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‘Tarzan’ returns in 3D

Germany's Constantin makes latest version of ape-man tale

Germany’s Constantin Film is swinging into “Tarzan,” launching development of a 3D animated feature.

The English-language pic will be produced inhouse by Robert Kulzer and Reinhard Klooss.

Constantin acquired animation rights to the “Tarzan” novels from the estate of author Edgar Rice Burroughs. The first book in the series, “Tarzan of the Apes,” was published in 1912 and spawned numerous sequels and related works. The character became strongly identified with Johnny Weismuller after he starred as Tarzan in a series of MGM features in the 1930s, helping the Ape Man become one of the world’s best-known literary figures.

In “Tarzan of the Apes,” Tarzan is born in the jungles of Africa to a stranded English aristocratic couple. When they are killed, the infant is adopted and raised by a clan of apes. He discovers his true origins when he comes upon the cabin of his late parents.

Kulzer is a producer on two upcoming 3D projects — “Resident Evil: Afterlife,” opening this fall, and “The Three Musketeers,” which begins shooting this month.

Klooss is the writer, director and producer of “Animals United,” an animated CGI 3D film releasing this fall.

Martin Moszkowicz, Constantin Film’s head of film and TV, will exec produce. Ambient Entertainment, which did the animation for “Animals United,” will work on “Tarzan.”

In 1999, Disney’s animated “Tarzan” grossed $448 million worldwide. Warner Bros. and Jerry Weintraub have been developing a live-action “Tarzan” since 2003 and have negotiated with Guillermo del Toro and Stephen Sommers to direct at various points.

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