“The Legend Of Tarzan” is leaving the jungle and heading to theaters everywhere on Friday, July 1 giving moviegoers everywhere a new look at the iconic character. When Warner Bros. Pictures invited us to sit down with cast members Alexander Skarsgard and Margot Robbie and Director David Yates, the mastermind behind the “Harry Potter” films we jumped at the opportunity.
In “The Legend Of Tarzan,” Tarzan, known now as John Clayton, has acclimated as best he can to life in London at Greystoke Manner with his wife, Jane. It has been years since he left the jungle for London but he now finds himself headed back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary of Parliament, a mission that quickly turns into a nightmare. During the interview, I discover 5 fun facts about the “THE LEGEND OF TARZAN” from the cast and director.
Here are 5 Fun Facts About THE LEGEND OF TARZAN
Making Your Mark
Alexander Skarsgard was a huge fan of Tarzan growing up, so he was extremely excited when he heard Warner Bros. Pictures was making a new Tarzan film, but it also had him asking a few questions. He wondered like so many of us have, what will make this one different?
I just think Adam Cozad, who wrote it, came up with such a brilliant take on it. I love the idea that it opens–it’s a surprising introduction to these characters because you kind of expect the loincloth, the, “Me Tarzan, you Jane.” And instead, it’s this very sophisticated couple in Victorian London. And I thought it was really interesting, very smart and kind of the trajectory of the story is the opposite of the old novels or the old movies. It’s not, you know, the wild man, like, finding his way into civilization. It’s someone who’s already acclimated to that, then is forced to go back and kind of reconnect with his roots and with his inner animal in a way, which I thought was quite interesting to play.” ~ Alexander Skarsgard
This Is Not Your Mother’s Jane
For Margot Robbie and Director David Yates it was very important to make Jane relatable to today’s audience, more importantly, someone that Margot could connect to and a damsel in distress she is not.
I’m not going to sit there and just be like, “He’ll come for me. It’ll be great” It just seems stupid. If she’s really that intelligent, she’d be problem-solving the whole time… And yes, we spoke a lot about making her very independent and very capable…but, we also spent a lot of time talking about how to make them also very dependent on each other because, at the heart of it, to me, it’s very much a love story.” ~ Margot Robbie
A Beating Heart
When David Yates finished with the “Harry Potter” films, dozens of scripts landed on his desk for him to read, but there was something special about “The Legend Of Tarzan.”
I was reading lots of cool stuff with lots of things blowing up, with lots of things that were kind of fun. But, I felt I’d seen it all before. And even though it’s an old character, it felt very fresh to me…So, I fell in love with that as soon as I read it really.” ~ David Yates
An Old School Story, Present World Values & A Lesson In History
While the story of Tarzan may have been told over 100 times, it also has a bit of a checkered past, and Yates and writer Adam Cozad made sure their story would leave the past in the past and shine a light on present world values. Bringing Samuel L. Jackson on to play George Washington Williams was a no-brainer to the director.
I just thought it was just such a delicious thing to bring Sam Jackson into a Tarzan movie because he’s cool. For me and lots of audiences around the world, Sam is a proper iconic actor of immense standing and skill. You know, there aren’t many of them actually…and he brings dignity, grace, nobility, humor and it completely changes the sort of perception of what the movie is. Plus the character Sam plays, George Washington Williams, is a real human being. That letter at the end of the movie, those words are from a letter that George Washington Williams actually wrote to King Leopold to out what he was doing in the Congo. That is a real letter. He was the real hero of this story” ~ David Yates
The Animal Kingdom
With Tarzan heading back into the jungle, there is more than one occasion where we see him interacting with old friends. The interesting thing about his old friends is that they are all very large animals and for obvious reasons, this was all done working with green screens. This proved to be not only challenging but sometimes down right funny.
That was a strange one. Alex had to interact more with invisible animals than I did. And I got to kind of like stand back and giggle to myself as he nuzzled with a stunt guy pretending to be a lion. This is like the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen (laughing)” ~ Margot Robbie
So the lion scene was a very interesting day, the because the Cubs is played by an actual person. His name is Ace, and he is like 25-year- old from South London, super cool guy. He shows up on set in gray pajamas, and we shake hands. I’m like, “Oh, nice to meet you.” He’s like, “What’s up, mate? How you doing?” And then they’d call action. We’d go down on all fours, and we’d just start rubbing with Sam [Samuel L. Jackson] and Margot in the background like, “He’s known her since she was a cub” (laughing)” ~ Alexander Skarsgard
With action, suspense, sweeping epic landscapes and a whole lot of heart “The Legend Of Tarzan” swings into theaters on July 1. Purchase your tickets to The Legend of Tarzan on Fandango
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