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Disney has been trying to get a movie based on its Jungle Cruise theme park attraction off the ground for years. Now, with Dwayne Johnson in the lead, it looks like the movie is actually happening, and the studio has now found a leading lady. The word is that Disney has added Emily Blunt to star opposite The Rock in the upcoming action-adventure movie.
Originally reported by ScreenRant that Disney was interested in her, Variety now says the deal is done. Emily Blunt will reportedly play a scientist searching for some sort of cure, who teams up with Dwayne Johnson's riverboat captain to help transport her through the jungle. She's worked with Disney previously for Into the Woods and the upcoming Mary Poppins Returns and she's proven her ability to do action with films like Edge of Tomorrow and Sicario. At this point the only film we know Blunt is attached to after Poppins is the Edge of Tomorrow sequel. At this point, neither film has a set release date, so scheduling, which so often ends up being the reason any given actor can't do a particular film, shouldn't be an issue.
This sounds absolutely amazing. Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt feel like a fantastic pairing for a movie and Jungle Cruise could be the perfect vehicle. The movie is set to follow the formula laid out by Disney's other successful film franchise based on a theme park ride Pirates of the Carribean, as an action-adventure movie with some comedic elements. That combination is exactly where Dwayne Johnson usually shines, as proven recently in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and while we've never seen Emily Blunt in a movie quite like that, that's exactly why I want to see this. We know she can do it all, and a movie like Jungle Cruise would let her do it all in one movie. As long as Jungle Cruise is more like the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, and less like the sequels, it could be perfect.
Jungle Cruise has been a long in development idea that once was looking to star Toy Story voices Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, before clearly going through a major overhaul. Even Dwayne Johnson had been attached for so long that the project was looking to be stuck in development hell, but over the last year or so wheels have started to turn. The film is being written by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writing team behind Bad Santa and will be directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, the director of The Shallows.
While Pirates of the Caribbean has been the only time that a theme park based movie has really worked for Disney, Jungle Cruise is feeling like it might be on the right track. Certainly, casting a great actress like Emily Blunt can only help.