After an extended development period, Disney's Jungle Cruise is now pulling together its cast pretty quickly, with Breaking Bad alum Jesse Plemons being the latest actor to step aboard. According to reports, he will be playing a villain out to stop Dwayne Johnson's Indiana Jones-type quest in this upcoming adventure film based on the theme park attraction.
The film was originally inspired by the success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, and was tapped to have Toy Story‘s Tom Hanks and Tim Allen star at one point. Since those early development stages, the plot eventually found its direction when Dwayne Johnson agreed to star, with Emily Blunt confirmed as the female lead. The UK comedian and actor Jack Whitehall was recently cast as Blunt's brother, and only yesterday it was announced that Edgar Ramirez will be playing the part of a villain in the movie.
Now Variety is reporting that Plemons has signed on and will also play the role of an as-yet unnamed villain character. Presumably this will be alongside Ramirez, as they plot against Johnson and his colleagues. Plemons is a veteran of shows like Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights, but he has also recently picked up a lot of admirers for his portrayal of "Captain" Robert Daly in Black Mirror and a scene-stealing turn in Game Night. His performance as the bumbling Ed Blumquist in season 2 of Fargo was also a highlight of that show and earned him an Emmy nomination. His villain in Jungle Cruise is likely to be a reflection of those roles and could possibly sneak some attention away from the good guys.
The plot for the Disney film is being kept secret for the most part, but minor details and rumors have circulated. Johnson is said to be playing a river-boat captain named Frank/Francisco, and Blunt is a scientist called Lily Houghton. At one point it looked like the death/disappearance of Lily's brother might be driving the plot, but now it seems that she is looking for a plant with healing powers. Both Plemons and Ramirez are thought to be playing the nefarious individuals out to beat the film's heroes to the prize for selfish reasons.
By all accounts, Jungle Cruise should be a solid family adventure, and director Jaume Collet-Serra has certainly proven he can film water-logged thrills with the shark-film The Shallows. Johnson's ability for opening a film has never been better, and with the addition of Plemons the cast consists of an excellent team of character actors, who should be able to hold their own amidst the inevitable over-the-top stunts and expected jungle-creature effects.
There is no official release date for Jungle Cruise yet. We'll let you know when it's announced.