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Sony Buys Tarzan Film Rights And Plans A "Total Reinvention"

Sony Pictures has acquired the film rights to Tarzan, with the company planning a "complete reimagining" of the famous pulp hero.

Sony Pictures Tarzan may soon be swinging back onto the big screen. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Sony has purchased the film rights to Tarzan from the estate of the legendary pulp hero's original author, Edgar Rice Burroughs.


According to THR, Sony is considering a "complete redesign" of the Tarzan character and IP, though no writer, director, or producer has been assigned to a potential project. Sony has likewise declined to comment at this time. Tarzan is a wild boy raised in the African bush by a tribe of apes known as the Mangani after his British parents died.

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Burroughs' Tarzan of the Apes was serialized in The All-Story magazine beginning in 1912 before being released as a novel in 1914. Before his death in 1950, Burroughs wrote many more Tarzan books. Tarzan is a well-known figure in the world of film.


Tarzan made his initial debut on the big screen in the 1918 silent picture Tarzan of the Apes, based on the first half of Burroughs' original novel of the same name and starring Elmo Lincoln as Tarzan. Lincoln repeated his part in The Romance of Tarzan, a 1918 film based on the second half of Burroughs' novel.

Having said that, most current viewers are probably most familiar with Disney's 1999 animated feature Tarzan, which starred Tony Goldwyn as Tarzan's voice. Tarzan & Jane and Tarzan II, both direct-to-video sequels, were released by Disney in 1999 and 2005, respectively. Of course, there have been several more adaptations of the legendary character, including film serials and non-Disney animated movies, as well as a multitude of comic books, television episodes, and radio programs. However, while the Tarzan brand has endured, it is not without criticism. Burroughs' original writings and their adaptations have been chastised over the years for their outmoded beliefs, cliches, and caricatures. This might explain why Sony apparently wants to reconstruct the character from scratch for future projects.


Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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