Another Franchise No One Likes Is Being Re-Rebooted And There’s No Stopping It

Sony is rebooting Tarzan.

By Britta DeVore | Published

There’s nothing Hollywood currently loves more than a reboot. While we gear up for a new set of stories from the American Pie franchise and a sequel series to the fan-favorite smash hit That ‘70s Show, Sony is hoping to strike big by resurrecting a story that hasn’t seen success in over two decades. The studio has swung into the rights of the story of Tarzan, marking the beginning of the jungle man’s cinematic rebirth. 

It’s been well over a century since the Edgar Rice Burroughs novels were released back in 1912 – the same year the Titanic sank for those of us who can’t help but remember that (useless) piece of trivia. The story of Tarzan goes a little something like this – an orphaned boy finds himself marooned deep in the jungle and is brought up by some very loving apes. When an explorer named Jane stumbles upon him, it’s love at first sight with the two quickly setting out for England to be married.

It’s in this bustling new world that Tarzan learns how animalistic the human world is, eventually reaching the end of his vine and returning to Africa. Of course, in the meantime, hijinks ensue as he tries to settle into his new surroundings, soon realizing that the “civilized” world isn’t for him. 

Since 1912, the story has found itself as a prominent member of pop culture. From radio shows, comics, televised productions, Broadway musicals, and, of course, a slew of movies, Tarzan has found a place in the hearts of millions. With all this in mind, it’s no shock as to why Sony is hoping to make a buck or several million off of some sort of upcoming project.

But, to make sure they become the kings of the jungle, they’ll need to look at the history of Tarzan and what’s worked and what hasn’t for the franchise. For example, films like 1932’s Tarzan the Ape Man, 1984’s Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes, and 1999s animated Tarzan, have made the studios backing them more than a pretty penny. But, when the franchise was rebooted in 2016 with the Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie-led The Legend of Tarzan, it was a swing and a miss for Warner Bros. 


With this in mind, Sony will need to have their ducks in a row when it comes to resurrecting Tarzan from his slumber deep in the jungle. But, if the studio can get the swing of things, they’ll be set up for a massive success with the franchise’s fan following who are ready for another jungle-man-meets-girl story. Heck, the story of the man raised by apes was such a familiar piece of legend that it spawned a spoofy spinoff, George of the Jungle, that was first a television show and then shaped into a Brendan Fraser-led film in the late 1990s. 

To make sure they land on their feet, Sony will need to fix several things about Tarzan in order to make his a more marketable story to those in this century. With the original texts under the microscope for colonialism, white savior complex, and racial and gender-based stereotypes, Sony will need to be careful with how they proceed with their newest acquisition.