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Volume 3423

A 21st Century Adaptation of the Copyrighted Character Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs
News Items from ERBzine News and ERBzine Eclectica over the Last Year

A Compendium of facts and quizzes 
to inspire lessons that can be based around
using Internet and a wealth of books, films and comics.
A  New Eco-Hero for the PlayStation Generation 
as Tarzan Returns to his Roots In new books
London, April 2010. History is littered with examples of brands trying to reinvent themselves to appeal to a new generation, but for one of literature’s most successful franchises, all that’s required is a return to its roots – literally.

Since he first swung onto the world stage in 1912 the bare-chested, savage yet principled character of Tarzan has struck a chord with generation after generation as he fights to protect the jungle, its resources and its inhabitants. Now, almost a hundred years later, a partnership between the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate and one of Britain’s hottest writers is set to bring Tarzan the Eco Warrior to the PlayStation generation, with a new series of Tarzan novels.

“We’ve seen plenty of examples of literary brands being reinvented by new writers anxious to engage new young audiences, but it can be dangerous territory” said branding expert KD Adamson. “However, in the case of Tarzan there’s no search for a new angle: he’s been saving the planet for nearly a hundred years. On this occasion it’s a question of the audience catching up with Tarzan rather than the other way around.”

The power of a global brand isn’t an absolute guarantee of success and before committing to the new series, the first of which ‘Tarzan, The Greystoke Legacy’ is set to appear in 2011, the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate looked carefully for an author who could match the vivid storytelling which originally brought Tarzan to life and inspired millions including environmentalist Jane Goodall.

Andy Briggs, whose credits include the highly successful ‘ and’ book series, now in negotiation for an animated TV series, and a string of scriptwriting credits for the likes of Disney and Paramount Pictures has already been involved with iconic franchises such as Highlander and Judge Dredd. For him, the character of Tarzan and his beliefs are ripe for re-booting. Tarzan remains the iconic hero, the man raised by apes and protector of the wild but in the 21st century he is edgier and more feral. 

“Tarzan has more perils to face now: warring rebels, poaching of endangered animals, illegal logging and the decline of the environment are all issues that resonate with younger audiences” explains Andy. “He combines untamed savagery and power with a deep morality and love for the environment which genuinely speaks to them, as does the perennial love story of Tarzan and Jane, although Jane now carries an iPod.”

The combination of strong writing, a global icon and the up-coming Tarzan centenary provide the perfect springboard for what looks likely to be a major series of books with an inevitable cross-over to film and merchandising. It is a combination which Julian Friedmann, agent to both Andy Briggs and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. believes has all the right ingredients.

“Avatar was a huge movie but the story behind it was really about respecting and protecting indigenous species and communities at the expense of profit, and those are Tarzan’s brand values in a nutshell” said Julian Friedmann. “We will have the first chapters ready shortly and will be presenting them to publishers at the London Book Fair in a couple of week’s time.”

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. 

A family-owned corporation, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. has been in existence since 1923 and is located in Tarzana California. Both the corporation and the town in which it resides, Tarzana, owe their existence to the imaginative talent and business acumen of one man, Edgar Rice Burroughs who by the time of his death in 1950 had penned almost 70 novels and over 40 short stories. There is not a facet of popular culture which Tarzan has not explored at one time or another during the past eighty-some years, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. continues to oversee the marketing of Mr. Burroughs' ever-popular creations bringing Tarzan to new generations and audiences worldwide as it prepares for the literary centenary of the ‘ape-man’ in 2012. 

The Blake Friedmann Literary, Film & TV Agency

The Blake Friedmann Literary, Film & TV Agency is based in London UK with a strong network of sub-agents worldwide and currently represents over 200 book, film and TV writers and directors across the globe including Peter James, Sheila O’Flanaghan, Barbara Erskine,  Tess Stimson,  Gilbert Adair,  Deon Meyer, Lawrence Norfolk, Roger Spottiswoode and Andy Briggs. The agency continues to be guided by the founders Carole Blake and Julian Friedmann who  are well known and respected within the industry and, together with their ten colleagues, work closely with clients through the respective editorial, contractual, and marketing processes that lead to publication, or broadcast or cinema release.  Both Carole and Julian write, speak and comment widely on publishing, film and television. 

 Press and Media enquiries: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc & Blake Friedmann Literary, Film & TV Agency
Stark Moore Macmillan PR (London UK)
T: + 44 (0)20 7127 4262
Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy - Coming in June 2011!
As we reported in ERBzine News last April:
2012 sees the centennial anniversary of the publication of Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs. As part of the run-up to this milestone, Andy Briggs has been writing a new series of Tarzan books, the first of which, Tarzan: the Legacy of Greystoke, is due to be published in June 2011 by Faber & Faber. 

Set in modern Africa, Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy follows a re-imagined Tarzan who is edgier, untamed and feral while remaining the iconic hero, raised by apes and protector of the wild. Among the 21st-century difficulties the new Tarzan will face: warring guerrillas, poaching of endangered animals, illegal logging and the decline of the environment. The story's original characters will appear in slightly different form: Jane is a 14-year-old girl accustomed to technology, Robert Canler is a runaway with a mysterious past, and cannibal tribes are replaced by rebel guerrillas.

Synopsis: What lies in the depths of the jungle? Escaping a dark secret, Robbie Canler joins an illegal logging team in the Congo jungle. Now they"re under siege from a sinister force. When the daughter of the camp's boss, Jane Porter, goes missing they assume bloodthirsty rebel soldiers have kidnapped her. Robbie sets out on a rescue mission - unaware he is being watched... Are the rumours of a feral man raised by wild apes true? If so, can the mysterious untamed savage be trusted to help them?

Faber signs "next generation" Tarzan series
The Bookseller ~ June 29, 2010
UK publisher Faber has signed a new children's series featuring the "next generation Tarzan", with the full backing of the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate. Set in modern Africa, the series will be written by Andy Briggs, author of the books and the Villain.Net "anti-series". The first title will be released in 2011, with the second book launched during the official Tarzan centenary celebrations in 2012. 

Aimed at nine-11+ readers, Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy follows a re-imagined Tarzan designed to appeal to a contemporary audience. Faber said he would be "edgier, untamed and feral while remaining the iconic hero, raised by apes and protector of the wild. However, living in the 21st century Tarzan has more perils to face than during his original conception: warring guerrillas, poaching of endangered animals, illegal logging and the decline of the environment to name just a few". 

The original characters will remain, albeit in a slightly different form: Jane is a 14-year-old girl, used to "technology and civilisation", while Robert Canler is a runaway with a mysterious past, who sees Jane as a replacement sister; the cannibal tribes have been replaced by rebel guerrillas.

James Sullos, president of Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc,: "Our desire to bring the Tarzan legend into the 21st century matches perfectly with Andy Briggs's imagination and talent for adding adventure and suspense to the Greystoke legacy.  We are anxiously awaiting the first instalment."

Reprint from: ERBzine Eclectica ~ 2010.06
Tarzan set to swing into 21st century with new series of novels
Edgar Rice Burroughs estate backs new series of children's books
by author Andy Briggs
Designed to bring the bare-chested jungle hero up to date ~ June 30, 2010

Jane has an iPod and Tarzan is facing up to environmental catastrophe: following literary excursions into the childhoods of James Bond and Sherlock Holmes, readers are now set to venture into the teenage years of a 21st-century Lord of the Jungle.

Tarzan first swung onto the page in 1912 in Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan of the Apes. After his parents Lord and Lady Greystoke, marooned in west Africa, were killed, their baby was adopted by a great ape and raised as one of them, before falling for another castaway, Jane Porter. The star of 24 books by Burroughs, the bestselling story of the "brown, sweat-streaked, muscular" Tarzan has also been adapted for film, comics, television and radio.

Now the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate has backed a new children's series about the bare-chested hero, set in modern Africa and aimed at nine to 11-year-olds. By Andy Briggs, author of the and books, the series is promising to "bring Tarzan the Eco Warrior to the PlayStation generation" as an "edgier and more feral" character. Briggs, a long-time fan of Tarzan, believes the character is ripe for a reboot. "I think now more than ever Tarzan is a relevant character," he said this morning. "He was the first eco-warrior, and I wanted to hold on to that."

Set in and around the Congo, the Tarzan of the new books will be aged around 17 or 18, while Jane, whose father is part of an illegal logging expedition, gets lost in the jungle at around 14 years old. "The original Jane is a classic character, but she's not a modern woman," said Briggs. "I wanted her to be tough, to be Tarzan's equal. Not physically - she's not jungle savvy - but I wanted her to be a tough kid. She's had a very hard life but she's been brought up with technology – she's part of the Facebook generation, she owns an iPod. But as she goes deeper into the jungle, she sees its beauty." The first book in the new series, Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy, will be published by Faber & Faber in 2011, followed by the second in 2012, during official Tarzan centenary celebrations.

"I didn't want to steamroll all over classic characters," said Briggs. "I think fans of the original books will be pleased – I'm not just straying off and doing something completely different, it's a nod to the original. It's the same action adventure but with a more modern storyline, and hopefully feels fresh and new."


An Interview with Andy Briggs
Write Away Interviews ~ September 2010
The creator of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burroughs, died in 1950, and the law of copyright is a complete mess - different in the US, where Tarzan is in the public domain, like in Australia as well I think, unlike the rest of the world. And then ‘Tarzan’ is a trademark now, and you cannot do anything with the name. It’s a quagmire…a bit of minefield.

I had the idea of re-launching and rebranding the character for a modern audience, and everyone said forget it, it won’t happen. But I went ahead anyway and directly approached the Burroughs estate - who are the nicest people to work with - and they were interested!

 I went over to LA to meet them, at the brilliantly named Tarzana , and they really bought in to the rebranding idea. What I didn’t realise at the time [2009] was that 2012 was the centenary of the publication of the first Tarzan story, and we, the estate and I, have been working together in secret on the idea. There were various offers and deals, but now the first new title will be published by Faber next summer.

Weirdly enough, despite the fact that the last live action movie was Greystoke in 1984 [ERBzine: TARZAN AND THE LOST CITY 1998], and then there was the Disney cartoon version in 1999, the kids still know who Tarzan is and can all do the yodel. Despite the fact that it comes from the 1930 black and white movies!

 I’m going to write the first two, and we’ll see where it goes. I don’t mind if other people come in, as long as there’s something I’m moving on to…for example, were developing the Hero/Villain TV show at the moment and I’m quite happy - if I can do the pilot and produce and oversee it - for people to write all the other shows, as long as it keeps within the feel and the tone of the series. More>>>

Andy Briggs has written film and TV screenplays, comic book scripts and novels, often all at the same time. He’s probably best known in the children’s publishing world for and, his two ‘parallel worlds’ superhero series from OUP. 
See the April 2010 News Release
Andy Briggs will be rebooting the TARZAN franchise in a brand new series of books.  Bringing Edgar Rice Burroughs classic eco-warrior into the 21st century, the new franchise looks to kick off next year in preparation for the 2012 centenary of Tarzan’s first appearance!

THE FIRST DRAFT! ~ September 17, 2010
Today saw another tick in the life-box of things I've always wanted to achieve, that being write a TAZAN book.  I completed the first draft today with a huge sigh of relief.  I have been living with this story for the last year and a half in which time I had to approach the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate for permission to launch an official re-boot of the character, then I had to prepare sample chapters, story break downs and truck loads of enthusiasm as we went out to publishers.  And now, after a great research trip to Africa last year, I have finished!

Well, not quite finished.  I’m fully aware of the changes that lie ahead that transforms a first draft into a final draft, but I’m ready for that.  Today I had the simple pleasure of sitting back and reading the story in full for the first time.  It was also the chance to sit back and listen to a different playlist on iTunes.  When I write, I like to listen to music that puts me in the mood of the story.  I feel it can seep into the writing and help texture scenes and give them that little emotional boost.  For Tarzan my playlist consisted of: 

Congo (Jerry Goldsmith), Avatar (James Horner), Might Joe Young (James Horner), King Kong (James Newton Howard), Jurassic Park 2 (John Williams), Jurassic Park 3 (Don Davis) and selected tracks from Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (John Williams), Casino Royale (David Arnold) and The 13th Warrior (Graeme Ravell’s unused score)

In between that I was fielding calls with the Sunday Times who are doing a feature on Tarzan this weekend, so be sure to check that out.


From ERBzine Eclectica v.2010.10
Submitted by Laurence Dunn
Tarzan, Lord of the iPod Jungle
Traditional Tarzan is being revamped for the 21st century
Sunday Times ~ September 19, 2010
Me Tarzan, you Facebook girl. Nearly a century after he first appeared swinging through the jungle, Tarzan is being updated for the Internet age.

The hunk in a loincloth is turning into a 21st-century eco-warrior, while his companion Jane has become a 14-year-old on Facebook, with an iPod and a mobile.

The new characters appear in a reworking of the Tarzan story by Andy Briggs, a children's author and screenwriter, who is being allowed to update the story by the estate of Tarzan's creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs. The writer introduced the vine-swinging hero in 1914 in his novel Tarzan of the Apes.

"I'd always been a huge Tarzan fan, and simply felt that a rebooting - as I call it - of the story, to relate it to people of today, could work," said Briggs. "This is Tarzan for the PlayStation generation."

Briggs, who is sending his completed book to Burroughs's estate this weekend for review, decided that his Tarzan would be "edgier and more feral" than the original, and deeply concerned about the destruction of is environment in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His Jane is also decidedly modern.

Briggs's plot involves Jane's father, Archie, and his friend Phil. In Burroughs's version they were a couple of amiable academics, but in Briggs's tale they are involved in illegal logging. Jane hates what her father is doing, so she and Tarzan plot to stop the trees being chopped down for profit.

Despite the modernisation, Briggs says he has tried to stay true to Burroughs's beliefs and characters. For example, there is no ape called Cheeta, because he first appeared in the Johnny Weissmuller films, not the books. Briggs added: "I certainly do not want clichés like Jane swinging from trees, let alone any 'Me Tarzan you Jane' remarks."

In fact that phrase was in neither the books nor the films. It is thought to come from a remark Weissmuller made to the actress Maureen O'Sullivan as he helped her lift a heavy suitcase from her car boot.

 See earlier reports in ERBzine News
Also refer to

From ERBzine Eclectica v.2010.10
Update from Andy Briggs on the New Tarzan Novel: 
The book is officially out on June 2nd and we are launching it at the Hay Literary Festival (which is open to the public). More UK tour dates as they appear can be found on
Most notable ones for the public are: June 5th The Wychwood Festival  ~ June 16th Bristol Zoo ~August 28th-29th Edinburgh Literary Festival

Tarzan the Greystoke Legacy is available for pre-order at the Amazon sites in the UK, Canada and the USA. The books will probably slowly start appearing in UK stores from the end of this week. Amazon always deliver first.   It will be out a month later in Canada. Kindle books are also available to pre-order across Amazon, released the same time.

Exclusive: Tarzan fans in Israel will be able to get the Hebrew version from Kinneret.  They were one of the first countries to bid!  We are not sure of the release date, but will keep you posted.

We are donating money to the YEAR OF THE APES campaign, which is run by EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria) - which will help conservation for apes around the globe - from Orang-utans in Borneo, to Chimps, Bonobos, Gibbons, and of course, Gorillas, in Africa. This will come from the cover price of every book sold.

Exclusive: The second book will be out 5th January 2012. It will be called: TARZAN: THE JUNGLE WARRIOR

Tarzan: The Greysroke Legacy by Andy Briggs
Paperback: 240 pages ~ List Price: CDN$ 12.00 
Publisher: Faber And Faber Ltd. (July 26 2011) 
ISBN-10: 057127238X  ~ ISBN-13: 978-0571272389 
Price: CDN$ 10.80 and eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping 
What lies in the depths of the jungle? Escaping a dark secret, Robbie Canler joins an illegal logging team in the Congo jungle. Now they"re under siege from a sinister force. When the daughter of the camp's boss, Jane Porter, goes missing they assume bloodthirsty rebel soldiers have kidnapped her. Robbie sets out on a rescue mission - unaware he is being watched...Are the rumours of a feral man raised by wild apes true? If so, can the mysterious untamed savage be trusted to help them? 

About the Author
Andy began his writing career working on Hollywood movie projects, such as Freddy Vs Jason and Foreverman for Spider-Man creator Stan Lee and legendary producer Robert Evans. He has written several graphic novels, including the horror-thriller Ritual and Kong King of Skull Island. His first children's books were the eight part and series for Oxford University Press. He's currently working on several exciting TV and feature projects in between his books. Tarzan has been a passion from childhood and he's thrilled to now be writing and updating the legendary hero. 


.From ERBzine News: Archive 31
Tarzan author swings into town
The Courier ~ May 18, 2011
Hollywood screenwriter and author Andy Briggs thrilled Perth pupils with his reworking of the Tarzan tales during a promotional tour in the town this week.
A donation from each Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy copy sold will go towards the Year of the Ape campaign, backed by zoos across Europe, to help save endangered apes. Andy, who writes the and series, has worked on numerous movies and TV shows in Hollywood and around the world.
Author Andy Briggs launches new Tarzan book in Kilsyth
Cumbernauld News  ~ May 25, 2011
20/05/2011 Scotia Books - Children's author Andy Briggs launches new Tarzan bookKILSYTH was the scene for the relaunch of one of popular culture’s most famous heroes last week. It might be a far cry from the deepest darkest Congo, but nevertheless Tarzan, Lord of the Apes has had his career revived right here with the launch of a new book.

Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote the original Tarzan stories between 1912 and 1965. Wanting to celebrate the forthcoming centenary, the Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate agreed to allow author and screenwriter Andy Briggs to “reboot” the character, bringing him up to date for a new generation of readers. But rather than a glitzy affair in London the book’s official launch was secured by small independent bookstore Scotia Books following meetings at industry events. Andy was keen to promote his books in Scotland and accepted an invitation from Scotia to launch his book with them. A tour of local schools followed with Andy meeting pupils and talking about Tarzan.

“Everyone knew who Tarzan is, he’s a big part of popular culture,” said Andy. “Most were familiar with the Disney version but didn’t know much about the other screen versions. “Certainly they’d never cracked open one of Burroughs’ books and read that.” And this, says lifelong Tarzan fan Andy, is why it was important to bring Tarzan up to date.

“He is still the Lord of Greystoke, and Lady Jane is still there too, but now she has an iPod and Facebook and is much more like the people who will read the story. Tarzan himself is also different - much as the Batman films changed him from the camp ‘60s version to something much darker, I have made Tarzan far darker, very animalistic.” The setting is also very much today’s Congo. “It is rife with illegal diamond mining, constant warfare and deforestation, a place full of danger which makes it the perfect setting for Tarzan,” said Andy.

Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy is available everywhere, including Kindle, and donations from every sale going to the EAZA Ape Campaign. This seeks to help save critically endangered ape species from poachers, disease and habitat loss.

Tarzan author swings into action ~ July 17, 2011
Author Andy Briggs visited two Boston schools recently.
He attended Tower Road and St Thomas’ primary schools to promote his reworking of the children’s tale Tarzan, written to celebrate the characters’ 100th birthday. He is pictured with some of the Tower Road pupils. The event was organised by Waterstone's. DJ

Andy Briggs on Friday 17th June. He is in Boston to promote his reboot of 'Tarzan'.
It is an official reboot to celebrate Tarzan's 100th birthday next year.
He will be at Tower Road and at St Thomas' primary.
Tarzan: The Greystoke Legacy by Andy Briggs
Reviewer: Robert James
TheBookbag ~ June 2011
Summary: Thrilling 'reboot' of the Tarzan character plunges him and Jane into modern Africa amongst loggers, rebels and the usual dangerous animals. Fantastic, both for newcomers and established fans.
Pages: 304  Date: June 2011
Publisher: Faber Children's Books
Author's website
ISBN: 978-0571272389

Robbie Canler is on the run. From what, it takes us a while to find out, but it's clear that it's something bad when the alternative is working for an illegal logging team in the jungle of the Congo. The work is tough at the best of times, and when things start going wrong for the team, it's definitely not the best of times. And then Jane Porter, his boss's daughter, disappears... Can she be found? And why do all these strange things keep happening to the loggers? It's almost as if there was a weird presence in the jungle.

I should admit straight away that I'm not particularly familiar with Tarzan. I know the very very basics, including the famous line Me Tarzan. You Jane being a misquote, but that was about it before reading this book. Thankfully, Briggs has made it very accessible to novices like myself, while a quick check of reviews of the original Edgar Rice Burroughs novels shows that he's stuck firmly to the spirit of those books.

On that note, I have to say that the decision to set this in modern times as a 'reboot' rather than do a prequel as various authors have done with other classic characters recently works really well. It's easy to identify with Robbie, the villains - loggers, poachers and rebels - are completely believable products of our times, and Jane is a great modern-day heroine.

So, good choice of setting, but even more impressive is the way Briggs introduces his lead character. Right at the start of the novel the lord of the jungle dispenses summary justice to a group of posters, killing them brutally, and it's clear that this is a no-holds-barred read with a really wild star. Having said that, it's not particularly gory - the violence is present but never overly explicit, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to mature primary school readers as well as secondary school students. I really enjoyed Briggs' fast-paced writing style, the characters were well-developed, with the subplot of just what Robbie was running from being intriguing, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next in this series.

High recommendation to fans of thrilling adventures! It's also got enough about the destruction of the jungle to be genuinely thought-provoking and open younger readers' eyes to the problems some countries have with these kind of activities.

NEXT : PART II: A Review and Interview

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