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Alexander Skarsgard

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HOLLYWOOD —  Alexander Skarsgard segues from vampire Eric Northman in “True Blood” to Tarzan, the king of the jungle. Before we see him swinging on any vines, though, he’ll be seen in “The Giver” with Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift, out Aug. 15; and “Diary of a Teenage Girl” with Kristen Wiig and Christopher Meloni. This Tarzan will return to Africa after living in London. Filmed in 3D, “Tarzan” will co-star Margot Robbie, Samuel L. Jackson, Christoph Waltz and Djimon Hounsou. Even though it began shooting in April, it won’t be released until July 1, 2016. Apparently, the sexy Swede is anything but shy … they’re having a hard time getting Skarsgard to keep his loincloth on while shooting.

Tarzan has been a cinema favorite for many years. In 1918, Elmo Lincoln made three silent films as Tarzan. From 1932-1948, Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller was MGM’s Tarzan, though Buster Crabbe (1933), better known as “Flash Gordon,” Bruce Bennett (1935) and Glenn Morris (1938) played him for other producers. In 1952, Tarzan was played by Lex Barker, followed by Gordon Scott (1955-60), Denny Miller (1959), Jock Mahoney (Sally Fields’ father) (1962/63), football player Mike Henry (1966/67), Miles O’Keeffe, with Bo Derek as Jane and Christopher Lambert (1984).

In 1998 Casper Van Dien, fresh off the success of “Starship Troopers,” played Tarzan in “Tarzan and the Lost City,” which cost $20 million to make and only took in $2.8 million domestically. TV has given us four Tarzans: Ron Ely (1967-71), Joe Lara (1989), Wolf Larson (1991-94) and Travis Fimmell (2003).

By the way, Alexander Skarsgard is 37 years old and not married. He was rumored to be dating Ellen Page, who came out recently as a gay woman. He’s also been linked to 25-year-old Swedish actress Alicia Vikander on and off for the past year. It looks like this Tarzan hasn’t found his Jane yet.
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There was a Tarzan movie starring Kellen Lutz in the title role, which was released May 9. Even though it was filmed in 3D, it wasn’t well-received and quickly disappeared. Kellen didn’t have much luck with his “Legend of Hercules” either, which cost $70 million to make and only earned $61 million. Luckily, he’s not carrying his next film, “Expendables 3,” out Aug. 15. He’s in great company with Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Antonio Banderas, Jet Li, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lungren, Terry Crews, Mel Gibson, Harrison Ford and Arnold Schwarzenegger. With so many action heroes in one film, there’s no way it can fail. If producers will just give this fine young actor another chance to carry a film, hopefully he’ll have better Lutz next time!

© 2014 King Features Synd., Inc.

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