Most audiences are familiar with the King of the Jungle's origin story, so The Legend of Tarzan doesn't dwell in the past.
The new version of the classic tale begins years later when Tarzan is John Clayton III, married to Jane, and living on an estate. He returns to Africa under questionable circumstances, and that’s where the adventure begins.
Many of the exotic locations were man-made, built on a London back lot - including a waterfall where actor Djimon Hounsou learned the set wasn’t heated.
"The minute that water started to fall down, it was ice cold!” he said.
The jungle creatures are also imaginary, thanks to computer-generated imagery.
“It's like being in your room, playing with your imaginary friend,” said Samuel L. Jackson. "I'm an only child, so I used to do that a lot. I imagined things, or I had my toy guns on and was shooting a lot of stuff that was running around the room, or I was fighting a lot of things with my sword that weren't there.”
Alexander Skarsgård was cast in the title role, which he’d spent much of his childhood “studying.” His father, actor Stellan Skarsgård, was a fan of vintage Tarzan films and kept VHS copies at home.
“It was the first phone call I made when I found out, and he just said, ‘Ahhh ahhh!" Skarsgård said.
Margot Robbie plays a modernized version of Jane, who’s no longer a damsel in distress. She's also fully clothed, unlike her co-star - whose scant wardrobe required a painfully restrictive diet.
"It was a complete role reversal… it was very satisfying for me,” Robbie said, smiling at Skarsgård. “And upsetting, I feel bad for you. I did. In an empathetic way.”
If nothing else, The Legend of Tarzan is a gorgeous spectacle - a 20th-century story, told through 21st-century technology.
The Legend of Tarzan is rated PG-13 and is available on BluRay and DVD Oct. 11th.
Copyright 2016 KING