Alexander Skarsgård Puts A Twist On ‘Taming The Beast’ In ‘Tarzan’ Reboot

Ladies, (and gents who swing that way), Christmas has come early in the form of Alexander Skarsgård and his super-delicious abs. The sexy Swede is the new King of the Jungle, and Warner Bros. has released two stills from The Legend of Tarzan, in which he’s solo in one, and with his co-star Margot Robbie, who plays Jane Porter, in the other picture. The story-with-a-twist is set to show a different side of the famous fictional story from Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Skarsgård is the son of Swedish actor Stellan Skarsgård, and is best known for his roles as vampire Eric Northman on the HBO series True Blood, Meekus in Zoolander, and Brad Colbert in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill. As E! Online notes, director David Yates has spoken on how Skarsgård’s impressive 6-foot-4 frame was perfect for his re-imagining of Tarzan.

“Tarzan needs muscles, but it’s more of a leaner, longer, more vertical modern man than the square-jawed stereotype we’re used to,” he tells USA Today. Skarsgård also chatted with USA Today about why Legend of Tarzan is not your typical rebooting of a timeless classic.

“It’s almost the opposite of the classic tale, where it’s about taming the beast,” Skarsgård says of his new film. “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.”

Yates’ version finds Tarzan and Jane have quit the jungle life and made it to Victorian London, until he is drawn back to the Congo as an emissary of Parliament and immediately re-integrates into his old lifestyle.

The cast also features Djimon Hounsou as Chief Mbonga, Samuel L. Jackson as George Washington Williams, and Christoph Waltz as the Belgian villain Captain Leon Rom. Jane, meanwhile 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,” Yates says.

To get in shape for the role, Alexander says he spent four months training with a hardcore regimen, and the results were “definitely worth getting up at 4:30 in the morning.” He also explained his collaborative choreography effort with Wayne McGregor to figure out Tarzan’s movements and posture.

“He works mostly with the best contemporary ballet dancers in the world, so it was quite unusual for him to work with somebody like me who can’t touch their toes,” Skarsgård said.

Yates captured the beauty of the African jungle using CGI, Green Screen, and transforming two hangars at an old English airplane factory into soundstages with real vegetation, running water, and mountains

Before True Blood made him a household name in America, Skarsgård was already famous in his homeland for a TV film he made when he was 13. However, when he got his first break in Hollywood with a small role in 2011’s Zoolander, the process of getting the part left him with a false impression of how to make it in the business, as he explained to the Belfast Telegraph back in September.

“My dad, who’s an actor, was working in Hollywood, and I was visiting him. I’d just started acting in Sweden, and his agent basically said, like, ‘Do you want to try, do you want to go to an audition?'” he recalled. “I was like, ‘Well, that’d be a fun story to tell the boys back home.’ I’d never auditioned out there before, I didn’t have any reference points, I didn’t know what it was like, so I walk into a room, and there’s Ben Stiller. Two weeks later I’m in Manhattan driving down Broadway singing Wham! in a Jeep.”

Alexander Skarsgård swings into action next year, when The Legend of Tarzan lands in theaters July 6.

[Images via Twitter]