While The Legend of Tarzan is aiming for a PG-13 rating, this adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' popular novel series is serving up its sex scenes on the slightly violent side. As director David Yates explains it, he sees Jane, played by Margot Robbie, as a raw, wild creature who knows how to tame Lord Greystoke, played by Alexander Skarsgård. Especially when it comes to his bedside manner. The director actually had the actress slap, then punch Tarzan during one of their erotic love making scenes.
"They're doing this love scene together, and I said [to Robbie], 'Just slap Alex while you're making love, just kind of give him a punch. It was sort of an earthy, sensual moment of her enjoying sex with Alex, and the only bruise he picked up during the entire shoot was probably that punch from Margot. Which says a lot about her feistiness."
It also says a lot about the kind of movie we're getting this summer. If Margot Robbie is slapping and punching during sex scenes, is this the type of family entertainment most audiences will be expecting? Maybe. The franchise has a long history with sensuality. In 1981, Bo Derek played the erotic Jane Parker in the very R-rated Tarzan, the Ape Man. And in 1984, Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes continued to push the boundaries of what this series of Ape Man adventures could accomplish with a shirtless man.
Alexander Skarsgård and Margot Robbie will certainly steam up the screen in this sexually fueled adventure, which comes from Harry Potter director David Yates. When the filmmaker set out to find his new Jane, he knew he needed someone who not only had chemistry with Alexander Skarsgård, but was also his equal. He found those qualities in Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie, who is playing both Jane and Harley Quinn on the big screen this summer. Says the director.
"If you enter the jungle with anybody, you want to go with Margot Robbie. She's practical, and she's smart, and she's resourceful. And she can take care of herself."
In The Legend of Tarzan, Jane is not the passive wife. Though she does get captured by the movie's villenous Leon Rom, played by Christoph Waltz, she refuses to play the 'damsel in distress', fighting back like a true champ. The director continues to explain his motives behind this new iteration of Jane.
"It was very important that we didn't want it to feel archaic or dated, where it's like, tough guy has to save the poor girl. You have to feel that she's strong and independent, and when you cast Margot, you'll definitely get that."
David Yates has been rushing to finish The Legend of Tarzan before its debut in theaters this June. Which has been a hard task, seeing as how he is also in the midst of shooting the first-ever Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Some are worried that The Legend of Tarzan might be one of the summer's bigger bombs. But with Margot Robbie in another kick-ass role, it might be hard for genre fans to stay away. Especially knowing that the movie has at least one brutally painful sex scene to its name.