Deadline Hollywood broke that Craig Brewer is now working at Warner Brothers on an adaption of Tarzan for the big screen. Not only is Brewer attached to write and direct a Tarzan film, he’s pitched it as a trilogy. This is a big jump up for the director, as it would put him in the franchise business. 2005′s Hustle and Flow made the director’s name, but his follow-up, Black Snake Moan, was not as warmly received. Brewer since did television, and is currently in post-production on his Footloose remake.
What may be most interesting about this is Warner Brothers attempts at all to reboot this character. Though Tarzan was a franchise in the 1930′s, the more modern attempts at relaunching the character have been met with mixed results. Bo Derek starred in one in 1981 that is best remembered as a chance to see Bo Derek naked, while Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes was an attempt to class the franchise up, but though it got a couple of Oscar nominations, was seen as a disaster (the film is pretty dull). More recently, Warners tried with Casper Van Diem in 1998. It played theaters briefly before being forgotten by everyone. But in the world of animation, Tarzan was a huge hit for Disney in 1999, so you never know.
Brewer is an interesting choice, but it’s hard to say how he would handle the awkward politics of a character raised by apes – the series is very much dated. But the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels were serialized to begin with, so there’s likely a number of great stories that have yet to be filmed, and with some lag for superheroes and 3-D, finding a new franchise is the name of the game.
Do you like bananas, coconuts and grapes?