In 2016, filmmaker David Yates directed the 47th film adaptation of “Tarzan”. But did you know that one of the sequences of the film, which featured a homosexual kiss, was removed from the final cut?
Tarzan : the return of the myth
Tarzanreleased in 2016, marks the 47th appearance of the ape-man in cinema. Directed by David Yates, the man behind the saga Fantastic Beasts and several opuses by Harry Potterthis new version of Tarzan brings together an impressive cast including Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan, but also Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson and Djimon Hounsou. This new version of Tarzan did not meet with dazzling success. The feature film earned more than $356 million in worldwide box office receipts (for a budget of 180 million).
Tarzan is an emblematic hero of the seventh art, brought to the screen since 1918. And if we only take live action film adaptations (so we leave TV movies and animated films aside), Alexander Skarsgard is the 18th actor to portray the character. He succeeds Elmo Lincoln (3 times), Gene Pollar, P. Dempsey Tabler, Frank Merrill, Johnny Weissmuller (12 times), Buster Crabbe, Bruce Bennett (2 times), Glenn Morris, Lex Barker (5 times), Gordon Scott (6 times), Denny Miller, Jock Mahoney (2 times), Mike Henry (3 times), Miles O’Keeffe, Christophe Lambert, Joe Lara and Casper Van Dien.
A kiss cut in the editing
After this impressive number of adaptations, David Yates looked for a unique way to stand out from his predecessors. He then had the idea of staging a homosexual kiss between Tarzan and his worst enemy: Captain Rom. The latter, embodied by Christoph Waltz, is the hunter who tries to capture our wild man. Thus, David Yates wanted to create this unprecedented rapprochement between these two antagonists.
The scene takes place when Tarzan is unconscious. The character of Leon Rom then leans over him. As if mysteriously attracted by his animality, Leon Rom decides to let his impulses speak and kisses the hero. A sequence that was shot but cut during editingas David Yates explained to Times. Indeed, when the film is shown in test screenings, the spectators are not seduced by this idea:
We removed the scene because it was almost too much. The moment when Christoph kissed her was very very curious. We liked the scene at first, but the first test screenings showed that the audience was puzzled, and in the end, we thought it was too “smart” and too overloaded.
This sequence has since never been revealed to the public. She is even absent from the DVD and Blu-ray editions of the film. As for Tarzan, he will most certainly return to center stage in the future, but for now, no projects have been recently announced.