Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan, a renowned pulp hero, might soon return to the big screen.
Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc.’s estate sold the cinematic rights to the character to Sony Pictures, which intends to “totally reimagine” both the persona and the intellectual property.
The studio is searching for a top-down adaptation of the Ape Man for audiences in this time and place of the twenty-first century, but no writer, director, or producer is currently connected.
Sony refused to respond.
The well-known tale of Tarzan is one of an orphan kid raised by huge apes in the jungle, who finally leaves the bush for a young woman named Jane, marries her, and moves to England, where he learns how primitive so-called civilization truly is, before returning to Africa. Adventures abound amid all of that, from defeating lions and gorillas to finding lost towns.
When the stories were initially released in 1912, they became an immediate smash and for decades, they left their influence on popular culture through films, serials, radio programs, TV programs, and comic strips. The 1930s through the 1970s are considered to be the Lord of the Jungle’s prime, but Disney’s 1999 animated film and its Phil Collins songs were huge successes that even inspired a Broadway production.
The persona has shown to be a treacherous vine for Tarzan in this century. In 2016, Warner Bros. attempted to start a possible series with a film starring Margot Robbie and Alexander Skarsgard that fell flat with fans.
Changes in mores are one of the causes. The works are examined for colonialism, the notion of the white savior, and racial and gender stereotypes that were prevalent in the early 20th century but are not prevalent today.
This is why the studio wants a fresh, reimagined approach.
The Tarzan IP’s ability to exist in both the public and private spheres makes the rights agreement intriguing. Although Burroughs continued to write adventures far into the 1940s, several of his works were released decades after his death in 1950. The early stories are firmly in the public domain. The Tarzan trademark is owned by the estate.