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Disney's theme parks and rides are ripe with storytelling. No ride is just a ride. Every ride tells a story, from the queue to the exit. So as Disney strives for corporate synergy and changes rides to complement films, it makes sense that the company would continue to make films inspired by rides. The next Disney film inspired by one of its most iconic rides is the Dwayne Johnson-fronted Jungle Cruise film. While the film still looks to be a ways off from hitting theaters, it is unsurprisingly already drawing comparisons to Disney's most successful ride-to-film adaptation, Pirates of the Caribbean. Visual effects artist, Jake Morrison spoke about his reaction to reading the Jungle Cruise script, comparing it to that other successful Disney franchise:
When I read the script, it's a bit like how I felt when I first watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean. It's got that kind of really fun, really cool, you know Mr. Dwayne Johnson's going to deliver the goods -- he's reliably charismatic, and we're going to be doing a lot of practical stuff. It's really exciting.
Jake Morrison is hitting all the bullet points you would want to hear about this adaptation. Obviously the charisma of Dwayne Johnson can really help to sell this film to audiences who are either unfamiliar with or not fans of the ride. The Rock has shown that he is the go-to guy when it comes to jungle-set comedies, from his hilarious turn in The Rundown to his upcoming romp through a video game in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. The comparison to the first Pirates of the Caribbean film is an obvious one to make. That film was wildly successful on the strength of a fun story and memorable characters. The mention of practical effects in the interview with Speaking with ScreenRant is also encouraging, as the first Pirates of the Caribbean film struck a good balance and never felt like it relied too heavily on computer-generated imagery.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl spawned an entire franchise that, despite diminishing in box office returns, has continued to make money worldwide. While Disney's live-action adaptations and franchise films continue to succeed, the company's ride-to-film adaptations are in need of a shot in the arm after the misfire of Tomorrowland. The Rock has excellent comedic chops and isn't afraid to look silly. Now that we know Dwayne Johnson is on board and have heard the comparisons to Pirates of the Caribbean, this 1920's set adventure film could launch a new wave of ride-to-film adaptations, not to mention breathe new life into the rides themselves.
The Jungle Cruise ride, found at Disney parks around the world, takes guests on a riverboat journey along the world's most famous rivers as they encounter fierce creatures and are assaulted with dad jokes and puns by their skipper. The ride isn't for everyone, but there is a charm to the corniness of it all. Jungle Cruise, starring Dwayne Johnson and directed by Jaume Collet-Serra does not currently have a release date. CinemaBlend will let you know as soon as it happens, but for now you can check out what's coming to theaters in the next year with our full schedule.