Tarzan is one of those franchises that Hollywood just can’t help going back to. There have been numerous versions of the jungle swinger across radio, TV and movies, though his popularity hasn’t always stayed steady – his most recent small screen incarnation died after a few episodes on US TV and Disney’s Tarzan isn’t considered among their best.
Still, that’s not stopping Warner Bros and producer Jerry Weintraub, who have put out an undulating call and attracted elephants, tigers and a scriptwriter to work on a new film.
Master And Commander scribe John Collee, who most recently worked on Happy Feet, is currently in talks to bring Tarzan to a whole new generation.
And the studio also has its heart set on a director – one Guillermo del Toro, who apparently grew up reading Spanish-language versions of the stories. And even though he’s got a thousand other projects bubbling away, he seems interested: "I'd love to create a new version that is still a family movie, but as edgy as I can make it," del Toro told Variety. "There are strong themes of survival of a defenceless child left behind in the most hostile environment."
Unusually for the director, though, he won’t be directly involved with the writing – at least in the early drafts. “John will be writing it alone, as I'll be in production on Hellboy 2 and pursuing writing projects of my own," the director admitted. "He's got a great sense of adventure and the wilderness."
If anyone can bring new energy to a character that has been wearing the same loincloth since Edgar Rice Burroughs created him in 1914, it’s del Toro. And though we’ll have to wait a while for his version, it would certainly be something special.