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Watch: The Legend of Tarzan trailer updates classic character, but do audiences care?

Tarzan is back. The iconic pop culture figure is set to return to the silver screen on July 1 in The Legend of Tarzan, and a second trailer for the film dropped Thursday morning.

The new film, directed by David Yates (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows) certainly boasts big names in the cast. Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, and Samuel L. Jackson all join Alexander Skarsgård who plays the title character, but it will be interesting to see what this character still means to modern audiences. Check out the new trailer.

It has been nearly 17 years since the last major Tarzan movie, an animated Disney flick that received decent reviews and spawned its share of related media. As a kindergartener when that movie came out, I remember its popularity among myself and my peers. But that appeal faded as the character has basically fallen out of the zeitgeist.

The Lord of the Jungle has been with us since Tarzan and the Apes was first published in 1912, and your average citizen will undoubtedly be familiar with the general mythology surrounding Tarzan. However, a lack of prominence in big-budget productions has caused Tarzan to fade from the minds of many. For those born after 1999, or past the age of 13 when the animated film came out, Tarzan is either a relic of the past or a children’s character.

So far, the two trailers released indicate this version of Tarzan will be aimed at much more mature audiences. Although just snippets, the trailers seemed reminiscent of the 2005 King Kong remake. That update of a classic tale was largely received favorably by critics and audiences alike, and those behind The Legend of Tarzan are undoubtedly hoping the same will be true for their take on a classic tale.

Tarzan might be a cultural afterthought now, but a well-executed summer blockbuster is just the thing to put him back prominently in the conversation.

Ben Sieck

About Ben Sieck

Ben is a recent graduate of Butler University where he served as Managing Editor and Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Butler Collegian. He currently resides in Indianapolis.

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