scene tidbit, it’s for a different demographic.
    And as far as promotional costs go, fairly cheap publicity.

  • Also, the audience of MTV is mostly made up of the “Disney” generation, so a tongue-in-cheek move to address all of the “pants” controversy was a good move, I think, not to mention a nice introduction of Alexander Skarsgård to another segment of the population. And, WB/MTV gave them the “big” award of the night. I expect LOT will get a good run of publicity for the week in the entertainment papers, shows, etc.

  • I was hoping they’d release some more footage of LOT but this’ll do I guess. It’s hilarious. Here’s the video for it:

    They did however release a new teaser for Yates’ other film coming out later this year (Fantastic Beasts), which looks quite fun (though I think Tarzan looks the more interesting of the two).

    WB have a CinemaCon presentation coming up tomorrow so I’m still hoping we get *something* this week. Maybe a small TV spot or a clip even – something along those lines.

    • The focus was on the franchises, so SS and FBAWTFT got more attention. As they probably will at CinemaCon. But, they’ve got 1 1/2 hours, so perhaps they’ll actually be able to spend some quality time with the other upcoming movies that aren’t the DC or Harry Potter universes.

      • Yeah, hopefully. Looks like we’ll be getting reactions (at least Twitter reactions) from the people/critics attending the con, so we’ll know about it soon enough.

  • Yes,a very smart marketing ploy for a different demographic and I doubt that Skarsgard think he’s stooping so low to do it. It’s a part and piece of his sense of humor and how he plays with his image as a naked sex icon. In fact,there are those of his fans, myself included ,who think the pantless bit was his idea. We think that in the skit, as originally conceived, the was intended to be shirtless ( this shirtless joke is what H played with in his video for Greenpeace) but this time time Skarsgard added a twist ( most likely since Zac Effron had already done a shirtless stunt) and he ended up pantless.mIt’s just the kind of daring Skarsgard twist that we’ve seen before. Not only with his turn as a transvestite walking the red carpet for Diary but when he walked to the South Pole, Skarsgard posed with his team wearing only. a Viking hat with horns,a yellow yarn beard ,black boxers and boots( a nod to his Eric Northmsn character on TB and his Viking heritage) . In another shot he was totally nude outside sitting on a toilet in the snow with only his boots on . Both of those shots appeared evrywhere at that time and were great promo for True Blood. Somehow,I can’t imagine the marketing team asking him to go pant less but I can see him offering to do it that way because it would be more daring and original thus making a bigger statement.

    I particularly liked the touch with the tuxedo jacket,white dress shirt,vest ,bow tie ,socks,garters and shiny black shoes paired with his white underwear and nothing else. It’s a nice comic play on the theme of LOT about the civilized cultured Lord of Greystoke peeling way those layers until he is exposed as the naked primal savage that he is at his core.

    I thought he pulled it off with the right blend of playfulness,self possession and aplomb.

  • Yep, I was right, the idea to do this skit was Skarsgard’s. He did a brief interview at Cinema Con and when asked how he got talked into going pantless he admitted that” he was the dumb one who talked himself into doing it” chuckling after he said it to indicate that he thought it was a good joke and enjoyed doing it. He mentioned that he had to “show some skin” and Zack Efron had already gone shirtless so……This was a typical Skarsgard ” soft sell” when asked for an explanation of his more outrageous stunts,

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