Tarzan reboot in the works at Sony

Sony Pictures
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A ‘total reinvention’ of Tarzan is on the cards, following Sony’s purchase of the rights to the Edgar Rice Burroughs character. 

Sony is reportedly hatching big plans for the character of Tarzan, following the studio’s acquisition of the screen rights to Edgar Rice Burrough’s famous character. As a piece of intellectual property, Tarzan sits in an interesting place with elements of the character now in the public domain, whilst other parts are still privately owned. This is a similar situation to the character of Sherlock Holmes, a position that led to a widely-publicised but somewhat spurious lawsuit against Netflix’s Enola Holmes back in 2020.

However, because Sony has acquired the rights to Burroughs’ works, the studio should be able to do what it likes with the character and reports are suggesting there will be a radical departure from the original iteration of him.

Sony is reportedly set on updating the character ‘for audiences in this time and space of the 21st century’. That’s a trap that the recent 2016 version of the tale, The Legend Of Tarzan, failed to navigate when it found itself being accused of employing a culturally outmoded white saviour narrative, as that film’s plot saw Tarzan travelling back to Africa to investigate claims of slavery.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Sony plan to approach a reimagining of the character, although as of yet, there seems to be no creative personnel officially attached to the project. We’ll let you know more on this one as we hear it.

The Hollywood Reporter

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