Sometimes it seems like only a company like Disney could somehow develop a successful film franchise from, of all things, a ride attraction from one of their theme parks. One needs only to look at the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series starring Johnny Depp to confirm this strategy. But there have also been misses as well, with 2003’s “The Haunted Mansion” starring Eddie Murphy, or “The Country Bears” the year before that, and the 1997 TV movie “Tower of Terror”. Well, Disney has started filming on a new ride-turned-film adaptation, and a first teaser was released just this week.
Screen Rant has it that Disney put up a teaser video online this Tuesday, July 31, to mark the first day of full-on production for “Jungle Cruise”, a new adventure film based on a Disney theme park ride starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt, due for release in 2019. Initial information on the movie places its setting during or shortly after the late Victorian era, where a lady scientist and her brother go on expedition into the African jungle aboard a riverboat. Jaume Collet-Sera serves as director of “Jungle Cruise” with Johnson among its producers.
The teaser trailer features British actress Emily Blunt, in costume as the scientist, welcoming the viewers to the filming location only to be interrupted by Dwayne Johnson, also in costume as the riverboat captain. What flows is a humorous back-and-forth between the two lead stars. If Blunt’s exasperation is part of the characterization for her role in “Jungle Cruise”, then it is a notable departure from her calm and collected portrayal of Mary Poppins in yet another Disney film she is starring in: “Mary Poppins Returns” which premieres this December.
Preliminary principal production on “Jungle Cruise” has actually been underway since May in Hawaii, but now the actors and crews are working fully in order to complete the film in time for its now-finalized premiere in October of next year. Among those joining Johnson and Blunt in the cast are Jack Whitehall, Edgar Ramirez and Jesse Plemons. The story in its latest iteration – the project having been in development for years – is written by Michael Green, who penned the blockbuster “X-Men” spinoff “Logan” for Fox in 2017.
Disney is looking to make “Jungle Cruise” successful enough to launch a new movie franchise in the vein of “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and is describing the project to be an “Indiana Jones” for a new generation of moviegoers, while embracing the elements of several past classic adventure films that it is emulating.
Image courtesy of Screen Rant