Director David Yates’ upcoming film The Legend of Tarzan has kept a relatively low profile throughout production, but with the movie’s 2016 release date on the horizon, the marketing machine is starting to warm up. This week, we got our first official look at True Blood actor Alexander Skarsgard as the eponymous hero of the film, Tarzan.
The first two images from the film arrived online courtesy of USA Today, and were accompanied by an interview with the film’s director and star in which the pair discussed the process of bringing Edgar Rice Burroughs’ iconic jungle hero back to the big screen.
“It’s almost the opposite of the classic tale, where it’s about taming the beast,” said Skarsgård of the film’s storyline, which finds the former jungle hero returning to Africa after a decade spent living as a nobleman with his wife, Jane (played by The Wolf of Wall Street actress Margot Robbie). “This is about a man who’s holding back and slowly as you peel off the layers, he reverts back to a more animalistic state and lets that side of his personality out.”
The solo photo of Skarsgard as Tarzan was accompanied by an image of Skarsgard and Robbie having a moment together in the heart of the jungle.
Along with Skarsgard and Robbie, the film’s cast also includes Djimon Hounsou (Gladiator) as Chief Mbonga, Samuel L. Jackson (Django Unchained) as George Washington Williams, and Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds) as Captain Leon Rom, the film’s primary antagonist.
The character Tarzan made his first appearance in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ 1912 novel Tarzan of the Apes, and went on to appear in more than 20 subsequent novels and a long list of television series, movies, radio serials, and other projects.
The Legend of Tarzan is scheduled to hit theaters July 1, 2016.