Disney has released a first look video for its theme park ride-turned movie adventure Jungle Cruise. In addition to announcing that production on the film is underway, the clip reveals stars Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson in their African Queen-inspired historical costumes.
Starring The Rock as a quippy riverboat captain and Blunt as the spunky scientist who joins him on an expedition into the wild, Jungle Cruise is being directed by Jaume Collet-Serra: a filmmaker who knows a thing or two about watery adventures after his efforts on the Great White Shark thriller The Shallows. The film was written by a team that includes Michael Green - who revealed a knack for similar old-fashioned genre storytelling with his script for Kenneth Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express - and Jungle Cruise's cast and crew have invited comparisons between the project and classic Hollywood-inspired series like Indiana Jones since pretty much day one.
Johnson and Blunt do their own part to acknowledge the movies that inspired Jungle Cruise in this production video, which doubles as the first look at the film's period outfits and aesthetic. In reality, Jungle Cruise has been shooting since late May, in order to stay on schedule to make its now-official Fall 2019 release date. Even so, this is a smart way of announcing the project (for those only just hearing about it) and offering a tease of its stars' onscreen chemistry, in a way that a generic set photo or official screenshot wouldn't be able to. Disney has also unveiled the official Jungle Cruise movie logo, to go with the clip:
Joining The Rock and Blunt in the Jungle Cruise cast are Edgar Ramírez (American Crime Story) and Jesse Plemons (Game Night) as the villains trying to beat the movie's heroes in a race to find the story's MacGuffin (reportedly, a mystical healing tree). Oscar-nominee Paul Giamatti is also onboard for the ride as a "crusty harbormaster", as is Jack Whitehall (Bad Education) as Blunt's onscreen brother. Paco Delgado, who most recently designed the costumes for Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, is the one responsible for dressing these actors in appropriate period garb.
The Rock and fantasy jungle settings have made for a winning box office combination in the past (see Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), and it's not difficult to imagine Jungle Cruise becoming another crowd-pleasing hit. Indeed, Blunt and Johnson seem to have good chemistry, even when it's just them messing around and putting together an "announcement video" on the fly. That bodes all the better for their big screen journey together... even if The Rock is without his lucky khaki jungle shirt, this time around.
- Jungle Cruise (2020) release date: Jul 24, 2020