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The story of Tarzan, an orphaned child raised in the African jungle by apes, was written by prolific fiction writer Edgar Rice Burroughs in the early 20th century. More than 100 years later, his creation has grown into one of the biggest global franchises of the 21st century, encompassing films, television series, computer games and action figures.


The author

Edgar Rice Burroughs was born in Chicago, USA in 1875. He was the son of Civil War veteran, Major George Tyler Burroughs and his wife, Mary, who were of English descent. Although the young Edgar had a stint as a railroad worker and a number of other jobs, his real passion was writing.

He had little success, until he wrote Tarzan of the Apes for publication in a magazine in 1912. It was published as a novel in 1914 and following its huge success, the author went on to write 25 sequels.



Tarzan, otherwise known as Viscount Greystoke, Lord John Clayton III, was the son of an aristocratic British couple, who were left stranded on the coast of Africa by mutineers. Following his parents' death when Tarzan was an infant, he was adopted by the ape tribe, the Mangani great apes. He was brought up to have an amazing affinity with all the animals of the jungle.

In adulthood, he met an American woman called Jane Porter, who was also marooned in the jungle with her father, as Tarzan had been 20 years earlier. He eventually married Jane and they moved to England for a while, but he disliked the ways of civilisation and they eventually moved back to the jungle with their son, Jack.



Many films have been made about the story of Tarzan, with former US competitive swimmer Johnny Weissmuller starring in the title role in the 1930s and '40s.

The most recent film was The Legend of Tarzan in 2016, directed by David Yates and starring Swedish-born actor Alexander Skarsgård in the title role. Tarzan and his wife, Jane (played by Margot Robbie) have moved to London to live at his ancestral family home, Greystoke. It's eight years since Tarzan left Africa and he has become a reluctant celebrity in Victorian England.

Meanwhile, across the globe King Leopold II of Belgium has claimed the Congo Basin and is ruling the Congo Free State to try and get himself out of debt. He intends to find the legendary diamonds of Opar in the Congo to save Belgium from bankruptcy.


Battle in the Congo

When the British Prime Minister (played by Jim Broadbent) extends King Leopold's invitation to Tarzan to visit Boma to see how Belgium is developing the Congo, Tarzan declines the offer.

However, American envoy George Washington Williams (played by Samuel L Jackson) warns Tarzan that Leopold is enslaving the Congolese people. Subsequently, Tarzan and Jane accompany Williams to the Congo to investigate the claims. With the aid of warriors from a local tribe, they intercept a train carrying slaves, liberating them and providing the necessary evidence to expose the sordid truth about King Leopold.

Eventually, Tarzan realises he belongs in Africa and one year on, he and Jane have settled in Jane's father's old house. He has returned to his rightful place and the couple finally realise their dream of having a child together.


Box office hit

The Legend of Tarzan was well received by audiences and critics alike, grossing a worldwide box office total of $356.7 million, including $126.6 million in the United States and Canada. When it opened on 1st July 2016, it took $14 million on its opening day alone.

It was nominated for two awards, including the Saturn Award for the Best Action or Adventure Film and the Jupiter Award for Best International Actress for Margot Robbie. The film industry and reviews website, IndieWire, voted it the 24th most romantic film of the 21st century, calling it an "old-fashioned romantic adventure" movie.

Coruba Rubber Safety Matting

Coruba is proud to be associated with the iconic Tarzan franchise after our rubber matting products were used in the production of The Legend of Tarzan. For further information on our wide range of rubber matting solutions, please give us a call.

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