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Alexander Skarsgård Is the New Tarzan and We’re Beyond OK With That

Alexander Skarsgard

Director David Yates has reimagined the character in The Legend of Tarzan, but his bod's as built as ever.

Here's a nice little stocking stuffer for you, photos of a totally ripped and wet Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan via USA Today.

They're from David Yates's The Legend of Tarzan, the latest filmic incarnation of the classic Edgar Rice Burroughs character.

In theaters July 1, Legend takes a new approach to Tarzan, moving away from focusing on his upbringing in the jungle.

"They haven't been there for an awfully long time," says Yates.

In Yates's film, Tarzan (a.k.a. John Clayton III, Lord Greystoke) married Jane--played by Margot Robbie--and has been living in London for a decade and found his station as a British gentleman in 1880s Victorian London.

However, he is constantly reminded of his life in the Congo and eventually is invited to return as an emissary of Parliament. He eventually returns with Jane, and action and adventure ensue.

Alexander Skarsgard

"It's almost the opposite of the classic tale, where it's about taming the beast," says Skarsgard. "This is about a man who's holding back and slowly as you peel off the layers, he reverts back to a more animalistic state and lets that side of his personality out."

Skarsgard and Robbie will share the screen with Djimon Hounsou, who will play Chief Mbonga, Samuel L. Jackson, taking on the mantel of real-life figure George Washington Williams, and Christoph Waltz, who'll play the Belgian antagonist Captain Leon Rom.

Belgium's King Leopold II, originally thought of as a philanthropist, made the colonized the Congo and in 1880s killed millions in a mass genocide.

The character of Jane is also getting somewhat reimagined. Yates has made her a character who is "in no way a passive partner to Tarzan. She's a really strong, assertive, beautifully knowledgeable, very sexy modern woman who can more than look after herself," says Yates.

"In a way, it's a story of two human beings and how they save each other."


Yates says the Skarsgard was perfect for the role of Tarzan. Yates liked that the 39-year-old True Blood star was born in Sweden but found a career in America, so "he has this wonderful quality of not quite belonging to one or the other."

Oh, and also Skarsgard's 6-foot-4 and gorgeous.

"Tarzan needs muscles, but it's more a leaner, longer, more vertical modern man than the square-jawed stereotype we're used to," Yates says.

Skarsgard spent four months in a rigorous training regimen to get in shape for the role.

"I basically didn't see my family or my friends," said Skarsgard. But he says the part "was definitely worth getting up at 4:30 in the morning."

We agree.

[h/t USA Today]

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