After five high-stakes voyages alongside the Pirates of the Caribbean, an ordinary Jungle Cruise sounds downright relaxing. But the first trailer for Walt Disney’s upcoming summer blockbuster suggests that audiences are in for a ride that’s even wilder than the theme-park attraction it’s based on.
Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra, Jungle Cruise appears to be charting a course for The African Queen by way of The Mummy, with Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt standing in for Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn and Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz respectively. (Watch the trailer above.)
Like those adventure-loving odd couples, Johnson and Blunt will apparently spend a lot of their journey together bickering, a dynamic that they demonstrated for Yahoo Entertainment when we caught up with them at D23. In the film, Blunt plays Lily Houghton, a scientist headed into the deepest parts of the Amazon jungle in search of the Tree of Life.
In order to get there, she hires Johnson’s riverboat captain, Frank, who boasts about having the “cheapest, but also the most thrilling” jungle cruise on the whole river. Because of the perilous nature of Lily’s journey, though, Frank drives a harder bargain to ferry her and her brother, McGregor (Jack Whitehall), upriver. “$10,000 to bring you there alive — dead is $15,000.” Why the extra 5K bump? “Dead, I’d have to carry you.”
Besides Rose Sayer and Evelyn Carnahan, there’s also a little Sundance Kid mixed into Lily’s DNA. At the end of the trailer, Frank’s little riverboat is about to plunge over a giant waterfall, and his passenger picks that exact moment to reveal an unfortunate secret: “I cannot swim!” Knowing that the fall will definitely kill her, Frank does the only logical thing and raises his rates. “The price just went up.”
Jungle Cruise’s mixture of action and humour is going over well on Twitter, with many noting the movie’s obvious forebearers.
// That “Jungle Cruise” trailer gave me strong “The African Queen” vibes.— Thomas Summers (@sortedgreen) October 11, 2019
I knew he was going to say “the backside of water” when I saw him flushing it down. 😂
I’m more excited about it than “Onward” to be honest, but that last part with the cgi villain.. ehh.. not great.
Okay, so it's The Mummy (1999) on a river.https://t.co/Ps7b3G8urZ— Stephen T. (@GoshZilla) October 11, 2019
The characters are so similar to the Mummy, but does look fun.https://t.co/w00wLMiIit— 🎃🕸Michelle Benson🕸🎃 🔜 Scotland Comic Con (@michelleb822) October 11, 2019
RACHEL WEISZ WALKED IN THE MUMMY SO EMILY BLUNT COULD RUN IN THE JUNGLE CRUISE— julie andrews is my religion (@katiethebadger) October 11, 2019
Looks fun. Jungle Cruise meets Indiana Jones.— All ~ Troy (@allabouttroy) October 11, 2019
Also I pointed this out before, but I love the explicit call out to The African Queen (one of the principal inspirations for The Jungle Cruise attraction) via The Rock's outfit pic.twitter.com/ZO7eKjmZVi— Mark Willard (@MarkWillard85) October 11, 2019
Fun fact: The African Queen famously influenced the design of the Jungle Cruise ride. That the movie version is now consciously paying homage to that movie is just the circle of Mouse House life.
Jungle Cruise sails into cinemas on 24 July, 2020.