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Volume 5649

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Edgar Rice Burroughs

ECLECTICA v.2016.02

Eclectica Archive
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Celebrating the 4th Anniversary of the release of
The Countdown to the June 2016 release of

The Legend Of Tarzan Preview
View the Official Trailer HERE

With a rich history that’s now over 100-years-old with over 200 movies with Tarzan in the title, it’s little surprise that Warner Bros. has decided to throw $180 million behind another reboot of the character with The Legend Of Tarzan with director David Yates.

Warner Brothers has such high hopes for The Legend Of Tarzan that they’re releasing it at the height of the summer blockbuster season. They’re betting that it will run for several weeks, amass a hefty box office return, and will also kick start a brand-new lucrative franchise.

The stunning first trailer for The Legend Of Tarzan suggests that the blockbuster will be a moody, thrilling, and action-packed surprise hit of the summer with a modern examination of the titular character and his doting wife Jane.

Rather than starting at the origins of Tarzan in the jungle and working forward in a linear fashion, writers Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer and director David Yates have decided to begin The Legend Of Tarzan with Alexander Skarsgård’s titular character as John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke. It has been years since Lord Greystoke lived in the jungles of Africa and has since become gentrified from a casual life alongside his wife Jane Porter (Margot Robbie) in England. And after being invited back to the Congo to serve as a trade emissary for the British Parliament, Lord Greystoke is thrust back into the life he left behind and begins to turn back into Tarzan. He's a pawn in a deadly convergence of greed and revenge that has been orchestrated by Christoph Waltz’s Captain Leon Rom, a sneaky Belgian.

Warner Bros. hired the two writers to write separate drafts for the film which were then merged together under the direction of acclaimed director, David Yates. Yates' main selling point was his amazing work directing the final four Harry Potter films as well as the prequel, Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them.

Alexander Skarsgård as Tarzan

Alexander Skarsgård the 39-year-old True Blood and Generation Kill actor beat out numerous other heavyweights for the role of Tarzan. 

The Swede set out on a rigorous four-month training regiment to get his body in tip-top shape and he certainly looks the part. Describing his role, Skarsgård has said: 

This is about a man who’s holding back and slowly as you peel off layers, 
he reverts back to a more animalistic state and lets that side of his personality out.

Margot Robbie as Jane Porter

Australian beauty Margot Robbie has made a meteoric rise to becoming a bona-fide Hollywood leading lady. As Tarzan’s wife Jane Porter in The Legend of Tarzan, Margot Robbie is playing a character that is iconic in pop culture history.  Director David Yatehas promised that Margot Robbie's Jane Porter is far from a "passive partner to Tarzan"::

    She's a really strong, assertive, beautifully knowledgable, very sexy modern woman who can more than look after herself. 

She merges her old-school glamour and beauty with a modern toughness and complexity that was previously missing from Jane. Margot Robbie is perfectly suited to both the character and The Legend Of Tarzan.

Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams

The Legend Of Tarzan possesses an impressive supporting cast. Not only is there the Academy Award nominated actors Djimon Hounsou and John Hurt, but there is also Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent.

But it is probably the supporting presence of Samuel L. Jackson that will undoubtedly impress viewers the most. In The Legend Of Tarzan Samuel L. Jackson plays George Washington Williams, the pioneering American Civil War veteran, politician, minister, lawyer and journalist who repeatedly broke ground in African-American history. 

George Washington Williams visited Congo shortly before his death, where he helped to spur an outcry over the treatment of people in the country. This is the first time that George Washington Williams has ever actually appeared on screen. 

Christoph Waltz as Captain Leon Rom

The Legend Of Tarzan has yet another Academy Award winning actor wirh two-time winner Christoph Waltz in the villainous role, playing another character based on a real-person, Leon Rom. 

Rom sounds like a downright despicable individual, as not only has it been speculated that he was the main inspiration for Kurtz in Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness (Apocalypse Now), but he allegedly used to keep severed heads of Africans in his flower bed, and even murdered individuals for the smallest of offenses. 

Having portrayed the SS-leader Hans Landa in Inglorious Basterds and Blofeld in Spectre, Christoph Waltz is quite adept at portraying wicked individuals. But this might just be his most detestable yet.

There is an amazing lineup of potential blockbusters in June and July in 2016:  Finding Dory, Central Intelligence, Independence Day Resurgence, Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond and Jason Bourne. 

The biggest battle, however, is the weekend that The Legend Of Tarzan comes up against Steven Spielberg’s take on Roald Dahl’s celebrated children's story, The BFG

Spielberg's special effects driven, big-budgeted action adventure for all the family, based on an established novel from one of the most beloved writers of recent memory, will be a formidable foe for the Ape-Man.. The Legend Of Tarzan’s only chance of eclipsing it will be if it’s met with impressive critical response. 

History of Tarzan Films
Originally created by Edgar Rice Burroughs years before cinema even evolved into talkies, the first Tarzan story, Tarzan Of The Apes, was released in print in 1912. In the ensuing decades, the feral child that was raised in the African jungle would go on to appear in innumerable novels and stories. Hollywood recognized the mainstream appeal of the character when films were still silent and starting in the 1930s, a popular Tarzan movie franchise and serial was launched that lasted all the way through the 1960s. 

However, since then the appearances of Tarzan on the big-screen has only been sporadic. 1981’s Tarzan, the Ape Man and 1984’s Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes and Disney’s 1999 animated adventure Tarzan all fared well. This could help Warner Bros. in their cinematic cause. Because of the established legacy and identity of Tarzan mixed with the lack of a recent incarnation, audiences should be ready to see a worthwhile Tarzan film.  The first trailer for The Legend Of Tarzan suggests that, for the first time in decades, there will be such a film.

Adapted from 

Film Music Reporter
Hans Zimmer and Rupert Gregson-Williams have taken over scoring duties on the upcoming action adventure The Legend of Tarzan. Mario Grigorov had previously been set to score the film.
Movie Pilot
"The trailer for the upcoming The Legend of Tarzan dropped at the end of last year with our first look at the David Yates directed action adventure, and it actually looks not half bad; especially because it draws heavily from the original Edgar Rice Burroughs Tarzan novels rather than other adaptations. And rather than rehashing the origins again it's going to move forward through the life of Tarzan and Jane, which is a good way to take the franchise at the current time. . . ."
Hollywood Reporter:
Bayard Johnson, who co-wrote the 1998 film Tarzan and the Lost City, died Wednesday in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer. He was 63. Warner Bros.’ Tarzan and the Lost City starred Casper Van Dien as the King of the Jungle in his feature follow-up to Starship Troopers. Earlier, Johnson co-wrote The Second Jungle Book: Mowgli & Baloo (1997), released by TriStar Pictures.
The Debunker Blog: Did Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan Swing from Vines?:
"Why didn't Tarzan visit Jane?" asks the old joke. "Because her vine was busy." You can tell this is an old joke because it requires knowledge of two things that haven't existed in decades: busy signals, and Tarzan movies. But if we as a culture retain any pre-Disney knowledge of the greatest pulp character in literary history, it's probably this: sometimes he does that yell and swings on those vines. Just like the apes that raised him, right? aaa aaaaa aaaaaa

It's true that some apes, like gibbons and orangutans, practice brachiation, that hand-over-hand swinging that gives playground "monkey bars" their simian name. But the African great apes that raised Tarzan don't get around by swinging from branches, and they certainly don't swing from vines, mostly because that would be impossible. About a quarter of plants in tropical forests are thick, woody vines called lianas, but, like other plants, lianas are rooted at the bottom into the soil. As a moment's thought will reveal, that makes them incredibly hard to swing from.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan's creator, may have known this. In his books, Tarzan's vine habit is never mentioned. Instead, the ape-man is a treetop leaper who "could spring twenty feet at the dizzying heights of the forest top" or even "drop twenty feet at a stretch from limb to limb in rapid descent to the ground." Tarzan didn't become a swinger until 1928, when actor Joe Bonomo, who was set to play Tarzan in the silent film serial Tarzan the Mighty, broke his pelvis, and was replaced by a stuntman named Frank Merrill. Merrill wasn't just a bodybuilder who once finished just behind Charles Atlas in an "America's Most Perfectly Developed Man" contest. He was also a two-time national gymnastics champ, and the film leveraged his upper body strength and high-bar abilities to display a new trick: swinging from treetop ropes disguised as vines. When Johnny Weissmuller took over the role in 1932, the vine trick continued—but now performed by a stunt double, circus aerialist Alfred Codona. Weissmuller, after all, was a swimmer, not a gymnast.

David Fury's New Burt Lancaster and Chuck Connors Biographies
David's new Kickstarter campaign has been launched.
He has 30 days to fund both of his new books.
He is reaching out to all the Burt Lancaster and Chuck Connors fans worldwide.
Go to and type in David Fury or Chuck Connors or Burt Lancaster under search
to find the new campaign to fund both of these completed projects.
There is also a short two-minute video.
The cover to Scott Tracy Griffin's second book, 
"Tarzan on Film" (Titan Books) 
to be released on July 5.
Pre-order on Amazon
or at your local bookseller/comic shop.


The Last Living Silent Star: Child Actress Baby Peggy 
She made the Equivalent of $14M a Movie and Lost It All
More in ERBzine at:
ERB and family friend "Baby Peggy" 
One of the last living people 
who knew the author personally.


Lynn "Dejah" Collins 
at this year's Oscars
Co-star of the 2012 John Carter Film.
Jill St. John's contribution to the Tarzan canon
came as child actress Jill Oppenheim,
when she provided voicework on the 1950s Tarzan radio show.

J. Lo of the Jungle

Tom Forman

Wallace Reid
ERB identified Tom Forman as the proper type to play Tarzan in a letter to producer Pliny P. Craft: "I can give you some facial types that will give you an idea of about what I conceive Tarzan to look like though of course it is impossible to explain an ideal. I should say that his face was more the type of Tom Meighan’s or Tom Forman’s but not like Wallace Reid. In other words, I conceive him of having a very strong masculine face and far from a pretty one."
Wallace Reid was born on 15/04/1891 in St. Louis, MO. A stage actor, he made his film debut in 1910, and quickly rose to superstardom. He personified the ideal American man, and specialized in daredevil auto movies. Arguably, Hollywood's first male sex symbol. In 1919 he was seriously injured in a train crash during productions of one of his films. Instead of halting production, he was given morphine. He quickly became an addict. In and out of sanitariums, he continued working. But by the time of his last film in 1922, he was barely able to stand. He died in a sanitarium at the age of 31 on 18/01/1923 in Los Angeles, CA.
~ Scott Tracy Griffin

From the Archive:
Johnny Weissmuller Filming 
Tarzan's Secret Treasure
On Location: Wakulla, Florida
Beginning in 1938, several of the early Tarzan films including "Tarzan's New York Adventure" and "Tarzan's Secret Treasure" starring Johnny Weissmuller were filmed on location in Wakulla Springs. See the rare behind -the-scenes photos in ERBzine at:

Researchers say problems with 
Florida's wild monkeys overstated
Science Journal:  February 20, 2016

"According to Wikepedia (sic), the colony of rhesus macaques was established around Silver Springs in Florida around 1938. The monkeys were released by a tour boat operator to enhance his Jungle Cruise ride. 

"Wikepedia (sic) says a traditional story that the monkeys were released for scenery enhancement in the Tarzan movies that were filmed at that location is false, as the only Tarzan movie filmed in the area, 1939's "Tarzan Finds a Son" contains no rhesus macaques. . ." 

The Marshall Symphony Orchestra and The Marshall Symphony Society 
were proud to have performed the world premiere of guest conductor Kermit Poling’s original score 
set to the classic 1918 silent film Tarzan of The Apes.
The premier was Sunday February 23rd in Baker Auditorium of ETBU’s Ornelas Spiritual Life Center. 
ERB fans had a sneak preview of this enchanting score at Al Bohl's Tarzan Centennnial Celebration
Sue-On and the theatre audience viewing 
Al Bohl's restoration of Tarzan of the Apes
Tarzan of the Apes film restoration debut showing
Jim Sullos, Al Bohl, Kermit Poling, Bill Hillman at the film showing
Kermit wrote the musical score and did narrations.

Buster Crabbe and Dinner Guest

Magic Lantern Films from the 1950s.
The film was projected on a white wall or blanket.

From the Ron de Laat Collection at Tarzan (A history of films, novels, and more)


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Updated Lobby Display for Tarzan and the Lost City


Click for full sizes

Sept. 1962 issue of ”Dolls and Gags”

From the Ward Orndoff Collection

Submitted by John "Bridge" Martin

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