Gay kiss – in which one man unconscious – cut from new Tarzan film

Director says kiss between Alexander Skarsgård and Christoph Waltz in The Legend of Tarzan was ‘almost too much’ and perplexed test audiences

A gay kiss between the two male stars was cut from The Legend of Tarzan because, according to its director, “test audiences were perplexed by it”.

Speaking to the Times, Tarzan director David Yates said that, as part of an effort not to “[fall] into the trap of what Tarzan represented to some people”, he shot a scene involving a kiss between Tarzan (Alexander Skarsgård) and ruthless Belgian soldier Rom (played by Christoph Waltz). According to Yates, the kiss takes place when Tarzan is unconscious, as Rom finds himself attracted to Tarzan’s “wildness”.

“We pared it back because it was almost too much,” Yates said. “It was this really odd, odd moment when Christoph kisses him. We loved it at the time. But early test audiences were perplexed by it and in the end it just felt too clever and overworked.” The scene was edited out of the film’s final version.

The Legend of Tarzan: ‘It’s an adventure movie, it’s not there to educate’

The revelation comes at a time when Star Trek actor George Takei has expressed unhappiness that the character of Sulu, who he played in the original series, has been revealed as gay in Star Trek Beyond, the newest film in the franchise. Simon Pegg, the co-writer of the film, defended the film saying: “We could have introduced a new gay character, but he or she would have been primarily defined by their sexuality, seen as the ‘gay character’, rather than simply for who they are.”


Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Legend of Tarzan review – noble intentions can't rescue ropey rehash
Tarzan goes on a diplomatic mission to his old swinging ground in this well-meaning but ultimately toothless update

Peter Bradshaw

07, Jul, 2016 @9:45 PM

Article image
The Legend of Tarzan review – awkwardly tame
Despite lavish special effects and the screenwriters’ best efforts to square the story with modern sensibilities, this jungle reboot ain’t quite got that swing

Wendy Ide

10, Jul, 2016 @7:00 AM

Article image
From Tarzan to Avatar: the problem with 'the white man in the jungle'
The wild man in the loin cloth is returning to our screens, along with new takes on King Kong and The Jungle Book. But films set in the rainforest still struggle to shake off racist tropes

Steve Rose

06, Jul, 2016 @2:00 PM

Article image
The Legend of Tarzan review – an inherently problematic remake
Committed performances aren’t enough to save this film from uncomfortable colonial optics, uninspiring CGI and tedious plotlines

Jordan Hoffman

29, Jun, 2016 @1:02 PM

Article image
How Tarzan evolved from oaf to toff and back again
The character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs has always been a hit with fans – so it’s a pity the movies don’t live up to the legend of their jungle hero

Ryan Gilbey

09, Jul, 2016 @10:35 PM

Article image
The Secret Life of Pets beats Tarzan to the top of the tree at UK box office
Family-friendly animation still at No 1 ahead of Lord Greystoke, the Now You See Me crew and Ab Fab’s still fizzing Edina and Patsy

Charles Gant

12, Jul, 2016 @4:16 PM

Article image
Crime pays: DC's Suicide Squad tops UK box office with £11.25m
Despite the disapproval of critics, the supervillain film had the third biggest opening of the year, and dwarfed the takings of the other films in the UK chart

Charles Gant

09, Aug, 2016 @2:06 PM

Article image
Ghostbusters blasts Ice Age at the UK box office
Paul Feig’s all-female reboot tops the chart in its first week as the Ice Age animation franchise tests audience loyalty with a fifth outing

Charles Gant

19, Jul, 2016 @5:24 PM

Article image
Off and running: can the No Time to Die trailer get us excited about Bond again?
He grunts, he kicks and shoots stuff because he wants to – and so do the women! After months of inaction, James Bond has no more time to sit still if his latest teaser is any guide

Stuart Heritage

03, Sep, 2020 @1:59 PM

Article image
You Tarzan, me Adam: I found out in a theater that my book inspired the film
Imagine my surprise when, a few weeks ago, in a theater of a mall, I encountered two characters I had written about in my own book: King Leopold’s Ghost

Adam Hochschild for Tom Dispatch

20, Jul, 2016 @2:00 PM