Sony Pictures has acquired film rights to Tarzan in a deal with the estate of original book author Edgar Rice Burroughs. A new project is soon expected to be in development, which would reportedly reimagine the character to modern times.
According to Deadline, there is no writer, director, or producer linked to the project. The well-known character was first established by Burroughs in 1912, and the author continued to write Tarzan stories into the 1940s. Many film and television adaptations have been made on the character.
The earliest film adaptation, Tarzan of the Apes, debuted in 1918, almost as old as Hollywood itself. It has also spawned numerous Broadway and radio adaptations in addition to a Disney animated film from 1999 and a popular Filmation animated series from the 1970s. The most recent work on Tarzan is the Alexander Skarsgard starrer The Legend of Tarzanwhich came out in 2016
Tarzan is an abandoned boy who is reared by apes in an African jungle. The story follows him growing into a young man and falling in love with an English woman named Jane.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the rights agreement is additionally intriguing because Tarzan is an IP that exists in both the public and private spheres. The earlier tales are unquestionably in the public domain, but Burroughs continued to pen adventures well into the 1940s, with several tales finding publication well after his death in 1950.