Legend of Tarzan

Skarsgard Offers Some Very Specific Thoughts About Tarzan’s State of Mind

Legend of Tarzan (Movie), Tarzan and Hollywood

Silas Lesnick at ComingSoon.net has a good article with some excellent thoughts from Alexander Skarsgard about Tarzan’s state of mind in Legend of Tarzan.  Check this out:

“He’s a celebrity,” says Skarsgard of where we’re finding his Tarzan when the new film begins. “He’s the Ape Man. The man who grew up in the jungle. He doesn’t like being famous. He doesn’t like being called Tarzan. He doesn’t like who he was and he’s afraid of who he was back in the jungle and what he’s capable of. He made some powerful enemies back there. He’s afraid of what he’s done back there. He used to be a very violent man and he doesn’t want to revert back to that.”

I’m trying to think about how that matches up with the books.  Pretty well, I think.  I recall that in the Son of Tarzan, Jane has pretty much forbidden any talk of Africa because she and Greystoke are afraid that young John will feel the “call of the wild” (which he does) . . . .   I’m not sure in the books that it goes all the way to “he doesn’t like who he was” — but he definitely is taking steps to move away from his past.

Read the rest here. 



  • Enjoyed the article. Too bad I had to read one of the comments from another one of those “goobers” who thinks Tarzan’s all brawn and good looks and Jane’s just into a hot guy. Saw Michael’s rebuttal, but said “goober” had to come back with the notion that Tarzan couldn’t possible pass as an educated man. He gives no consideration to the fact that the gift of intelligence is pretty darned important and can negate the lack of access to academia. Apparently, you can only be considered educated if you attend traditional schools. Bleh

  • I think we have more than enough information to conclude that Yates and his team have been unusually respectful of the books AND want to make a high-quality, successful movie that reaches a broad audience. I also understand the many Burroughs fans who are pinning a lifetime of hopes on this film. I fully expect to enjoy it thorougly!

  • Actually, I wonder whether it’s a matter of the director being respectful of the books ….. or whether it actually goes back to Jerry Weintraub, who was the proponent producer and who worked with the writers to develop a script that, when it got to Yates, had all these elements that we recognized as “like Burroughs” but which Yates (who had not read Burroughs) just related to as a brilliant story that would make a great movie. . . . I think we’ll learn more about this as the promotion continues . . . . . . but Yates is already on record as saying he didn’t read the books. What I find really fascinating is that Yates and Skarsgard and WB are talking as if they have “re-invented” Tarzan, when in fact what probably happened is that the writers “re-discovered” Burroughs’ Tarzan and wrote him that way, i.e. very much like Burroughs, and wrote a story very much like Burroughs — and then Yates and Skarsgard and the rest reacted to it as “fresh and new” because Hollywood never bothered to make a movie using Burroughs’ actual Tarzan character as written. Anyway, it’s ironic that the “fresh” Tarzan is actually, it seems, the actual original 100 year old Burroughs Tarzan — made “fresh” thanks to Hollywood taking the character in a different direction for 50 films or so.

    • Thank you Michael Sellers for taking my thoughts and expressing them so beautifully. You saved me a lot of writing and you’re a way better writer anyway

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