Casting picks up for Tarzan film

Constantin Film is moving its adaptation of Tarzan out of the development phase with this first cast hire.

Kellan Lutz, who is mostly known for his role in Twilight, will play the title role, while Spencer Locke has taken the romantic lead role, Jane Porter.

The original, now classic, Edgar Rice Burroughs book was an exploration of the difference between beast and man. Written as a serialized tale, it follows the adventures of Tarzan, a man raised by apes in the African jungle, and his transformation from a wild man to a civilized one, partly spurred by his love for Jane, the daughter of a visiting scientist to one of the nearby human tribes.

In the book Burroughs, through Tarzan and Jane, philosophizes about what it means to be a person, especially a civilized one, and makes the point that the worth of a man cannot be judged by his manners and breeding, and that for all the trappings of civilization, it’s no less savage than any primitive tribe or community of apes. In many ways, the wild man is shown to be more noble that either the men of civilization or the apes.

This new adaptation will take a bit of a modern bent, however. Rather than retelling the tale in its original setting and time period, the film moves Tarzan to our own era, and raises the stakes for the protagonists. Here Jane is a daughter of an African guide, rather than a civilized gentleman scientist, and Tarzan must help her in her fight against a team of mercenaries hired by Greystroke Energies, who aim to exploit the jungle and its people for commercial gains.

No production or release dates have yet been announced for Tarzan, which will be a CGI film with full motion and facial capture performances. However, if casting stays on track, I would expect production to begin this fall.