Did you remember that Alexander Skarsgard is starring in a Tarzan remake? I had honestly forgotten, and I’ve written about it. Of course, that was back in 2013 when the project was put on hold by Warner Brothers, citing budget concerns. It did end up going into production in 2014, though, and it has a July 2016 release date—for now. Because Tarzan is having problems again, and two and a half years ago I asked this question, but I’ll ask it again: Surely Skarsgard could have found a better tent pole project than TARZAN?
This is supposed to be Skarsgard’s movie star launching pad. Or, it was going to be, back when Tarzan was part of a one-two punch with Battleship. But that movie sh*t the bed and Tarzan has all the earmarks of a pending disaster. Besides the pre-production troubles in re: budgeting, the director, David Yates, has left day-to-day oversight on Tarzan to make Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. It’s highly unusual for a director to start shooting another movie before the last one is in the can, but we’re supposed to take comfort in the knowledge that Yates is looking over Tarzan edits on the weekend. Oh yeah, this movie will turn out totally fine.
In the years since Skarsgard signed on, he still hasn’t become a leading man—Tarzan’s best bet for name recognition now lies with Margot Robbie, who plays Jane. And I don’t think Tarzan will do anything to help Skarsgard in that regard. This could be a disaster along the lines of Pan. Like that movie, I won’t be surprised if Warners ends up kicking it out of summer 2016 for a less competitive fall slot, or even January 2017. It has the same “who did you even make this for” ennui, and will probably meet the same disastrous fate at the box office. Tarzan has eaten up three years of Skarsgard’s professional life, and it isn’t going to do sh*t for him.
Attached - Skarsgard at The Late Show in New York last week.