A Very Silly Post: If We Were to Remake Tarzan in India, Who Would Play the Leads?

It’s Edgar Rice Burroughs birthday! He wrote the Tarzan books, which I love. And he is from Chicago, which makes him even better. And a distant connection was married to his great great grandson, who was completely boring and respectable and Old Money since the family kind of forgot all their wealth came from cheap dime novels after a few generations.

Tarzan!!!!! Shipwrecked with his parents as a baby in remote jungles, his parents dead when he was a toddler, adopted by a female ape who raised him, taking over the Ape Tribe as a young man, taught himself to read through primers he found in his parents old house, meeting his first human woman as a young man when he rescued her from kidnappers, losing her when he returned her to her father and fiance, then meeting a French explorer who taught him how to talk and wear clothes and things, going with him to Civilization, meeting the woman again, learning her fiance was his cousin and had his rightful inheritance, deciding to disappear back into the jungles forever leaving her to be happy and rich, and then being attacked and his cousin dying saving his life. Tarzan can finally take up his inheritance, marry the woman he loves (and vice versa), and have a happy life traveling between the jungles and civilization.

Tarzan of the Apes, Book 1: Edgar Rice Burroughs: 9780345258304:  Amazon.com: Books
This was my copy. I found a whole bunch of cheap 1970s paperbacks in the basement of a junk shop while we were on vacation, bought them ALL and then had to find a way to hide them in my suitcase and get them back home. Totally worth it. Except I could never read them in public. This was one of the less sexual covers.

So, this is a ridiculous plot. And I haven’t even gotten to the sequels (so many sequels!) where there is amnesia and mystic priestesses and Tarzan’s son and daughter-in-law and all kinds of delightful ways to get Tarzan back to jungle adventures and danger.

Who can best play Tarzan and Jane in Indian film? And what would the movie look like?

Tarzan:

Hrithik Roshan: great physical actor, has the kind of shocking beauty everyone talks about with Tarzan, and he would have very little dialogue

Tiger Shroff: again, good physical actor. Not that beautiful really, but okay. And the right age, we can believe him as just grown up. And he would do well with all the tree climbing and swinging and stuff.

Prabhas: Good physical actor, can have the impressive size and physique, but maybe not young enough any more.

Jane:

Katrina Kaif: I think Jane is supposed to be American, so her accent would work well.

Shraddha Kapoor: Cute, sweet, nice. Which is basically Jane’s whole personality.

Tamanna: Pretty, decent with action, good linguist so she could play from anywhere in order to give us that old British, modern new world, Jungle kind of triangle affect.

What do you think? Also, did anyone besides me read the Tarzan books? Also, are there Great Apes in India?

21 thoughts on “A Very Silly Post: If We Were to Remake Tarzan in India, Who Would Play the Leads?

  1. Tarzan: we need an actor that’s wild, can act like an animal. Ranveer in Padmaavat was pretty wild, so I I’ll go with him.

    Jane: sweet personality, but also very intelligent and curious. I’m going with Taapsee

    I’ve never read the Tarzan books, I’ve only read the Disney movie, and I’ll be honest, I thought it was boring.

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    • Ooo, I like Ranveer and Taapsee!

      You should check out the Tarzan books if you ever feel like something silly. They are very over the top adventure kind of things, I think every movie version including Disney was deeper and more logical than the book.

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  2. Tarzan: we need a wild actor, can act like an animal, but also has a maturity in him. Ranveer. He was wild in Padmaavat but had maturity in Lootera and Gully Boy

    Jane: sweet, but also very intelligent and curious. Taapsee because of her engineering background

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  3. You know that I’m always on the Hrithik train so I’d vote for him even though he is maybe a little old for it. How do you feel about Vicky Kaushal or is he yuck?
    If Hrithik isn’t too old, by the way, then that means Sonu Sood isn’t too old either and I think he’d be GREAT as Tarzan.
    For Jane I think Katrina could be great, I agree with you there, but would it be too off the wall to hope for someone like Anushka?

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    • Oh oh! What about Sonu Sood for the Frenchman who teaches him how to talk? I like Anushka for the role, Jane is kind of complicated because looking at her book form from modern eyes, she was horribly passive and dull. But at the time, she was kind of out there and adventurous (a young woman traveling with her scientist father). Anushka I think could tread that line, arranged engagement and so on, traveling only with her father, but also doing cool exciting things.

      On Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 1:09 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Oh, I think you might really enjoy the books! Totally purple prose, very unbelievable, very addictive. not very gay, beyond the essential gayness of humanity.

      On Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 1:47 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Too bad they’re not very gay, although I thought Sandokan could also have been gayer (although many, many opportunities for fanficition if anyone felt like writing it). I suppose they’re all in copyright, though.

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        • I think a lot of them must be out of copyright by now, unless they found a loophole to exploit. Totally fanfic friendly, there’s his French best friend/mentor, his British romantic rival, and so on. And of course the mystic Goddess of whatever who cared for no man until she met Tarzan.

          On Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 3:10 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. I LOVED all the Tarzan books! I had them all, and all with the steamy (or seamy) covers. (I believe that most of those covers were by artist Boris Vallejo – a man who never saw a skimpy bikini that he didn’t like.) Unfortunately, I sold them all when I moved out of the family house.
    I like the idea of reversing the roles to suit these modern times. maybe Anushka as Tarzan and Rajkummar Rao as Jane er Jay. Or Taapsee as Tarzan – the name seems to fit. And Salman as the great ape who was Tarzan’s father figure.

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    • Oh, I love that idea! That’s kind of what happened in Son of Tarzan (my favorite of the books), when Tarzan’s son finds a young girl in the jungle and the two of them both become Jungle Warriors.

      I might suggest Shraddha still, she is good at dancing which means good at fight scenes too, and she is okay with non-verbal. then “Jay” can be Varun. Or else Katrina, so good with action, and “Jay” can be Hrithik.

      On Tue, Sep 1, 2020 at 3:25 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. I can totally see Vidyut Jammwal as Tarzan! He’s got the physique and the looks, and is good with animals – he’s even worked with elephants in Junglee!!

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  6. Tarzan!!! Yes, I read the first one as a fiction novel (by his author) and then switched to comics (I adore comics)…I remember that I collected the German Akim comics (which are inspired by the Tarzan character). Tarzan, I predominantly experienced through movies…especially those with Johnny Weissmüller, Lex Barker (who later got famous in Germany as “Old Shatterhand” from the Karl May books), Christopher Lambert and some I don’t remember the names.

    As for your idea of an Indian Tarzan, I would like Varun Dhawan (he has the body, the playfullness, the dedication and the intelligence of Tarzan) and – maybe – Alia as Jane (because of her talent to adapt, to be weak and strong and not someone known for a well-trained body)

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