Me Nick Venable. You Cinema Blend readers. Alexander Skarsgard is Tarzan in the planned king of the jungle reboot from Harry Potter director David Yates. And while Tarzan doesn’t have a Jane just yet, he may have found an adversary, as Variety reports Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz is in talks to join the film. And all of a sudden, I’m “in talks” to be a lot more excited about this movie. Not that the Yates/Skarsgard pair-up isn’t exciting enough, but the project was thrown into turnaround back in April due to budget concerns. It’s nice to see that Waltz is part of the reason it’s swinging back into pre-production planning.
As it usually goes with films that are still at least two years out, story details are few and far between, but Variety’s sources say Waltz would be cast as a military man that crosses paths with Tarzan in one way or another. Warning bells. The fact that Tarzan’s expenses got in the way to begin with was bad enough – why can’t someone just make a gritty and convincing Tarzan adventure for $40 million? – but now that the military is getting involved, I have to assume that means guns and explosions.
On the Jane front, there’s no mention of Jessica Chastain, who was rumored to be in the film back in March. But Yates is taking meetings with actresses, and Emma Stone and Margot Robbie (Pan Am) are reportedly being looked at, though nothing is official.
Warner Bros. still hasn’t received the greenlight for Tarzan, but they’re trying to put a cast together in the meantime while expecting to get the go-ahead in November to begin production next summer.
Maybe at that point there will be a finalized screenplay for them to work on. Quite a few people have taken a pass at it, including John August (Big Fish) and Cormac and Marianne Wibberly (National Treasure), with Adam Cozad (Jack Reacher: Shadow One) giving it the latest pass. When you look at the films each of those guys wrote, it’s easy to see how this would go from imaginative adventure to an action romp. Not that I’m saying that’s what it’ll be, but we now live in a time where The Lone Ranger happened.
Waltz has quite a few films coming out in the next year or so, but it currently looks like his schedule would be open next summer should production indeed start then. He’s finished with Muppets Most Wanted and Big Eyes, but is supposed to play Mikhail Gorbachev in the historical drama Reykjavik, and star opposite Robert De Niro in the thriller Candy Store. Before all that, though, revel in his genius in the below trailer for Terry Gilliam’s The Zero Theorem which is playing at Austin’s Fantastic Fest today.