Actor Dwayne Johnson is set to star in a Disney film based on one of the company’s theme-park rides.
Johnson will reportedly appear in a film based on the Disney’s Jungle Cruise rides, which have visitors take in Audio-Animatronic versions of animals such as gorillas and giraffes. The ride has a humorous aspect, with a tour guide on the boat cracking jokes, so perhaps the movie will have a tongue-in-cheek tone as well.
While the studio is also working on original projects like the upcoming animated movies “Zootopia” and “Moana,” many of Disney’s upcoming plans are based on already-established properties or stories. The studio is reportedly working on live-action versions of previous animated hits like “Beauty and the Beast" and “Dumbo” and a film about the “Peter Pan” character Tinkerbell, among others. Previous live-action versions of their animated movies like “Cinderella,” “Maleficent” (the “Sleeping Beauty” villain), and “Alice in Wonderland” have been hits for the studio.
What makes Disney want to adapt a ride for the screen? The inspiration is clear: "Pirates of the Caribbean." The Disney ride spawned a franchise that’s still going, with Johnny Depp set to reprise his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow in a movie set for 2017.
Those movies were big enough hits (though domestically, the newest film, 2011’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” grossed far less than its predecessors) that Disney is willing to try out another ride adaptation. This is despite the fact that the system has also created some failures, such as this year’s movie “Tomorrowland” (which is really based on an area of the park rather than a ride); the 2003 Eddie Murphy “The Haunted Mansion,” which was based on the Disney spooky attraction; and the 2002 movie “The Country Bears,” which was based on the Disney Audio-Animatronic show.