Why The Legend Of Tarzan Removed A Gay Kiss From The Movie


For as long as Tarzan has been adapted for movies and other media stories, he's been a good looking guy. Whether he's swinging on vines or sipping tea in Victorian society as Lord Greystoke, he has maintained a cut figure and handsome visage. It's these features, among other things, that attract his wife, Jane Porter, but in The Legend of Tarzan, he also attracted Christoph Waltz's Captain Léon Rom in a scene cut out of the movie, where Rom decided to lock lips with the Lord of the Jungle at an inopportune time.

According to director David Yates, there was a moment in The Legend of Tarzan when Rom locked lips Tarzan while he was unconscious. However, the scene felt out of place with everything else going on, and Yates decided to take it out of the final cut. As he explained to Yahoo:

We pared it back because it was almost too much. It was this really odd, odd moment when Christoph kisses him. We loved it at the time. But early test audiences were perplexed by it, and in the end it just felt too clever and overworked.

After Rom kisses the unconscious Tarzan, a.k.a. John Clayton, the scene followed with the Belgian main antagonist telling Margot Robbie's Jane Porter that her husband's "wildness" disturbs him more than he can express. While this kissing moment may have been read well on the script and looked at approvingly when shot during principal photography, obviously the test audiences didn't understand why it was thrown into that scene. So even though Rom and Tarzan's feud was one of the driving forces of the main story, the former's sexual curiosity in the Ape-Man was essentially eliminated. Still, perhaps the deleted scene will be included on the Blu-ray release in the near future.

David Yates also mentioned in the interview that he also cut out some more risqué and "primal" sexual moments between Tarzan and Jane, leading the movie to be more muted and sensual. However, those tone choices, along with the movie's action, visual effects and modern reinterpretation of a character who's existed for more than 100 years haven't been enough to make The Legend of Tarzan a hit in theaters. As of this writing, it's only drawn in a little over $135 million (still $45 million from breaking even on its budget), and it's earned mixed-to-negative reviews. That's not to say that keeping the Rom kiss in would have propelled the movie to overwhelmingly positive reception, but it may have spiced up the story a little bit.

You can catch The Legend of Tarzan in theaters now, and click here to read our review of the Lord of the Jungle's latest theatrical adventure.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.