Variety reports that a new version of Tarzan is in the works — to be written by John Collee (Happy Feet, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World) and directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth), if present negotiations stay their course:
Del Toro, who grew up reading Spanish-language translations of those books, feels that the classic themes are still compelling, and that there is new ground to cover in the Tarzan mythology by turning back to the original Burroughs prose.
“I’d love to create a new version that is still a family movie, but as edgy as I can make it,” Del Toro said. “There are strong themes of survival of a defenseless child left behind in the most hostile environment.”
And then there is Disney’s Tarzan (1999), which is an unfortunate mess in a number of ways, but surprisingly manages to get one or two things very right. I especially love the scene where the young Tarzan — the name means “white skin” — tries to fit in with his ape brethren by covering his face in dark mud. It’s a scene that comes straight out of the book, and was also depicted in Greystoke.
The two films also have the voice of Glenn Close in common. She dubbed all of Andie MacDowell’s dialogue in Greystoke because the filmmakers thought MacDowell, who played Jane Porter, had too thick of an accent, or something like that; and she provided the voice of Kala, Tarzan’s ape-mother, in Disney’s Tarzan.