There are some stories that are known from the beginning of humankind. Stories that will always occupy our mind, and that we will always try to find a solution. However, these stories are so great because they are showing eternal problems, problems that are always popular because they have no solution. Still, great art plays with these problems, and that is what matters the most. The story of Tarzan, king of the jungle, has been told and retold many times. Through novels, comic books, films and cartoons, this character has been fascinating and enthralling the humankind for 100 years. The first novel named Tarzan of the Apes has been published in 1912, and since then, the story of this wild man continues to live on. However, what is the reason that makes us to return to this story? Let us begin with the question: who is Tarzan?
Tarzan is an archetypal character, a man that was separated from the civilization and raised by apes in the jungle. He is a proof that the civilization that we know is not the only solution for an individual. Tarzan has managed to grow up into healthy and beautiful young man, with strong and highly moral attitudes, and all that without school or college, without society. The conclusion of this never-ending story is that the wilderness has thought Tarzan to be himself, to reveal his true human nature. The civilized society is based on suppression and rules strange to the human nature. Tarzan has managed to evade all of this and to remain an authentic and genuine character. During this year, we will have an opportunity to watch another portrayal of this hero, in the film named The Folktale of Tarzan.
The Legend of Tarzan is an upcoming adventure film, that is based on the original story of Rice Edgar Burroughs, who created Tarzan. In his novel Tarzan of the Apes, he told us the story of Tarzan and Jane, their unusual love, and the society that was standing in their way. The story followed young Tarzan, who was an orphan raised by apes. His mother died while he was an infant, and his father was killed in the jungle, by an ape that raised Tarzan. The main and most significant thing in the plot of the traditional story of Tarzan is his meeting with Jane, which is the serious collision of two worlds. The two of them fall in love, but the problem is that they don't belong to each other, according to the laws of society. However, the rumors around The Myth of Tarzan are going in a different direction from the traditional story. The film is going to be released during 2016, and David Yates directs it, while Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer wrote the screenplay. The main role, the role of Tarzan is portrayed by Alexander Skarsgard, while the other actors that are participating in this project are Djimon Hounsou ,Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson and Margot Robbie. The making of the film has begun in the summer of 2014, and it will hit the theaters on July 1, 2016.
The plot is centered and positioned on the happenings after the story of Tarzan and Jane. Now, they are happily married couple, living in London, where Tarzan took his old name, John Clayton III. However, our hero gets an invitation to return to Congo where he would oblige as a career emissary of the English Parliament. In the Congo he will clash with the greedy plan of Belgian Captian Leon Rom. Leon Rom was an actual Belgian soldier that was known for his brutal methods and behavior. The history remembers that Leon Rom was keeping gallows at his African station, and that he had severed heads of the Africans in his flowerbed. This is a great mastermind that Tarzan must confront in order to save himself. Leon Rom was also an inspiration for captain Kurtz in Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness, which was again, an inspiration for the famous Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now.
This 21st century Tarzan is a different type of character than the old one. He has some modern attitudes, and some modern views. Tarzan is a liberating justice and freedom fighter, but he can show his beastly side when his loved ones are in danger. The director is announcing an interesting interpretation of this story, and an unusual twist that will surely buy the attention of the public. The plot of this film is completely different from the original story, but yet it draws roots from it. It is also combined with the historical events of that age, concerning Africa. As a defender of the good, Tarzan will have to activate all the power he has so he could beat the greediness of Leon Rom. The director talked about this film as a simple story of two people that need to find their way in the society, or in the wilderness. It is also a story about the ultimate combat between the good and the evil, the material and the emotional, where Tarzan must find a chance to save himself from Captain Rom, who wants to sell him for diamonds. The whole plot is based on the idea that occupies the mind of a modern man, and this idea can make Tarzan to be a modern character and her with whom we will all identify with. The problem of human nature is presented in the character of Tarzan, and this is what Yates had in mind when he was starting the shooting of the film. Humans are so far away from their nature; we are living in cities, we have families and jobs, we eat at restaurants and we wear classy clothes. However, is this the true nature of the human or are we hiding it? The character which is completely different from Tarzan, is captain Rom. He is greedy and violent, he doesn’t choose ways to get to his goal. As a complete opposition, Rom is also a representative of modern capitalistic society, where money is the main goal of each individual. Tarzan, with all his virtues is clashing with this kind of philosophy.
Alexander Skarsgard says about his character and the film in general, that this is a story not about taming the beast, but about the beast within us. Here, Tarzan has made peace with the society that he once belonged. He is living a life full of comfort in London, along with his wife Jane. However, the beast never sleeps, and our wild side must be awakened in times of need. In the portrayal of this role, Alexander Skarsgard wants to convey us this message. This actor is popular of his staring heroe of a Nordic Vampire in the True Blood serial, and Yates picked him up for the part because of his foreigner status. Alexander was born in Sweden, but has built his career and life in the United States, so he is the perfect person for this part, because he knows what its like not to belong into a particular society. Skarsgard has been training for four months before the shooting began, so he could create an authentic depiction of Tarzan. Today, he is luring the signs from the woman around the globe, with his impressive figure and his six-pack.
Before he picked Alexander for the role of Tarzan, Yates was thinking about Charlie Hunnam and Tom Hardy. However, the final choice was Alexander Skarsgard, while his best friend, George Washington Williams, is being portrayed by always entertaining Samuel L. Jackson, who has shown his incredible acting possibilities in the latest Quentin Tarantino film The Hateful 8. Williams is a real historical figure, a soldier in the Civil War that fought on the side of the Union. He was a witness of bad life of the natives in Congo, during the rule of King Leopold II. The role of Jane is played by Margot Robbie, while Emma Watson, Gabriella Wilde and Georgina Haig, were being considered as the main female character of this film. Famous Tarzan’s wife will also be presented in a way that differs from the original. In The Tarzans' myth, Jane is a strong and modern woman, independent in her attitudes and sexy in her appearance. The old Jane has been shown as a weak figure that depends on Tarzan, but here, she has some characteristics that might even help Tarzan in his honorable fight. Last but not least, the intriguing role of Leon Rom has been given to another actor that we know from Tarantino films Christoph Waltz. He is acknowledged for his character of Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds, and bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz in Django Unchained. Only by looking at the list of the actors that are creating this film, we can conclude that it can be a real blast if done properly.
Warner Bros. announced the start of the shooting of The Folktale of Tarzan, on December 14, 2006. The first idea was that the famous horror director, Guillermo del Toro will direct this story of Tarzan, but that soon came out as being untrue. There were many cast changes until the announcement, and the final form of crew that will make Tarzan was reached in 2012. The directing position has been given to David Yates, who already gained great success with his Harry Potter films. Inspired by Steven Spielbergs films, Yates has great knowledge of epic cinema and great stories. Today, beside, in the faretell, Yates is also working on a film that is placed in Harry Potter world Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them. The great number of scenes was shot at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavsden, Hertfordshire, UK. Some of the scenes were shot in Africa, for the authenticity, but for the main part of shooting, a couple of big hangars were turned into jungles with a lot of trees and plants. The technical crew of The fable of Tarzan even managed to construct running water in these hangars. With the budget around $180 million, Yates and crew are working on a seriously technical film, where the CGI animation will have a significant role. In the trailer, we can see that from the technical point of view, the new Tarzan film is a promising one.
The interesting and promising thing about the story of Tarzan is the story that combines the fiction and the history. Although Tarzan never existed (at least not as we know him), in the film he will be put into the context of problems about the Congo Free State, that was under the jurisdiction of King Leopold II. The characters played by Samuel L. Jackson (George Washington Williams), and Christoph Waltz are real historical figures, that played a significant role in the problems that swirled around Congo and Africa. This way, the Myth will gain an interesting political and racial note that can only enlarge the quality of the film. These topics are always actual, just like the story of Tarzan.
The story of Tarzan truly is an archetypal one. It teaches us to be ourselves, and to be kind to each other. However, it also teaches us that violence and evil is not the right way to deal with problems and people, and that the evil guys need to be punished. That is what really lies in the human nature, in the nature that is good, not evil. The Tarzan's story is promising and encouraging , and its trailer is really astonishing. We can see that the production of the film is on the high level, and we can see that it will not be boring. However, there are no precise details, since the crew is keeping them for themselves. As Yates mentioned, the whole plot is turned upside down, and there is a major twist that will blow our minds. However, we must wait to see if this film is really incredible as its cast and philosophy, and will it give us that fine and simple beauty of story of Tarzan, where, like in a fairytale, honesty and love can defeat greediness of this world.