Walt Disney Pictures’ JUNGLE CRUISE adaptation, which was long thought to be docked, is now back in the water, with Dwayne Johnson steering. Based on the famous Disneyland ride of the same name, the film will be a period adventure, placing Johnson and others on a trip through Africa.
Focus directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra are scripting the project, which been in development since the early 2000’s. John Davis and John Fox are producing for their shingle, Davis Entertainment, while Kristin Burr is overseeing for Disney.
Disney greenlight the project in 2004 among a slew of other ride-based properties, all spurned by the massive success of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Jungle Cruise has had a long trip getting to screen, with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen at one point attached to star and countless writers scripting. The reinvigorated ride-inspired project comes at the heels of the studio moving forward on their Tower of Terror adaptation and the newest Pirates.
Based on one of Disneyland Park’s original attractions, Jungle Cruise sets riders on a boat sailing down African rivers such as the Nile and the Congo, with a slew of hippos, rhinos, crocodiles, elephants, piranhas, and headhunters appearing throughout the journey. Sources confirm that the latest iteration of the film is targeting a retro vibe, channeling the 1951 Humphrey Bogart/Katharine Hepburn adventure film The African Queen as inspiration, which also served as the base inspiration for the ride.
Johnson today announced his excitement for the project, along with his involvement, by saying: “(Production president) Sean Bailey and Disney have been awesome partners and now the fun part begins … We’re starting to put in the work with Requa and Ficarra and our creative team. Fired up about this one. Here we go.”
Johnson’s become the go-to franchise reviver in Hollywood, breathing life into every new project that he joins. The San Andreas star’s Baywatch reboot is now moving forward with Seth Gordon helming and Zac Efron in talks to co-star.
Though he’s currently filming the Kevin Hart comedy Central Intelligence, Johnson’s plate is full with New Line’s Rampage adaptation, the forthcoming Fast & Furious sequel, and the Shazam! movie at Warner Bros.
But first, he’ll team with Disney for the house of mouse’s animated adventure Moana, which has become heavily buzzed about since the D23 Expo this past weekend.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor
This news was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.