– by Nick Doll

Dwayne “Formally-the-Rock” Johnson. What a turnaround his acting career has managed. Johnson has transformed from a CG mess with no acting skills in 2001’s The Mummy Returns to A-list movie star and comedy god, with upcoming releases including Baywatch, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and Rampage. Now he’s the latest actor to be cast as the lead in a Disney movie based on a theme park ride. More over, Johnny Depp.

Though he has been attached to the project since 2015, The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Dwayne Johnson has officially come on board Jungle Cruise as an actor and producer with a production date now set for Spring 2018. Based on one of Disneyland’s original rides that takes park-goers on a journey through environments made to look like the Nile, Congo, and Amazon rivers, Johnson will have to brave natives, crocodiles, and horrifying hippos. 

Johnson already has a busy schedule with Baywatch, Jumanji, and the latest season of the HBO show Ballers all seeing release in 2017. Then he has Rampage, based on the video-game of the same name, and Skyscraper to shoot this year before he can move on to Jungle Cruise in 2018. No director is attached to Jungle Cruise and the script has been through multiple revisions and rewrites since being announced in 2015.

I’ve never liked the idea of theme park rides adapted into movies, but I’ll take them over the dozen or so remakes of animated films Disney has planned. Sometimes you get Pirates of the Caribbean and other times you get Country Bears Jamboree or The Haunted Mansion, but at least there is more mystery and originality involved in turning a ride into a film. You know exactly what to expect from a live-action Mulan or Aladdin, due to the rigidity of remakes.

That being said, how will Jungle Cruise differentiate itself from Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle visually and in the public’s mind? The two should be very different films, but it feels like Johnson has become Indiana Jones all of a sudden, though I’m not complaining!

What are your thoughts on Dwayne Johnson of late? Did The Fast and The Furious franchise or Central Intelligence make you fall in love with him? Or do you not believe in miraculous career redemption? Let us know in the comments below!  

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SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter