Disney's Jungle Cruise movie has just added another passenger, with Emily Blunt now set to star alongside Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. The Rock has been attached to this project since August 2015, and now he finally has some company. No details have been given for Emily Blunt's character, but with production slated to begin this May, we may get more details soon, along with more casting updates.
Way back in September 2015, Dwayne Johnson described this project as an, "edgy period movie," hinting that it was set in the 1920s. This new report from Variety reveals that this film was "inspired by" the classic film The African Queen, with the studio hoping for the same kind of chemistry between Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt as seen in The African Queen between screen legends Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. While The African Queen was released in 1951, the story was set during World War I, which falls in line with the 1920s setting Dwayne Johnson mentioned earlier.
Sources claim that Disney has been "over the moon" with early footage of Emily Blunt in the studio's highly-anticipated Mary Poppins Returns, and that they were eager to keep her at the studio with another potential franchise like Jungle Cruise. After several years in development, which once saw Tom Hanks and Tim Allen being eyed to star, Disney gave the green light for Jungle Cruise last April, with production starting in the spring of 2018. Disney still hasn't set a release date for Jungle Cruise at this time, but if filming does start in May, it could be ready for a summer 2019 debut in theaters.
Dwayne Johnson indicated in an April 2017 interview that he would love to bring aboard Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins to take the helm on Jungle Cruise. However, a few months later in July 2017, Jaume Collet-Serra came aboard to direct, choosing this project over Warner Bros.' Suicide Squad 2, which ended up landing Gavin O'Connnor (Warrior) to take the helm. Michael Green, who just received an Oscar-nominatation for writing the R-rated superhero movie Logan, has wrote the most recent version of the script, rewriting the original draft by Star Trek 4 writers J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
While no specific story details have been given yet, the movie is based on the Jungle Cruise ride that is featured in numerous Disney Parks resorts around the world, which takes visitors on a guided tour through the rivers of the world. Emily Blunt lent her voice to two animated movies in 2017, My Little Pony: The Movie and Animal Crackers, and she also lends her voice to Sherlock Gnomes, the animated follow-up to Gnomeo and Juliet, where she returns as Juliet, arriving in theaters March 23. She will next be seen in Paramount's supernatural horror-thriller A Quiet Place, arriving April 6, where she stars alongside her real-life husband, John Krasinski, who makes his directorial debut. Variety first broke the news of Emily Blunt's casting.