The trailer, released today (Dec. 9) is the first preview of the new film, which is light years ahead of the old Johnny Weissmuller pictures from the 1930s and 1940s.
Weissmuller, a competitive swimmer and Olympic gold medalist, played the ape man in 12 films. He set the gold standard for the role, doing many of his own stunts, including swimming through crocodile infested lagoons.
The role has been recast dozens of times on the big screen, television and in animated cartoons. But Skarsgard will get a leg up on all of them thanks to some stunning CGI special effects.
Not that Skarsgard doesn’t look the part. Best known as the hunky vampire in HBO’s series “True Blood,” Skarsgard has bulked up and leaned down for the character. He could win an Oscar for body transformation (if there was one).
The film also stars Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction,” the “Captain America” films), Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street”), Oscar nominee Djimon Hounsou (“Blood Diamond,” “Gladiator”), Oscar nominee John Hurt (“The Elephant Man,” “Harry Potter”) an Oscar winner Jim Broadbent (“Iris”).
But judging from the clip, two-time Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds,” “Django Unchained”) looks like he might steal the movie.
The trailer is basically a scene setter with lots of jungle shots. Skarsgard doesn’t actually emerge until about 1:37 into the two-minute run.
The movie picks up with Tarzan comfortably ensconced in Great Britain where he’s leading a gentrified life as John Clayton III, aka Lord Greystroke. With him is his beloved wife Jane, played by Robbie.
He’s been invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary, unaware that he is a pawn in a deadly game of greed and revenge, masterminded by the Captain Leon Rom (Waltz), according to the official synopsis.
Of course, Tarzan goes ape-sh*t once he figures out what’s going on.
The film will be distributed in 2D and 3D in select theatres and IMAX by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, and in select territories by Village Roadshow Pictures.
It’s slated for release July 1, 2016.
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