- Title: Tarzan swings back into cinemas
- Date: 30th June 2016
- Summary: BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES (JUNE 25, 2016) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) ACTOR SAMUEL L. JACKSON, SAYING: "We weren't making something up about King Leopold. This was actually something that was going on in the Congo at the time and he is responsible for one of the biggest holocausts in Africa pre the Africans killing each other, but him being there and raping the country and taking the natural resources and enriching himself at a particular time of upsurge in the States where rubber was the thing everybody wanted."
- Embargoed: 14th July 2016 21:52
- Keywords: Jane jungle Tarzan Samuel L. Jackson David Yates Margot Robbie Alexander Skarsgard
- Location: LOS ANGELES / BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS
- City: LOS ANGELES / BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES; UNIDENTIFIED FILMING LOCATIONS
- Country: USA
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Film
- Reuters ID: LVA00A4OFYQ8D
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Since 1918, writer Edgar Rice Burroughs' loincloth-clad Tarzan has been a staple of cinema with nearly 50 films being released in 100 years.
Tarzan swings back into cinema on July 1 in 'The Legend of Tarzan' but the story about a baby raised by apes has been updated for modern audiences.
"Well it takes place much later than the other iterations normally have," explained Australian actress Margot Robbie, who plays Tarzan's wife Jane. "We're already living in London and Tarzan has already acclimated to Victorian London and society so it's more about the traditional story in reverse, so we go back to the Congo rather than beginning there."
The production has been in studio Warner Bros' pipeline since 2006 but it was only when 'Harry Potter' franchise director David Yates got involved that the film was greenlit.
"I saw their entire slate practically that they were making. Which one? Which one did you want to do?" said Yates. "I was being sent scripts from other studios so I knew which ones were being made and this just seemed to me epic, beautiful sense of adventure, big beating heart, lots of action and themes I really responded to."
Tarzan wouldn't be Tarzan without an impressive physique and Swedish actor Alex Skarsgard who plays the titular character had to endure 9 months of a strict no sugar diet and exercise regime.
"It was obviously very important - a crucial element here," stated Skarsgard. "It was tough physically and mentally sometimes as well because you're so isolated from friends and family for 9 months. It wasn't tough in a way because I was so excited and motivated. Every morning that I got up I was like 'I can't believe I can do this'. And coming to set - it was most amazing set I've ever seen, it was like a theme park - and to show up there, you're just so grateful that you can just play around there all day."
He was also grateful for the tiny amount of sugar his personal trainer would allow him to have just before takes, which Skarsgard said was "the highlight of my day".
'The Legend of Tarzan' weaves in historical fact into its tale with the introduction of George Washington Williams, (Samuel L. Jackson), who stood up against King Leopold for the treatment of natives by the Belgians in the late 19th century.
"We weren't making something up about King Leopold," explained Jackson. "This was actually something that was going on in the Congo at the time and he is responsible for one of the biggest holocausts in Africa pre the Africans killing each other, but him being there and raping the country and taking the natural resources and enriching himself at a particular time of upsurge in the States where rubber was the thing everybody wanted."
Jackson has worked with Alexander Skarsgard's father, Stellan, on several occasions - most famously in the Marvel Avengers franchise.
"When we were doing 'Deep Blue Sea', Alexander used to be in his dad's dressing room either playing on computer games or working on the computer. He's was like 9, 10 or 12 something like that. It makes me feel old sometimes. Damn. That used to be the kid that was in that dressing room," said Jackson.
One early criticism of the film was that Skarsgard doesn't wear Tarzan's famous loincloth. However, in 'The Legend of Tarzan', in flashbacks to the past Tarzan is naked when still living among the apes.
This made the introduction scene between Jane and Tarzan all the more difficult to shoot.
"It was hilarious. I was in fits of giggles. It was really funny," said Robbie.
So how did she stop laughing to get the scene done? "She stopped it with a kick to my face! That what she stopped it with," quipped Skarsgard.
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