The Legend of Tarzan is one of those movies I thought I wouldn’t be interested in, despite its excellent cast, until seeing its surprisingly good trailer. The movie also does away with the standard origin story and instead drops us into the middle:
It has been years since the man once known as Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) left the jungles of Africa behind for a gentrified life as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke, with his beloved wife, Jane (Margot Robbie) at his side. Now, he has been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Belgian, Captain Leon Rom (Christoph Waltz). But those behind the murderous plot have no idea what they are about to unleash.
At the recent CinemaCon event ComingSoon caught up with the main cast to talk about the upcoming movie, and Skarsgård had this to say about where we find his character when the movie starts:
He’s a celebrity. 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.
It’s not about the beast sort of learning how to civilize himself and how to function with human beings. This Tarzan has already done that. He’s perfected it. It’s about the beast inside. He’s an animal, but he’s in a three piece suit drinking tea with the Prime Minister. You start out with John Clayton, who is resisting who he is, in a way. Then you go back to the jungle when he’s convinced by Jane and George Washington, Sam Jackson’s character. Slowly, he reverts back to who he is and the more animalistic state that is Tarzan. It was fun, as an actor, to explore going from being civilized to that brutality that is kind of who he really is.
Margot Robbie is the Jane to Skarsgård’s Tarzan, and looks to be heading for some major heartbreak as the movie progresses:
I was really, really intrigued by this story. Particularly the place where it takes off. They’ve already got an established relationship. They’re married and have been together for years and years. Then they’re torn apart, kind of like the original story done in reverse.
The one character people are most curious about is that of Christoph Waltz’s Captain Leon Rom, and the actor is not going to spoil anything about him any time soon:
I can’t tell you anything. Not necessarily because it’s top secret, but because the movie is fantastic. The movie is entertaining. The movie is relevant. The movie is, for me, painful and sad and suspenseful all the way through. There’s no reason you shouldn’t go and see it. Why would you want me to tell you what it’s about?
Well, I want you to tell me about it because I’m going to be very disappointed when I find out you don’t become a Space Knight – until then there’s hope, which is just cruel.
The last Tarzan movie I watched was Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes which starred Christopher “Highlander” Lambert back in the late 80’s – I think it’s time I revisit another of Edgar Rice Burrough’s classic characters. What do you think?
The Legend of Tarzan is due for release in the US on 1 July. Directed by David Yates, with the script by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, it stars the above-mentioned Skarsgård, Robbie & Waltz as well as Samuel L. Jackson, Djimon Hounsou, Ella Purnell and John Hurt, and Nick as a squirrel monkey.
Last Updated: April 25, 2016