How Emily Blunt’s Jungle Cruise Suggestion Made Her Character More Like Indiana Jones, According To A Producer

Emily Blunt in Jungle Cruise
(Image credit: (Disney))

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It’s almost time to set sail on Jungle Cruise and, in anticipation, we’re learning a bit more about Emily Blunt’s leading role as Dr. Lily Houghton. The character will enlist Dwayne Johnson’s steamboat captain, Frank Wolff, to take her through the jungle river to find the Tree of Life. And as it turns out, Blunt brought some inspiration from Indiana Jones to improve the character’s presence in the film.

As Jungle Cruise producer Beau Flynn tells it, when Emily Blunt came aboard the Disney project, she had a number of notes on her script to bring up to the filmmakers regarding the character. Here is a pertinent one that was changed for the movie, per Flynn:

She brought a great point out to us, which is, ‘How come a lot of male figures just get to be adventurers, or explorers?’ There’s no backstory in Indiana Jones. He’s just a badass archeologist.

Before Emily Blunt nabbed the role, there apparently was a backstory for Dr. Lily Houghton, as explained in THR. However, the Quiet Place actress felt there was a bit of a double standard between female and male adventurers. Why does a female adventurer need an explanation as to how she became one? The actress pointed straight to Indiana Jones, who is the most famous adventurer in Hollywood history – we don’t know all the details of his life, yet he’s completely believable in the role.

It’s a solid bit of feedback from Emily Blunt as she stars alongside action star Dwayne Johnson in the Disney summer movie. The actress reportedly called whatever was in the script before ”unnecessary backstory” and hence it was left out of the Jungle Cruise movie. It should leave more room for big action moments and for Blunt and The Rock’s chemistry to bounce from one side of the jungle to the next. Check out the Jungle Cruise trailer:

The movie is coming to theaters and Disney+ Premier Access this Friday, July 30. The movie will follow the hybrid model the studio has also used for Black Widow and Cruella this summer. You can use this link to sign up for Disney+ if you’d like to go with the streaming option.

Jungle Cruise, also starring Jack Whitehall, Paul Giamatti, Edgar Ramirez and Jesse Plemons, will follow a Disney tradition of adapting movies out of their famed attractions, not unlike Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion. We’ll have to see how Emily Blunt’s character measures up to Indiana Jones, especially since Jungle Cruise is neighbored by the thrilling Indiana Jones ride at the original Disneyland in California, this weekend.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.