Memphis' Brewer likely won't get to direct 'Tarzan'

The new Tarzan movie from Warner Bros. likely will be directed by "Harry Potter" veteran David Yates, not Memphis' Craig Brewer.

Brewer made a serious pitch last year to direct the latest revival of Edgar Rice Burroughs' hero, and his script — which stayed true to the original concept of Tarzan as both intelligent English Lord and jungle-reared "Ape Man," in the early decades of the 20th century — was well-received by studio executives.

Apparently, however, Warner — looking for a post-Potter international hit franchise — has decided to entrust the project with a director with a proven track record in character-heavy, big-budget, literary-based blockbusters for the studio.

Yates, a British filmmaker recruited from the world of BBC and Channel 4 programming, directed the final four movies adapted from J.K. Rowlings' books about the boy wizard, from "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) to "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2" (2011). Combined, the films earned about $4.3 billion at the world box office.

Brewer and screenwriter Adam Cozad originally wrote separate Tarzan screenplays for Warner Bros. The studio liked Brewer's interpretation, and the Memphis director and Cozad (author of the upcoming Tom Clancy adaptation, "Jack Ryan") worked on a rewrite. It is unknown whether they will be credited with the screenplay Yates will use.

The Yates report originated Wednesday on the entertainment-and-culture website, Vulture.com. Brewer said he could not discuss the Tarzan movie, pending an official release from Warner Bros. about the project.

One of the most popular characters in film, Tarzan has appeared in dozens of screen adaptations, from the silent era to the Disney 1999 animated feature, "Tarzan." The last serious, big-budget live-action Tarzan movie was "Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes," in 1984.

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