Edgar Rice Burroughs' Tarzan has been adapted to the screen since the Golden Age of Hollywood, but next summer's The Legend of Tarzan puts a new spin the character.
This time around, Legend starts with Tarzan (played by True Blood's Alexander Skarsgard) out of the jungle, as John Clayton III, a decade removed from his jungle home and completely established in the British upperclass. Tarzan is sent by Parliament as an emissary to return to the Congo, where his now wife Jane (Suicide Squad's Margot Robbie), and old friends are put in danger.
Skarsgard talked to USA Today about how the story was reversed and hasn't really been done before with the character on screen. “It’s almost the opposite of the classic tale, where it’s about taming the beast,” he said. “This is about a man who’s holding back and slowly as you peel off the layers, he reverts back to a more animalistic state and lets that side of his personality out.”
To get the right movement down, Skarsgård also worked with choreographer Wayne McGregor (who had previously worked with Legend director David Yates) to decide the movements and posture of a man who carries himself as an "upper-crust Englishman" yet embraces his feral side once more when he makes his return to the Congo.
“He works mostly with the best contemporary ballet dancers in the world, so it was quite unusual for him to work with somebody like me who can’t touch their toes,” Skarsgård said.
Also starring in Legend, is Djimon Hounsou as Chief Mbonga, Samuel L. Jackson as the real-life figure George Washington Williams and the ever-charismatic Christoph Waltz as the Belgian antagonist Captain Leon Rom.
The Legend of Tarzan is scheduled to swing into theaters July 1, 2016.