For those of you who have yet to see Alexander Skarsgard’s pectorals, fear not! If you’ve managed to miss the Swedish hunk’s shirtless turn in True Blood, among others, you will have another chance to see him strip down for a role. He’s being considered to star as one of the more shirtless characters in cinematic history.
That’s right. According to /Film, Skarsgard is currently the frontrunner to star in David Yates’ Tarzan. WB’s adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ classic character – you know, the one who swings on vines and emits that yowl that brings the elephants and monkeys and English roses running? – has been a long time in coming. But it’s here, and Skarsgard is leading the troupe for the role of the Ape Man himself.
The script will reportedly follow John Clayton III – that’s Tarzan – after he has returned to society from the wilds. Queen Victoria requests that he help a former mercenary named George Washington Williams take down a diamond-mine controlling warlord in the Congo. So, it’s like King Solomon’s Mines, only not.
In addition to Alexander Skarsgard, Samuel L. Jackson is being courted to play the ex-mercenary Williams, a Civil War veteran. While neither Skarsgard nor Jackson are confirmed, they seem to the frontrunners at this time.
Now, I would be all about Skarsgard finally breaking through to movie leading man status and Tarzan seems tailor-made for him. But, my biggest concern is the plot. Edgar Rice Burroughs’ character has left behind a very questionable racial legacy – is casting a Swedish hunk and sending him after a warlord in the Congo really the most sensitive way to handle a very problematic character? I don’t know, but I do wonder.
In any case, nothing has yet been set in stone. WB has not yet officially greenlit Tarzan, and the actors are as yet only being circled. The plan right now is for filming to get underway in the Summer of 2013. By then we should know if Alexander Skarsgard will grace the screen with his shirtless presence.
As always, we’ll keep an eye on casting decisions as they develop.