Filming is currently underway on Jungle Cruise, Disney’s latest film to be based on one of Disneyland’s popular theme park attractions. While we have yet to see any pictures or clips from the new movie, if there’s one thing you can be sure about when it comes to both Disney and The Rock, this movie is going to be big. However, you have no idea just how big until you see the absolutely massive set Disney has built. Watch Johnson introduce the location in the clip below.
The tweet from Walt Disney Studios that accompanies the video calls it “one of the most awe inspiring and massive sets ever built from scratch.” As we watch the camera pull back we get to see exactly what Disney is talking about here. Just when you think you’ve probably seen it all, the camera keeps moving back and revealing new structures.
It isn’t simply that the set is massive, it’s that it was apparently all built from scratch. Nothing that you see here that is manmade was there when the crew started building. They essentially built a village themselves.
The highlight, if you’re a fan of the original Disneyland ride, which as The Rock mentions, has been around Disneyland since opening day in 1955, and also opened Walt Disney World in 1971, is the large building off to the right as the camera first starts to reveal the set. It looks remarkably like the structure that houses the queue when you get in line to ride the Jungle Cruise. Clearly, Disney is borrowing the aesthetic of the ride to inform the film, they’re not simply borrowing the name for recognition’s sake. This probably means there will be lots of other little Jungle Cruise easter eggs and references for fans, along with, we can only hope, some really corny jokes.
The plot of Jungle Cruise will follow a scientist played by Emily Blunt who hires Dwayne Johnson’s skipper character to go in search of a special tree somewhere along the Amazon River that is purported to have healing capabilities. However, they won’t be the only ones searching for the tree.
While Disney has had relative success turning its animated classics into live-action films, the studio has had a rougher rode when it comes to using theme park attractions. While the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has certainly been a box office champ, only the first film is really an unqualified success. The less said about movies like The Haunted Mansion or The Country Bears the better.
Jungle Cruise is certainly looking to capture some of that early Pirates of the Caribbean magic, and it certainly has the cast to do it. If the story combines action and humor perfectly to create another swashbuckling period adventure, we could be on to something, though if we are, be ready for the inevitable sequels.