LOS ANGELES: Disney is hoping for “Pirates of the Caribbean” level success with “Jungle Cruise,” a newly released adventure blockbuster based on a theme park ride.
In it, an intrepid scientist and a wise cracking ship captain venture deep into the Amazon in search of a tree that can cure any disease.
“Our intention behind the movie was to make a movie that had a throwback feel to movies that we loved growing up,” Dwayne Johnson, who plays riverboat captain Frank Wolf, told Arab News. “’Indiana Jones,’ ‘Romancing the Stone,’ movies like that. (Films) that came out some time ago but that you don’t see that often these days.”
“Jungle Cruise” sports thrills, action and mystical curses, but director Jaume Collet-Serra — who will be working with Johnson again on the upcoming superhero movie “Black Adam” — makes the chemistry between the leads the foundation of the film.
“The great beauty of Jaume is he recognizes that the intimacy of the scenes is what sings. like he doesn’t get bogged down in making things too complicated,” shared Emily Blunt, who stars as the adventurous scientist Dr. Lily Houghton.
“He digs for gold, and he’s such a kind of world builder, but yet deep down when we both asked him ‘what’s this movie about?’ He goes, ‘It’s about love’.”
The adaptation was first announced in 2004, and was set to star Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.
Now, after 17 years of redevelopment and recasting, it will be the latest film to release simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ Premiere in the US.
“It all came together in this beautiful way that was a spectacle, that was epic, that was adventurous, that was colorful, that told a great story, that was rooted in family, rooted in love, rooted in adventure, rooted in empowerment, rooted in hope,” Johnson said. “There’s so many elements that have really made us proud.”
At the international box office, “Jungle Cruise” has so far brought in $27.6 million from 47 overseas territories, buoying its debut worldwide box office haul to $61.8 million. However, it led the competition in North America this weekend, where it brought in $34.2 million in theatrical ticket sales and another $30 million on Disney+.