If you were able to lock Dwayne Johnson into a role for one of your movies, you have to be just banking on a sequel right out of the box right? Nearly everything this guy touches turns into (or will turn into) a potential franchise. And his sheer on-screen magnetism and talent is enough to take even weird concepts and think about future movies. According to Deadline, that is going to be the case with his latest film Jungle Cruise which was just handed a confirmed, greenlit sequel.
There had been early rumors, around the time that Jungle Cruise was released that we could see a sequel to the flick, and now that has officially become the case. Dwayne Johnson is set to return as will co-star Emily Blunt. And in bringing the whole original team back into the mix, Jaume Collet-Serra will be back directing and Michael Green will, once again, handle the script. There isn’t a firm timeline on production, filming, or a release at this point. But considering the names that are attached, the studio is unlikely to sit on this one for too long.
Jungle Cruise the movie, is loosely based on the Disney theme park attraction of the same name. Dwayne Johnson plays the skipper of the boat who agrees to help Emily Blunt’s Dr. Houghton and her assistant and young brother MacGregor played by Jack Whitehall. They set out on a river expedition to find the Tree which supposedly has the power to heal illnesses among many other mystical things. We learn, over the course of the movie, that there is more to Johnson’s character than he initially lets on.
For a Dwayne Johnson film, Jungle Cruise did just okay at the box office, though in these trying movie times, some numbers have to be taken with a moderate grain of salt considering the ongoing issues around the pandemic and some straight-to-streaming deals. On its published $200 million budget (which was likely much, much higher), it took home *just* $187 million at the box office, not coming close to breakeven and a veritable disaster when it comes to studio bookkeeping. There was a simultaneous release with a VOD premiere option on Disney+ that did help the overall number some, but not enough to really stem the tide. But again, names in this industry win the day, and having Dwayne Johnson in the mix is sometimes enough to guarantee a round two for a film.
For what it is worth, having Dwayne Johnson in a kid-friendly movie should still have mass appeal and is likely to garner significant viewing time once it hits Disney+ as part of the streamer lineup. That will happen a bit earlier than originally expected and will pop up on August 31st. In preparation for that, the sequel news was well-timed.
As for Dwayne Johnson, this guy is about as busy as it gets these days. Getting a sequel for Jungle Cruise might just be something of the icing on the cake. He will have Red Notice coming out later this year which will team him with Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot. And of course, he wrapped up filming on Black Adam earlier this summer. That is set to be a locked-up blockbuster set to hit theaters next year for DC as a new addition to that franchise.