Legend of Tarzan Dialogue Confirmed: “They Aren’t Gorillas, They’re Mangani”

Legend of Tarzan (Movie)

So …. it’s quasi official. Unless the dialogue gets cut between now and July 1, there’s a line in Legend of Tarzan: “They’re not gorillas, they’re mangani.” This is from an industry source who has seen the movie.  There is also reference to Mangani being more aggressive than gorillas.  Just for reference, this is what Burroughs says when he introduces the mangani in Tarzan of the Apes:

The tribe of anthropoids over which Kerchak ruled with an iron hand and bared fangs, numbered some six or eight families, each family consisting of an adult male with his females and their young, numbering in all some sixty or seventy apes. Kala . . . was large and powerful—a splendid, clean-limbed animal, with a round, high forehead, which denoted more intelligence than most of her kind possessed. So, also, she had a great capacity for mother love and mother sorrow. But she was still an ape, a huge, fierce, terrible beast of a species closely allied to the gorilla, yet more intelligent; which, with the strength of their cousin, made her kind the most fearsome of those awe-inspiring progenitors of man.

Knowing now that this is the intent, I took some screenshots of the ape images from the 2nd trailer.  The most striking one is the first one below, which definitely looks like something other than a gorilla.  It’s from the very end of the trailer and is only on screen for a few frames.

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  • Abreast find. Thanks. Now to get the word out. Too much complain that they don’t look like real gorillas or behave like them. The big comparison is to Planet of the Apes, which many say had better CGI gorillas. They wonder why these are so poorly done. I hope the WB marketing team is picking up on this and that they include this diologue in the next trailer.

  • Okay, as long as they are definitely identified as something other than gorillas, that follows along pretty well with the story as ERB wrote it. They do seem a bit small, though, since Burroughs described Kerchak as being almost 7 feet tall when standing erect, and weighing well in excess of 300 pounds. Even if he were considered a giant among his kind, it was made clear that Tarzan. even as a full grown man, and described quite often as a giant among men, was small by comparison to the Mangani. (Burroughs in later life described his idea of Tarzan as being about 6’2″ and weighing around 190 pounds, hardly a giant by today’s standards, but when the average height of a man in the early 1900’s was well under 6′ the description takes on more validity)

    Bottom line is, the Mangani have shrunk.

  • Good. From the way they looked and behaved in the teaser trailer I had started to think that, but it’s great to get it confirmed. And makes sense, it gives much greater freedom for their use in the story. Making them smaller of course also makes excellent sense, something the size of a gorilla would not be able to do much vine swinging, and would make Tarzan fighting one be rejected as impossible by a big part of the audience as anyone who has ever visited a zoo, read anything about them or watched even one documentary is pretty well aware of how much damn much stronger actual gorillas are than humans so yep, shrinking them for the movie makes them rather more believable.

  • The ape that Tarzan seems to be swinging with in the bottom few images seems pretty huge to me. In fact, that’s something I noticed the very first time I saw the trailer.

    • Yes, I agree. I think it’s a perspective thing — he’s in the foreground . . . . but then again, the thickness of the body is pretty extreme.

  • I wonder if Kala’s baby, the one we see clinging to her back when she finds baby Tarzan in his crib, is a male, survives to adulthood and becomes Tarzan’s ally – maybe after some initial problems – and either is or becomes the leader of the apes when he comes back to Congo and needs their help in this story. 🙂 Might be the way I’d have written it if I had been doing the script, and been given some of the premises, like that he is coming back after years of living in England, to stay with beforehand. And seems sort of likely, there probably is some role for that ape baby as an adult to play in the story, otherwise the idea that Kala adopts the human baby mostly just because her own just died would be the more logical way to go.

  • Akut is listed on the Imdb Legend of Tarzan character, and he’s a Mangani that appears only in Beasts of Tarzan. My guess is that in this version of the story, Akut will be Kala’s child and an ally/brother to Tarzan.

    • Haha got ya, Norman! Akut appears in Son of Tarzan, not Beasts! (Maybe both, but I don’t think so.) He is the ape that is on display in London in Son of Tarzan, called Ajax by his trainer but actual Akut, whom young Jack sneaks away to go see. Tarzan comes looking for Jack . . . sees old pal Akut ……they reunite. Then it evolves that Jack gets on a freighter with Akut disguised as an old decrepit invalid grandmother….and off to Africa they go….

  • WB does need to put it out there that these are Mangani.
    I saw a blog post, by a professional writer, on the newest trailer and she seemed to think Tarzan was fighting silverbacks and that Rom’s an Englishman.
    The reality is there are many many people out there who just aren’t very … attentive to these sorts of details. So even if WB emphasizes these are Mangani, that this isn’t an updated version of the Disney movie, that there will be no Phil Collins songs, or that it’s not something related to the new Jungle Book, there will still be a large number of people who will think these things. Doesn’t mean that they won’t see the movie, or enjoy it, just that they’re going perhaps a bit confused about things.

  • Will all due respect, dear Michael, I say thee nay! 🙂 Akut indeed appears in Beasts of Tarzan (and when I said “only” I meant that he didn’t appear before in the saga)!

    From Chapter 3:
    “”Who are you,” he asked, “who threatens Tarzan of the Apes?”
    The hairy brute looked his surprise.
    “I am Akut,” replied the other in the same simple, primal tongue which
    is so low in the scale of spoken languages that, as Tarzan had surmised,
    it was identical with that of the tribe in which the first twenty years of
    his life had been spent.”

    • haha…I should have checked……he does appear in Son, though….you acknowledge that, right?

      As the trainer, with raised lash, hesitated an instant at the entrance to the box where the boy and the ape confronted him, a tall broad-shouldered man pushed past him and entered. As his eyes fell upon the newcomer a slight flush mounted the boy’s cheeks.

      “Father!” he exclaimed.

      The ape gave one look at the English lord, and then leaped toward him, calling out in excited jabbering. The man, his eyes going wide in astonishment, stopped as though turned to stone.

      “Akut!” he cried.

      The boy looked, bewildered, from the ape to his father, and from his father to the ape. The trainer’s jaw dropped as he listened to what followed, for from the lips of the Englishman flowed the gutturals of an ape that were answered in kind by the huge anthropoid that now clung to him.

      And from the wings a hideously bent and disfigured old man watched the tableau in the box, his pock-marked features working spasmodically in varying expressions that might have marked every sensation in the gamut from pleasure to terror.

      “Long have I looked for you, Tarzan,” said Akut. “Now that I have found you I shall come to your jungle and live there always.”

      The man stroked the beast’s head. Through his mind there was running rapidly a train of recollection that carried him far into the depths of the primeval African forest where this huge, man-like beast had fought shoulder to shoulder with him years before. He saw the black Mugambi wielding his deadly knob-stick, and beside them, with bared fangs and bristling whiskers, Sheeta the terrible; and pressing close behind the savage and the savage panther, the hideous apes of Akut. The man sighed. Strong within him surged the jungle lust that he had thought dead. Ah! if he could go back even for a brief month of it, to feel again the brush of leafy branches against his naked hide; to smell the musty rot of dead vegetation—frankincense and myrrh to the jungle born; to sense the noiseless coming of the great carnivora upon his trail; to hunt and to be hunted; to kill! The picture was alluring. And then came another picture—a sweet-faced woman, still young and beautiful; friends; a home; a son. He shrugged his giant shoulders.

      “It cannot be, Akut,” he said; “but if you would return, I shall see that it is done. You could not be happy here—I may not be happy there.”

      The trainer stepped forward. The ape bared his fangs, growling.

      “Go with him, Akut,” said Tarzan of the Apes. “I will come and see you tomorrow.”

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