Zero Dark Monkey: Jessica Chastain rumored for Tarzan film
The New York Post is reporting that Zero Dark Thirty star Jessica Chastain is being considered for the part of Jane in the upcoming Tarzan film, which is set to be helmed by Harry Potter director, David Yates. This is great news and I think that Chastain would make an awesome ape-mate, but what has me concerned is that there are also rumors swinging through the Internet vines that the new film is going to pass on the origin story and focus on the adult Tarzan’s return to his beloved jungle to save it from evil diamond miners.
Sure, pretty much everyone already knows that Tarzan was raised by the great apes and that he eventually reclaims his heritage and title as the British Lord Greystoke. But the ape-man’s origin tale has yet to be realistically filmed, and to not fully utilize today’s technology to accurately tell that story would be a terrible shame and a monumental mistake.
Did Hollywood learn nothing from the mess they made of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ other Fantasy hero, John Carter of Mars? Even though Tarzan has been around for over 100 years and already has a huge fan base, you can’t discount the fact that there are a couple of generations (it’s been 14 years since the last Tarzan film) who know nothing about the ape-man and by ignoring his origin you are alienating that audience.
Let me explain this in terms that a monkey or a Hollywood executive can understand. Scrapping Tarzan’s origin in the new film will create negative buzz for your movie and reduce the size of your audience — this reduces your ticket sales which in turn reduces the chances of another film ever being made — and then it gets personal for the fans who have been waiting decades to see a successful ongoing series.
Note to director David Yates: Make your movie, cast Chastain (good choice) and make a great decision for the Tarzan role as well; even run with the “diamond miners” narrative if you must — but if you leave out the Ape-man origin you’re just bananas.
Jessica Chastain Photo © 2013 Zero Dark Thirty, LLC.