The last time Samuel L. Jackson traipsed off into the jungle he got eaten by velociraptors. But David Yates wants to send him back out there just the same. Yates is eyeing the Avengers star for his upcoming adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' adventure classic Tarzan, which is being set up right now at Warner Bros., the same company that produced Yates' last four films, each of them blockbusters in the Harry Potter franchise.
Yates' involvement in the project has apparently been discussed for months, but we only just got wind of the deal when it was confirmed last week. The new version of the film, the biggest adaptation of the character since the 1999 Disney animated movie, doesn't have a star yet, but Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), Henry Cavill (The Man of Steel), Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim) and Alexander Skarsgard ("True Blood") are all reportedly in the running for the title role. A week later, Variety reports that Yates has zeroed in on Skarsgard as his top choice, and we couldn't be happier. Dude looks great shirtless and is a damned good actor to boot.
But he won't be alone. While we've heard no rumblings about who might play his iconic urbanite love interest Jane yet, Variety also reports that David Yates is looking to Samuel L. Jackson to fill out another lead role. The film's storyline follows the jungle-dwelling Tarzan, years after his return to civilization, who is sent on a mission to the Congo by Queen Victoria, along with a former mercenary named George Washington Williams. Together they'll take on "a warlord who controls a massive diamond mine." Jackson would play the mercenary, in what we can only imagine will be the world's first "Buddy Cop" interpretation of Tarzan (although the character has been adapted to the screen so many times it's possible that we're forgetting about one where that's already happened).
We can't think of a single film that was worse for having Samuel L. Jackson on board, so we're happy to take this as a good sign of things to come. Cast Samuel L. Jackson, Mr. Yates. We dare you. We double dare you.
You can follow William Bibbiani on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani if you can do the Johnny Weismuller yell.