One of the most interesting things about the marketing for The Legend of Tarzan has been how much it has focused on Jane. The final trailer before next week's release, however, spends much more time on the title character. It's got lots of Tarzan, and lots of wild animals looking very violent. Check it out.
One of the most interesting decisions that The Legend of Tarzan has made is to not base the film in any way on the first of the novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Rather than focus on the infant boy who was raised by apes, we fast forward to a time where he has already returned to the world of men and adapted to their ways, before being thrust back to the jungle. While we know a little bit about the film, in as far as we know Christoph Waltz plays the villain of the piece, none of that is discussed here. Instead, the trailer tries to focus you on the lovely visuals and CGI animals. Some of them are quite impressive, Although, if we're being honest, that tree descent at the end of the trailer has the potential to make people sick if they view it in IMAX 3D as the trailer requests.
While Tarzan still qualifies as one of the season's blockbusters, we've heard relatively little from it as far the studio marketing machines go. We know the film was having some fairly serious budget problems at one point, so it's possible that Warner Bros. is gun shy about spending a lot of money on marketing. However, it will be the only major action-adventure release for the July 4th weekend. Steven Spielberg's The BFG is also hitting screens that weekend, but will be focusing more on capturing the family market.
While The Legend of Tarzan is based on a classic, and extensive, book series, it's a property that hasn't been worked with in some time, so it may not be familiar to many viewers. While studios seem intent on finding existing material to base their films on, the lack of familiarity that may exist with Tarzan, beyond the most simple name recognition, could work against the movie. To be fair, people are more familiar with Tarzan's name than they were that of John Carter, the science fiction hero created by Edgar Rice Burroughs, so it has that going for it. Disney tried to turn that book series into a film franchise in 2012 and it bombed pretty hard. Some, but not all, of that, was due to the fact that the series simply didn't have the name recognition with the consumer.
Will you be checking out The Legend of Tarzan next week? Have you read the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs? Let us know what you're expecting in the comments below.