It’s been 18 years since a live-action Tarzan film was released in theaters, but the Lord of the Jungle returns to the big screen this summer with The Legend of Tarzan, starring True Blood veteran Alexander Skarsgard as the titular ape man. Like most summer blockbusters, the film will be getting an IMAX 3D run, and earlier today the official IMAX Twitter account dropped a brand new trailer.
— IMAX (@IMAX) June 6, 2016
I suppose “brand new” isn’t entirely accurate – while there are a handful of new scenes at the beginning of this footage, dealing with the fate of Tarzan‘s parents and his subsequent adoption by the resident apes of the forest, the remainder of this trailer is identical to the previously-released version. And to be honest, there’s nothing here that alters my overall lack of enthusiasm for this project.
Skarsgard is a fine actor, and with those washboard abs he’s definitely a great choice for the physicality of the character. He’s also surrounded by a solid supporting cast that includes Margot Robbie as Tarzan’s love interest, Jane, Christoph Waltz as the dastardly villain who kidnaps her to draw out his enemy, and Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams, who appears to be allied with the ape man. But no matter how great the players might be, if the material itself isn’t any good, then the film is doomed – and so far, I’ve not seen anything from this film to indicate a compelling reason for resurrecting this ancient franchise.
Throw in an apparently mute protagonist – seriously, does Tarzan speak in this film? – and some laughably bad CGI animals, and you’ve got all the makings of a colossal box office failure, especially when you consider the staggering $180 million budget that Warner Bros. poured into this. I’m hoping that The Legend of Tarzan has a few surprises up its sleeve, and that director David Yates wasn’t just cashing a paycheck here.
The Legend of Tarzan hits theaters on July 1.
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