As hard as it is to believe now, there was a time when Tarzan was huge. He had an enormously popular comic strip, the novels sold by the crate, Tarzan movies packed theaters, and his radio serials were listened to by millions. Since the ’30s, though, Tarzan has slipped a bit from the public’s imagination, so The Legend of Tarzan is making a bid to bring him back.
This trailer is surprisingly faithful to the original Edgar Rice Burroughs stories, right down to Tarzan’s origin of his father being murdered by a tribe of apes and Tarzan himself being adopted immediately after. It also appears to pick up after Tarzan has gotten married to Jane and visited the “civilized” world. Similarly, we see a lot of his superhuman strength on display; Tarzan wrestling with large animals and beating them was a pretty common theme. They even seem to be exploring, however tentatively, some of the stranger concepts the later Tarzan novels got into.
That said, ditching the loincloth for khaki cutoffs was probably a good idea; seeing Tarzan’s vine in 3-D would make it a very different kind of movie. We’ll see how he swings July 1.