ByKatie Granger, writer at
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

Odds are when you first heard that Village Roadshow were planning on rebooting a live action version of Tarzan you may have been a little apprehensive about the idea.

After all, live action / CGI reboots of these types of franchises - never mind the prospect of yet another origin story for the archetypal character - is enough to make anyone worried, given some that have come before.

But the trailer for the upcoming The Legend of Tarzan dropped at the end of last year with our first look at the David Yates directed action adventure, and it actually looks not half bad; especially because it draws heavily from the original Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan novels rather than other adaptations.

And rather than rehashing the origins again it's going to move forward through the life of Tarzan and Jane, which is a good way to take the franchise at the current time.

It's also largely due to the very strong crew and casting that we're keeping our hopes up about The Legend of Tarzan, let's break it down.

David Yates (Director)

Best known for his work on the latter four films of the Harry Potter series, David Yates has been directing, producing and writing films for nearly thirty years. He's also directing the upcoming Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, starring Eddie Redmayne.

Alexander Skarsgård (Tarzan / John Clayton III)

Alexander Skarsgård underwent an intense four month training schedule to shape up for his role as lord of the jungle, Tarzan. But his previous work speaks of a talented actor regardless of how ridiculously ripped he is, as he's held the attention of audiences playing creepy vampire Eric Northman on HBO's True Blood for all seven seasons.

He's also the son of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, proving that talent does run in the family.

Margot Robbie (Jane Porter)

Australian actress Margot Robbie's career is going from strength to strength right now, and she's certainly proving that she can carry it. Making her first cinema appearance in About Time, she then went on to co-star as lead actor Leonardo DiCaprio's long suffering (second) wife Naomi Lapaglia in The Wolf of Wall Street.

2016 is set to really be the year that kicks her into the spotlight, as she's also portraying the much loved character Harley Quinn in the upcoming Suicide Squad, as well as Tarzan's wife Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan.

John Hurt (Prof. Archimedes Q. Porter)

Sir John Hurt should be a recognisable name to anyone with a vested interest in cinema and television, with the 76 year old actor holding a career spanning six decades! It would take far too long to list all the roles he's known for, but some of his more prevalent roles have been in Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Elephant Man, Alien, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, V For Vendetta, Tinker Tailor Solider Spy and I, Claudius.

Hurt will portray Jane's father, Prof. Archimedes Q. Porter in The Legend of Tarzan. We yet know how heavily he'll feature though as we didn't get to see him in the first promo trailer.

Samuel L. Jackson (George Washington Williams)

Another man who needs no introduction, Samuel L. Jackson has a slew of work under his belt, from Pulp Fiction to the highly quotable Snakes on a Plane. He's also a long standing actor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and appeared in the Star Wars prequel trilogy (no matter how we may try to block out the memory of those).

In The Legend of Tarzan he'll be portraying the real life groundbreaking African-American historian, Civil War vet, minister, politician, lawyer and journalist (phew!) George Washington Williams.

Christoph Waltz (Captain Léon Rom)

Another long time Quentin Tarantino collaborator (like Samuel L. Jackson), German-Austrian actor Christoph Waltz has a monopoly on playing the slightly creepy but no less domineering bad guy with his roles in Spectre, Water for Elephants and Inglourious Basterds (for which he received numerous awards and accolades).

One again Waltz will be playing the antagonist Captain Léon Rom, a corrupt and brutal Belgian captain. The character is based on the real life Léon Rom, known as the "Butcher of Congo". Rom was merciless and would kill people for minor offences and - keeping a flower bed full of human heads - is said to have inspired the character of Kurtz in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Yikes.

The Legend of Tarzan also stars Jim Broadbent, Djimon Hounsou, Casper Crump, Ella Purnell, Rory J. Saper and legendary British theatre actor Simon Russell Beale.


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