It's not exaggerating to say that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is currently one of Hollywood's biggest stars, if not the biggest. From the Fast and the Furious movies to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Johnson has his hands in a lot of blockbuster projects, and for his next job, he's working with Disney to finally bring the long-awaited Jungle Cruise movie to life. But as it turns out, Jungle Cruise isn't just another project that Johnson is getting the big bucks to lead. The actor has been wanting to star in a movie based on a Disney attraction ever since he saw the first preview for 2003's Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Johnson recalled:
About 15 years ago, I dreamed of this moment. I saw the first trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean, and I thought 'Man, one day I would love to make a movie for Disney based off an iconic ride, a legendary ride,' and here we are today.
When Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl came out, Dwayne Johnson was still early into his film career, having just starred in The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King. But ever since he saw the first look at the Johnny Depp-led swashbuckling adventure, he was determined to follow suit and made a movie that was based off a Disney ride. 15 years later, he's days away from beginning work on Jungle Cruise, which was one of Disneyland's first rides and is still around today, not to mention included at other Disney parks. A movie adaptation has been in development for over a decade, and now not only is it finally moving forward, it will allow Johnson to finally accomplish his goal.
Dwayne Johnson also mentioned in his Instagram post that he is signing the biggest contract of his career by starring in Jungle Cruise, although the video ends rather anticlimactically when the actor discovers that his pen is dry. Johnson already has some Disney experience under his belt by starring in Race to Witch Mountain and Moana, but it's clear that Jungle Cruise holds a special place in his heart, and it will be great when we finally get to see what he does in the final product.
Set in the 1920s, Jungle Cruise will follow an journey into a jungle to find a tree that possesses healing powers, with our protagonists facing both wild animals and a competing German expedition. Dwayne Johnson will star as Frank, the riverboat captain, while his co-stars include Emily Blunt as Lily Houghton, a scientist who hires Frank to take her and her brother into the jungle to find this tree; Jack Whitehall as Lily's brother; Edgar Ramirez as a "man with a conquistador background"; Paul Giamatti as a "crusty harbormaster"; and Jesse Plemons as one of the villains.
Directed by The Shallows' Jaume Collet-Serra and written by Logan's Michael Green, Jungle Cruise doesn't have an assigned release date yet, so stay tuned to CinemaBlend for that information and other important updates regarding its development. In the meantime, you can look through our 2018 release guide to learn what movies are hitting theaters later this year.