When it comes to Disney, there’s nothing off the table when it comes to new feature films, not even (to our collective dismay) live-action remakes of some of their animated classics. The same goes for movies based on the most beloved rides at Disneyworld theme park. For every “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl,” however, there’s 2002’s “The Country Bears,” or, even worse, 2003’s “The Haunted Mansion.”
Not every movie becomes a runaway success and a tentpole franchise for summers to come like the “Pirates” films. However, given Dwayne Johnson‘s star power, “Jungle Cruise” has a decent shot to be that flailing franchise’s successor. Johnson leads Disney’s latest film loosely based on a theme park attraction as a riverboat captain who leads a female scientist and her brother up the Amazon to search for a mythical plant. Here’s the official synopsis:
Set during the early 20th century, a riverboat captain named Frank takes a scientist and her brother on a mission into a jungle to find the Tree of Life, which is believed to possess healing powers. All the while, the trio must fight against dangerous wild animals and a competing German expedition.
Emily Blunt stars as Dr. Lily Houghton alongside Johnson’s Frank Wolff, while Jack Whitehall plays her brother McGregor. Whitehall’s character made a splash in late 2018 when Disney confirmed that McGregor would be just the second openly gay character in a live-action Disney film. Édgar Ramírez, Jesse Plemons, Paul Giamatti are also on board for Wolff’s titular boat ride. Andy Nyman and Quim Gutiérrez round out the main cast.
Jaume Collet-Serra (‘The Commuter‘) directs “Jungle Cruise,” while Michael Green (‘Death On The Nile‘) provides the screenplay, based on a story by writer/director team Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot‘). Legendary film composer James Newton Howard delivers music for the film, including an instrumental rendition of Metallica’s song “Nothing Else Matters,” overseen by band members. Disney, Dwayne Johnson, and Metallica; what a world.
So, what will the verdict be on “Jungle Cruise?” A Disney-fied take on “The African Queen?” The mammoth summer blockbuster no one sees coming like “Black Pearl?” A forgettable cinematic rendition of a Disney ride like 2015’s “Tomorrowland?” Find out on July 30, when the film hits theaters and Disney+ Premier Access. Check out the new trailer below.