“More entertaining than the backside of water” – Goofy
Dwayne Johnson is attached to star in a new Jungle Cruise movie, based on the classic Disneyland ride. Johnson’s involvement once again puts the Jungle Cruise boat back into the water after a multiyear dry-dock phase.
Disney has been trying to mount a movie based on the popular ride since at least 2004, during the years of the multi-billion dollar success of ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean’ movies.
The studio last tried to develop the project as a starring vehicle for Tom Hanks and Tim Allen in early 2011.
Following the success of “The Pirates of the Caribbean” franchise, Disney has pushed hard to find ways to use its various brand-name theme park attractions as a basis for feature films. A “Haunted Mansion” pic is currently in development with Ryan Gosling attached to star; an earlier “Haunted Mansion” film with Eddie Murphy did not succeed at the box office.
The Jungle Cruise is one of the Disneyland’s original rides and has a retro adventure vibe, transporting guests into African settings such as the Nile River and Congo River, encountering rhinos and hippos and headhunters along the way. There’s also an Amazon River section featuring piranhas and snakes.
While the Hanks-Allen iteration was to have been set in modern times, the new take brings the project back to its’ period roots with the intent to harken the new movie to classic jungle adventure movies such as ‘The African Queen’, the 1951 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn that was one of the original inspirations for the ride.
Johnson is pumped to take a ride down the river: “[Disney production president] Sean Bailey and Disney have been awesome partners and now the fun part begins. I’m fired up about this one. Here we go.”
The actor is already the lead voice in ‘Moana’, the animated project that emerged as one of the new movies due to released soon, reported during the company’s D23 Expo last weekend.
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by Elly Collins & Caroline Collins
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