“Harry Potter” director David Yates will helm “Tarzan” for Warner Bros. The potential franchise is based on Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series of classic books about the Earl of Greystoke’s adventures as a “white ape” in equatorial Africa. It’s 100 years since the first book, “Tarzan of the Apes,” was published. Burroughs also originated the John Carter of Mars series, which recently met with big budget disaster. Tarzan was far more globally well-known via some 89 Hollywood incarnations, from Buster Crabbe and Johnny Weismuller through Christopher Lambert.
So far rumors have Yates meeting with Henry Cavill, Charlie Hunnam and Alexander Skarsgård for the titular role, while Warners is also eyeing Tom Hardy.
Cavill stars as Superman in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” out next June, while Hunnam stars in Guillermo del Toro’s epic aliens vs. robots film “Pacific Rim,” set for July. Skarsgård, of “True Blood” fame, had supporting roles in the likes of “Melancholia” and “Battleship” as well as a lead in the “Straw Dogs” remake. He also stars in the upcoming Toronto entry “What Maisie Knew,” opposite Julianne Moore, and “The East,” from “The Sound of My Voice” director Zal Batmanglij.
While Hardy has the most robust resume of these four, including “Bronson,” “Warrior,” “Inception,” “The Dark Knight Rises” and “Lawless” — he’s yet to score big in a leading role. Depending on the intended tone of “Tarzan,” his physicality could be just the thing for a rough and animalistic raised-by-apes hero. He will also star as Max in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and is rumored to be attached to Doug Liman’s “Everest.”