One of the greatest works of world literature, Tarzan will win a new remake in theaters. The initiative comes six years after the failure of The Legend of Tarzan (2016), a feature starring Margot Robbie, Alexander Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson.
Sony Pictures acquired the rights to the character from Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc., the company that handled the work created by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875-1950). The intention, according to the Hollywood Reporter, is to make a “total reinvention” of the franchise.
Still in the early stages, the project has no cast, director or writers hired by the studio. It is only known that Sony’s intention is to deliver a version of Tarzan suitable for the 21st century audience.
Part of the reason for the reinterpretation lies in the changes faced by society in recent decades. Tarzan’s original publications addressed ideas of colonialism, “white savior” and racist and sexist stereotypes, which were widely accepted until the 20th century but no longer make sense in today’s pop culture.
Tarzan’s original story is well known: an orphan boy raised in the wild by great apes falls in love with a young woman named Jane, who has gone into the jungle with a team looking for gorillas. The boy leaves his land and goes with his beloved to England, where his eyes are opened to how barbaric civilization really is, before returning to Africa.
First published in 1912, the story of Tarzan was an instant success, gaining adaptations over the years in films, series, plays and radio shows. Between 1930 and 1970, the King of the Jungle found its heyday, but it was the Disney animation released in 1999, with songs by Phil Collins and Ed Motta in the original and dubbed versions, that put him back on top.
In 2016, Warner Bros. saw in The Legend of Tarzan an opportunity to start a new franchise with the title character played by Skarsgård and with Margot Robbie as Jane. However, the film did not live up to the box office and suffered from criticism from the press. With the failure, the idea of developing sequels was shelved by the studio.