It says a lot about the appeal of Dwayne Johnson that he can sign on to movies like Baywatch or a Big Trouble in Little China remake and I instantly think, “Yeah I probably wanna see that.” He’s adding yet another unlikely project to his slate today, as THR reports that Johnson will lead a feature film adaptation of the Disney theme park ride Jungle Cruise. The Mouse House has tapped Crazy, Stupid, Love. directors and Focus writers/directors John Requa and Glenn Ficarra to pen the script, but it’s unclear at this point if they’ll also direct. The idea behind this take is that it’ll be a period piece in the vein of the 1951 Humphrey Bogard/Katharine Hepburn classic The African Queen, which itself was an inspiration for the ride.
In the wake of Pirates of the Caribbean’s success, Disney looked to other theme park rides for feature film inspiration, and Jungle Cruise was one of them. As recently as 2011 they were trying to get a version of the film off the ground with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, but with Franchise Viagra himself now onboard, the project’s future is looking as bright as ever.
John Davis and John Fox are set to produce the film, and the news comes as Johnson is deep in voice work on Walt Disney Animation Studios’ upcoming South Pacific-set animated film Moana, about which he was visibly passionate at the recent D23 Expo.
It’s unclear when this will fit into Johnson’s schedule, however. He’s currently filming the action comedy Central Intelligence, he next shoots the aforementioned comedy Baywatch with Zac Efron early next year, and he’s also poised to reteam with San Andreas helmer Brad Peyton on the video game adaptation Rampage. Moreover, Johnson will return for Fast & Furious 8 and is set to lead the Warner Bros. DC Comics adaptation Shazam, though that film remains in development without a writer or director attached. It’s a busy schedule, but for a guy as hard-working, passionate, and with as much charisma as Johnson, it’s no surprise everyone in town wants to work with him.