Dwayne Johnson is having one of the best years of any big star in 2015, having scored huge box office hits with San Andreas and Furious 7, and starred in the HBO series Ballers (which has done well enough in the ratings to earn a second season).
The man known as The Rock has quite a few future projects in development too, including the Kevin Hart comedy Central Intelligence and the recently-announced Jungle Cruise: a live-action project based on the Disney theme park ride of the same name, from the writing/directing team of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Bad Santa, Focus). Now, we know a bit more about this upcoming project, thanks to Johnson himself.
Johnson took to his Instagram account to confirm that Ficarra and Requa are actively working on the Jungle Cruise movie script, citing (what else?) Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean ride-turned movie franchise as being the template for how the screenwriters are approaching the task of turning Jungle Cruise into a popular genre movie. More interesting, though, is The Rock's confirmation that Jungle Cruise will indeed retain the early 20th century setting and inspiration of the original theme park ride.
You can check out Johnson's Instagram post, below:
Pumped to kick off the writing for our Disney's JUNGLE CRUISE. Great meeting w/ our writers Requa & Ficarra who last wrote and directed FOCUS w/ Will Smith and BAD SANTA w/ Billy Bob Thornton. Our goal is to push the envelope in a smart, edgy, epically fun way. Johnny Depp raised the bar with PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.. now it's our turn at bat to take an iconic Disney attraction and hopefully turn it into something dope and cool. I'll keep y'all posted along the way. Here we go... #BigAdventureAwaits #ItsAPeriodMovie #DamnRightIWillStillBeHandsomeInThe1920s #JungleCruise
Pirates may be the obvious (only?) choice for Jungle Cruise to emulate, but it's certainly not a bad one either... well, the first installment isn't, anyway. There's plenty of room for creativity in the Jungle Cruise project, now that it's anchored with a major movie star attached and has an established brand to help sell it at the box office. The film will also represent a chance for Johnson to stretch his acting muscles a bit; after all, he hasn’t done much period work in his career. It's also his first live action Disney-branded release since 2009’s Race to Witch Mountain (though he's also doing voice work for Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Moana for a 2016 release).
However, a lot remains unknown about Jungle Cruise, this early in development. The writers, after all, are just getting started and we don’t know anything about the plot or casting beyond Johnson; Requa and Ficarra aren't set to direct, either, though that could change. Johnson’s charisma and on-screen presence can go a long way, but Jungle Cruise will need a director who does something creative with the premise, like what filmmaker Gore Verbinski did on the first Pirates of the Caribbean.
... And not so much like what happened with the Eddie Murphy-headlined Haunted Mansion movie, at that.
Jungle Cruise does not yet have an official release date yet; we'll let you know when that changes.
Source: Dwayne Johnson