Walt Disney Studios is hoping to replicate the success of its Pirates of the Caribbean franchise with Jungle Cruise, its upcoming live-action feature based on the popular Disney theme park ride of the same name. The latest trailer for the film offers a peek at stars Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt swinging on vines, battling snake-faced villains, and making silly jokes in a bid to create the starting point for an all-new adventure franchise.
Directed by The Shallows filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra, Jungle Cruise casts Blunt as scientist Lily Houghton and Johnson as boat captain Frank Wolff, who are brought together when Houghton enlists Wolff’s aid for an expedition down the Amazon River. Houghton’s quest to locate a mysterious tree with powerful healing abilities makes her the target of fiendish villains looking to capitalize on the tree’s qualities, the tree’s supernatural protectors, and the jungle itself, which endangers anyone foolish enough to venture into its depths.
Jungle Cruise is the latest in a series of modern movies based on attractions at Disney’s theme parks. In addition to the five-film Pirates of the Caribbean series that earned more than $4.5 billion worldwide, the studio also produced the 2000 film Mission to Mars (based on the defunct Disney attraction of the same name), the 2003 film The Haunted Mansion (starring Eddie Murphy), and the 2015 film Tomorrowland (starring George Clooney), among other adaptations of its theme park elements.
Of the films outside the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, The Haunted Mansion has been the only one to be a box-office hit so far.
Along with Blunt and Johnson in the lead roles, the cast of Jungle Cruise also includes Édgar Ramírez and Jesse Plemons as two of the villains pursuing Houghton, with Plemons portraying the leader of a German expedition to find the tree. Jack Whitehall plays a supporting role as Houghton’s brother, and critically acclaimed actor Paul Giamatti plays an unidentified role in the film as well.
The script for Jungle Cruise was penned by the Bad Santa and Smallfoot writing duo of Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.
Disney’s Jungle Cruise is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters July 24.