November 9, 2012

The Search For Tarzan

Who will don the notorious leopard skinned loin cloth? I have always found it interesting when the names of actors who audition for certain parts are leaked. Usually, it's very hush hush except when it's a part that a lot of people are vying for (and the search for Christian Grey continues...)

With that being said I was rather surprised by the shortlist of actors who could possibly play Tarzan. Charlie Hunnam, Tom Hardy, Alexander Skarsgard, and Henry Cavill, were named as the top casting choices for the jungle man and according to Anne Thompson of IndieWire, director David Yates is already meeting with Hunnam, Skarsgard, and Cavill while Warner Brothers is eyeing Hardy.

Now I am fond of Skarsgard, Hunnam, and Hardy as public figures while I feel that Cavill has potential to be a great leading man (waiting for 'Man of Steel' to see how he does. I hear some say he's great while others have called his performances 'wooden'.) Since I am more familiar with 3 out of the 4 actors, I have my own personal opinions on who I think could benefit and pull off this role. David Yates is best known for directing the past 4 Harry Potter films so the guy knows his stuff. I don't think this is going to be some cheesy melodrama with a beefcake leading man with a waxed chest and oiled pecs. I can see a darker Tarzan. More rugged and less kitchy. I mean when you have Tom Hardy as your top choice you know this isn't going to be a Jungle version of Nicholas Sparks.

Let me just start off and say what I think about the possible candidates:

Hunnam: Yes.
Hardy: No.
Skarsgard: No.
Cavill: Yes.

Whew. That was easy.

Hunnam: I started catching up on Sons of Anarchy this summer and I was immediately hooked. The quasi-Hamlet driven plot line has so much blood and action it's downright twisted. However, the show's success can also be pinpointed to the show's lead Charlie Hunnam whose deep guttural voice (which tries-sometimes in vain-to hide an accent that can only be described as 'one of a kind') and intense glares has won over a sub-section of fans (mostly women.) You see Hunnam is a rare bird. If you read his interviews throughout his career he seems to be all too aware of the dark side of the entertainment industry and it's 'bullshit'. He's an artist. He's not in it for the fame. He aspires to be low key like Daniel Day Lewis (don't we all wish we could be like Daniel Day Lewis, sweetie?) He's the type of actor who could've been big by now, but has chosen his roles with the utmost procession (in other words he didn't choose every script that has been thrown at him.)  He's got the physicality and the emotional depth to play the part. He keeps in shape and would probably have no problem doing his own stunts. He also is a good actor. Despite his ever changing accent on Sons of Anarchy he can be mincing and dangerous one minute and bring on the water works the next minute. If given the part I can see Charlie definitely making the character his own. VERDICT: YES.

Hardy: Oh how I adore Hardy. Handsome, insightful, talented, recovering from a dark past, and a sense of humor which reaches the epitome of British wit. The man rocks. Which is why I'm not surprised that Warner is itching for him to take the role. His career is hot right now and you can't blame the company for wanting a piece of the action. Hardy has one thing that the other 3 don't have. He is appealing to both men (gay and straight) and women. He's a guy who isn't afraid to show his sensitive side but will curb stomp you to the ground if you act up and push his buttons (Hardy is a total hood by the way.) He hasn't had a leading man role yet (this will change when Mad Max comes out....or at least manages to finish filming on time.) However, out of all the guys Hardy is probably the safest bet on box office success. The guy is always trying something new and I could totally see him as Tarzan. However, the guy is BUSY. Super busy. Like every 2 weeks he's attached to some kind of project. Something tells me that he isn't going to try and open his schedule to make way for a Tarzan remake. Also, I just can't see him wanting to do it. This role totally seems like a role for an up and comer and not an established A-lister like Hardy. Maybe a few years ago when he was just breaking out, but now he has joined the big leagues. VERDICT: NO.

Skarsgard: I watch True Blood for Alexander Skarsgard. If the show had killed him off I would've been out by now. He is the sexy blonde viking which has millions of women watching every week in the summer. Being the oldest offspring of Stellan Skarsgard, he has made a solid name for himself in the entertainment community. With one quasi-high profile relationship and a big blockbuster under his belt he is still climbing the ladder. Alex has all the fixings of a Hollywood golden boy. Tall (so tall), handsome, blonde, charismatic, and a goofy, but charming smile. It's all there. However, in my opinion, he has yet to shine or showcase what he can really do outside of True Blood. Something physical like Tarzan could do the trick, but I just can't see it. Maybe, because he's getting up there in age or maybe it's because of something else I can't pinpoint, but when I see Alex, I don't see him as 'wild' like Hardy or Hunnam. Even when he's scruffy, he still seems so clean cut and, dare I say it, a tad generic to me. I really do like Alex and I am excited to see what he does after True Blood ends, but I personally don't think Tarzan is it. VERDICT: NO.

Cavill: Now here is a name that I can definitely go with. British export Henry Cavill who will being making a big debut in 'Man of Steel' has already started some chatter in the film community. I don't  know much about him, but I do sense that he is so fresh on the scene that it may be good for him. He's a blank slate. This could give him a chance to broaden his target audience and launch his career. He is the youngest of the bunch which I think gives him a slight advantage (again they may want a fresh, new face) and if 'Man of Steel' takes off then the studio would've hit the jackpot with him. Also, he is extremely handsome w/wo facial hair so playing a jungle man will def. bring out the women at the very least. Not sure about the men, but I think Cavill has a very masculine air about him which I think will draw men as well. VERDICT: YES.

What do you think?

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