We recently reported that David Yates (late of Harry Potter) was signing up to direct Warner Brother’s big budget Tarzan adaptation, and we knew he had a list of likely candidates. It looks like he’s made a decision, and it looks like Alexander Skarsgård is his choice.
This comes from Variety, and they make clear that no offer has been made, which means this announcement is partly a negotiating tactic. It’s possible that this break was made by Skarsgård’s people in the hopes of being in a better position for determining their party’s contract for the first film and possible subsequent sequels (this is a franchise starter). It’s also possible that Yates’ people broke it in the hopes of speeding up Warner Brother’s negotiations (if he is the favorite, Warners will look bad for not hiring the director’s choice), or it could have been put out by Warner Brothers to see how fans would react with a name like Skarsgård, who doesn’t have the cache of someone like Tom Hardy (who was in the running) – even though Hardy doesn’t have a lot of hit films under his belt as a lead. All are options.
The other big news is that they’re looking to cast Samuel L. Jackson as “a Civil War veteran eager to redeem himself for his part in the massacre of Native Americans.” So it looks like – by partnering Tarzan with a black actor they can side-step some of the race issues that are associated with the character. We’ll keep you updated on the film, which is likely to be coming in Winter 2014, or possibly sometime in 2015.