Disney has been trying to bring its classic Jungle Cruise ride to the big screen for years, following the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Last we heard, the studio was developing an adaptation in 2011, with hopes for it to be a starring vehicle for
Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. However, Disney has now revived the project, recruiting a very big name to star.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is set to headline Jungle Cruise for Disney. Focus writers-directors John Requa Glenn Ficarra will pen the latest screenplay. However, they are not attached to helm the movie right now. John Davis and John Fox are producing.
Jungle Cruise is one of Disney’s original theme park rides, taking parkgoers to locations such as the Nile, Congo and Amazon rivers. There, they encounter creatures such as piranhas and rhinos, as well as headhunters. The Hanks/Allen adaptation was going to be set in modern times, but this current iteration of Jungle Cruise will return the franchise to its period roots. The film is said to be inspired by 1951’s The African Queen, which, ironically, was one of the inspirations for the ride.
This is the latest film that Dwayne Johnson has attached himself to. The wrestler-turned-actor has a busy schedule ahead; he is currently shooting Central Intelligence, and he will then go on to Baywatch, Rampage and Fast & Furious 8. Additionally, The Rock will voice a lead character in Disney’s animated feature Moana, while he will play villain/anti-hero Black Adam in Shazam.
However, despite this hefty lineup, Johnson is very excited about bringing the Jungle Cruise ride to the big screen. “[Disney production president] Sean Bailey and Disney have been awesome partners and now the fun part begins,” he tells THR, “We’re starting to put in the work with Requa and Ficarra and our creative team. Fired up about this one. Here we go.” Stay tuned for more news as we have it.