ByCatrina Dennis, writer at
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Catrina Dennis

Last week, actress Lupita Nyong'o appeared on stage for three separate Disney films at D23 Expo's Live Action panel. Now, it seems, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is looking to beat her record. Already lined up to play the demigod Maui in [Moana](tag:2366693), Johnson has now officially signed on to star in Jungle Cruise, Disney's next park ride-based movie.

John Requa and Glenn Ficarra, who wrote the Will Smith-led "Focus", will direct the new project that was originally pitched as a Tom Hanks and Tim Allen duo film in 2011. Following the massive success of their Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, Disney has begun lining up films based on the iconic rides from their parks. This year, they debuted [Tomorrowland](tag:731011) and teased [Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales](tag:586017) during the live action panel with none other than an in-character, eccentric Johnny Depp, dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow.

For his part, Johnson was extremely enthusiastic about the project and working with Disney again:

[Disney production president] Sean Bailey and Disney have been awesome partners and now the fun part begins ... We’re starting to put in the work with Requa and Ficarra and our creative team. Fired up about this one. Here we go.

Jungle Cruise has gone through many revisions since it's original inception as a film in 2004, and while the former Allen/Hanks concept was set within modern times, it seems that Johnson will find himself far back in the past instead -- harkening back to the ride's original inspiration, 1951's The African Queen starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn.

Details on the movie so far are otherwise pretty slim, and the film is still in very early development, which might be a good thing: Johnson has more films lined up over the course of the next two years than I can count on my hand, but that work ethic is going to serve Disney well if they plan on keeping him in their camp.


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