Rising British comedian and actor Jack Whitehall will join Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt in Disney’s “The Jungle Cruise,” sources tell Variety.
Whitehall will play Blunt’s brother in the film — a key role in the storyline.
Jaume Collet-Serra is on board to direct the movie based on the classic theme park attraction, which operates in several Disney Parks across the globe and takes guests on a guided tour through the rivers of the world. Oscar nominee Michael Green (“Logan”) penned the most recent draft of the script. He rewrote a screenplay by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
Disney plans to develop the film as a possible franchise in the vein of its billion-dollar “Pirates of the Caribbean” series.
John Davis and John Fox will produce via Davis Entertainment; Beau Flynn will produce with his FlynnPictureCo. banner; and Johnson, Dany Garcia, and Hiram Garcia will produce through Seven Bucks Productions. Scott Sheldon is co-producing the movie, which is slated to go into production in May.
Whitehall is a stand-up comedian who created and starred in the hit British sitcom “Bad Education,” which went on to become a feature film. Whitehall also appeared in Garry Marshall’s “Mother’s Day” and has a role in Disney’s upcoming “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” directed by Lasse Hallstrom. His stand-up special “Jack Whitehall: At Large” is currently streaming on Netflix. He’s also in production on the Amazon mini-series “Good Omens” and the Netflix series “Travels With My Father” which is also in production. Whitehall is repped by CAA.
Seven Bucks is hot off the heels of its biggest hit to date, “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” which starred Johnson, and was produced by Garcia and Johnson. The movie has grossed almost $1 billion worldwide, including $401.7 million at the domestic box office. Flynn, Johnson, Garcia, and Garcia most recently collaborated on “Rampage” for WB/New Line and “Skyscraper” for Universal. “Rampage” opens on April 13 while “Skyscraper” bows on July 13.