Stephen Sommers To Direct Tarzan

Stepping into Guillermo del Toro's shoes

For a long while now, a revamped big-screen version of Tarzan had been near the top of Guillermo del Toro’s increasingly crowded to-do list. In fact, he had even engaged the services of screenwriter John Colley on the movie.

But now del Toro is fully preoccupied with The Hobbit, producer Jerry Weintraub is pressing ahead with the movie anyway, and he’s already zeroed in on the director he wants to replace del Toro.

Stephen Sommers.

Yes, it seems that once Sommers finishes work on his current movie, next summer’s G.I. Joe, he’ll swing across to Warner Bros. and begin work on bringing Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Lord of the Apes back to the big screen.

Sommers will co-write the screenplay with Stuart Beattie (who wrote G.I. Joe) .

Of course, there will be some internet fanboys bemoaning this choice, but we’d advise them to hold fire. After all, Del Toro told Empire last year that he hoped to make his take on the Burroughs’ source material very pulpy – and if there’s one thing at which the director of Deep Rising excels, it’s pulp. So let’s hope he’s going to adhere to del Toro’s preference for pulp.

Furthermore, G.I. Joe looks like it should be a blast – and it can only be a good sign that he is so keen to reteam with Beattie. So perhaps Sommers has his creative mojo back after the horror of Van Helsing.

It’s all early days yet, so we won’t know anything for a while about Sommers’ plans. But we have many, many questions - for instance, is this going to be a Greystoke-style faithful adaptation of Burroughs’ Tarzan Of The Apes, or a reimagining of the character, a la Sommers’ remodelling of The Mummy franchise?