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The Evolution of Tarzan on Film

Watch the latest reboot's trailer starring Margot Robbie, Alexander Skarsgard below

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Tarzan is a character that never seems to get old with American audiences. His origins lie in the 1912 novel, Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Starting six years later, the vine-swinging über-mensch has been the star of a plethora of silent and feature films. Not to mention the list of actors who’ve portrayed him: Johnny Weissmuller in the ’30s and ’40s; Lex Barker in the ’40s and ’50s; Gordon Scott in the ’50s and ’60s; and many others. Below, find a gallery of Tarzan portrayers and their films throughout the years, followed by the trailer for the character’s latest film, The Legend of Tarzan, which hits theaters on July 1 and stars Alexander Skarsgard.

Evolution of Tarzan
Buster Crabbe as Tarzan (center), holding Julie Bishop, as Jane, and threatening Edward Woods in a scene from ‘Tarzan the Fearless,’ 1933. (Warner Bros./Courtesy of Getty Images)
Evolution of Tarzan
Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan and Maureen O’Sullivan as Jane hold hands with ‘Cheetah’ the chimpanzee, in a still from 1934’s ‘Tarzan and His Mate.’ (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Evolution of Tarzan
Herman Brix as Tarzan in 1935’s ‘The New Adventures of Tarzan’ (Kobal/WireImage)
Evolution of Tarzan
Lex Barker as Tarzan opposite Brenda Joyce as Jane in 1948’s ‘Tarzan’s Magic Fountain.’ (Courtesy of Everett Collection)
Evolution of Tarzan
Gordon Scott as Tarzan, opposite Woody Strode, in 1958’s ‘Tarzan’s Fight for Life’ (Courtesy of Everett Collection)
Evolution of Tarzan
Mike Henry as Tarzan is cornered by natives in 1967’s ‘Tarzan And The Great River.’ (Paramount/Getty Images)
Evolution of Tarzan
Bo Derek (Jane) and Miles O’Keeffe (Tarzan) in a scene from 1981’s ‘Tarzan, The Ape Man.’ (Orion/Getty Images)
Evolution of Tarzan
Christopher Lambert as Tarzan in 1984’s ‘Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan.’ (Warner Bros./Getty Images)
Margot Robbie stars as Jane with Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan in the latest rendition, called 'The Legend of Tarzan.' (Courtesy Warner Bros.)
Margot Robbie stars as Jane, with Alexander Skarsgard as Tarzan, in the latest rendition, called ‘The Legend of Tarzan.’ (Courtesy Warner Bros.)