Jungle Cruise’s Disneyland Legacy Had A Huge Impact On How Dwayne Johnson And Emily Blunt Approached The Movie

Emily Blunt and Dwayne Johnson video screenshot behind the scenes on the Jungle Cruise

Audiences have anxiously been awaiting the release of Jungle Cruise, an upcoming flick starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt that will be based on the Disneyland ride of the same name. The ride has loyal cohorts of fans and while both actors were at D23 Expo, they detailed how the legacy of the original ride was super important to making the upcoming film.

Emily Blunt kicked off the narrative explaining what Jungle Cruise drew influence from, noting that past popular movies gave the team a good foundation to work off of beyond the ride. She said,

We both grew up madly in love with Indiana Jones and obsessing over those types of movies, Romancing the Stone. So to be a part of something like this, this same spirit just makes my heart race.

During the D23 panel, Dwayne Johnson cracked a joke about why Emily Blunt’s heart was really racing, before getting more into the history of his take on the Jungle Cruise ride and why he and Blunt approached the Jungle Cruise film in a very specific way that will allow the movie to pay homage to what makes Jungle Cruise great.

I make your heart race. In addition to making our hearts race, what Emily said, we also are keenly aware of the responsibility we have for such a beloved property. That property is Jungle Cruise, the ride. Yes and we’re aware of how important this ride is to everyone in this room, generations, everyone around the world. And we also are aware that in 1955 – as many of you know or may not know – when the park opened in 1955 Walt Disney had one baby and that baby was Jungle Cruise. He was the very first Jungle Cruise Skipper. So we are very honored to bring this movie to life on behalf of Disney and Walt Disney himself.

Looking back on the history of Disney movies and parks, you may notice Disney doesn’t often jump on creating movies about Disneyland and Disney World rides. Typically, the rides come after the movies and not the other way around. I say typically.

Jungle Cruise Skipper

(Image credit: Photo Courtest of Walt Disney World)

The few times a movie has been based on a ride have varied wildly. People love Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, but the various Pirates movies do vary in quality. Plus, I think Disney would probably like to forget the big screen take on The Haunted Mansion ride.

Dwayne Johnson has previously spoken out on how Pirates of the Caribbean inspired him to make Jungle Cruise, noting the way rides at Disneyland and the other parks have become iconic is the perfect reason to try to make the ride into a big screen vehicle.

Like Pirates, Jungle Cruise will also be adventure movie, with the main premise being our two leads searching for a tree that will possess healing powers. The movie wrapped filming and then re-wrapped three months ago, sharing a video at the time it finished production that also nodded at Walt Disney’s legacy.

Now, the flick is well on its way to hitting its July of 2020 release date (after being pushed back from late 2019, a movie slot will also feature Johnson’s Jumanji: The Next Level). See more with our full movies schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Reality TV fan with a pinch of Disney fairy dust thrown in. Theme park junkie. If you’ve created a rom-com I’ve probably watched it.