I suppose we should be used to this by now, but mere days after reports hit the net that Emily Blunt was at the top of Disney’s wish list for Jungle Cruise, it’s now being reported that she’s signed on to join Dwayne Johnson on the project.
What Disney wants…Disney gets.
Now, before you roll your eyes at the thought of Jungle Cruise– a film based on a ride at Disney World- there are a few things about this film to get excited about. For starters? Dwayne Johnson rarely disappoints. But beyond that, the talent involved is nothing to sneeze at. Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra will be behind the camera, coming off of a string of high-octane hits like Non-Stop, The Shallows, and The Commuter (currently in theaters). This will be his biggest movie to date, and you just know he’s going to bring his best effort to the film Disney is hoping leads to another Pirates of The Caribbean-style franchise.
And he’ll have an amazing assist on Jungle Cruise, when it comes to the script he’ll be working off of. Why? Because the latest draft is written by Michael Green, who’s currently up for an Academy Award for his work on Logan.
Then there’s the apparent inspiration for Jungle Cruise‘s story, which is lofty to say the least. It’s been said that Disney wants to the film to take its cues from The African Queen, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. That 1951 John Huston film is considered a classic for the way it handled its unlikely “day/night romance,” and mixed in ample thrills. This time around, it’ll be Johnson as the rough-around-the-edges boat captain and Blunt as the strait-laced woman who convinces him to do something crazy.
So Jungle Cruise isn’t a film to be slept on. This thing could really work. Especially with two stars like Johnson and Blunt.
The only concern here could be that they’ll have to try and differentiate it from Johnson’s other films Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle and Journey 2. Both films feature Johnson running around the jungle getting into misadventures. The ad campaign for this will have its work cut out for it making Jungle Cruise stand out, especially in light of the global success of Jumanji.