4/10/2013

David Yates' 'Tarzan' gets shut down at Warner Bros.


There's no denying that Warner Bros. has set themselves up as the studio for big blockbusters and franchise films. It seems to be pretty much all they do nowadays. But at the same time, they've been extremely cautious in what gets green lit, recently canning attempted takes on Akira and Paradise Lost, largely over budgetary concerns. Now it appears they're doing it again, as Deadline reports that David Yates' Tarzan film has been shut down.

The Harry Potter director had lined up Alexander Skarsgard and Samuel L. Jackson to play the loinclothed hero and his Civil War veteran colleague, George Washington Williams. Last month Jessica Chastain began circling the female lead, and apparently Jamie Foxx was in contention for another part. That's a line-up that most studios would be willing to shell out the big bucks for, but apparently Warner Bros. was never comfortable with the budget, and attempts to reduce it failed. They've shut down the production office, leaving open the possibility of restarting things in 2014.

The studio also got cold feet over David Dobkin's Arthur & Lancelot, and it should be noted that they've never gone back and tried to jumpstart any of the recent films left in limbo.  What is surprising is that they've done this to Yates, who largely spearheaded the most successful franchise in their history. After losing a rumored $140M on Jack the Giant Slayer, they can hardly be blamed for being cautious.