Jungle Cruise: What Real Elements Inspired The Movie With Dwayne Johnson?

In 2021, filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra offers an immersive family adventure with “Jungle Cruise”. The feature film is adapted from a Disneyland attraction and is also inspired by real elements. Experience the true story behind the blockbuster worn by Dwayne Johnson.

Jungle cruise : the adventure according to Disney

In 2021, Jaume Collet-Serra decides to join Disney’s ranks Jungle cruise. The feature film is carried by Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt adapted from a famous Disneyland trip. Originally the title Jungle River, this attraction takes visitors on a boat on different rivers around the world. An impressive journey populated by animatronics of wildlife larger than life. After the success of The Pirates of the Caribbean in 2003Disney has long had plans to carry Jungle River on the big screen. There is a first attempt in 2004 which does not succeed, and another in 2011 with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen in the lead roles. Again, the project came to nothing.

Jungle cruise
Jungle cruise © Disney

We must therefore wait until the 2020s to see the project come to life in the cinema. With an estimated budget of $ 200 million, Jungle cruise is the most expensive film directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. A significant budget that Disney paid dearly for Jungle cruise did not collect than $ 220 million in cash receipts. An insufficient margin for the project to be considered a financial success.

Some historical inspirations

If everyone knows Jungle cruise is adapted from a Disneyland attraction that is lesser known, is that the feature film has some historical inspirations. The film’s story takes place in 1916, in the middle of the First World War. International tensions were high at the time and women had very few scientific and professional prospects. In this logic, Lily Houghton, the character played by Emily Bluntrejected by the Royal Society of Explorers.

Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) - Jungle Cruise
Lily Houghton (Emily Blunt) – Jungle cruise © Disney

This is the first element inspired by real events. If this specific association was invented by Jungle cruise, however, such organizations existed at the time. There were e.g. Royal Society of Londonan institution that brings together researchers who have denied women until 1945.

Characters that actually existed

But this is not the only historical inspiration. In fact, two characters in the feature film are modeled after real people. Prince Joachim, son of the emperor, really existed. It was the German prince played by Jesse Plemons the 6th child and youngest son of Emperor Friedrich Wilhelm Viktor Albrecht of Germany. In the feature film, which takes place in 1916, the character is then 25 years old. If he finds the death of the hands of the character Emily Blunt, the reality of his death is different. In fact, this German Crown Prince kills himself in 1920, at the age of 29, after a long depression.

Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) - Jungle Cruise
Prince Joachim (Jesse Plemons) – Jungle Cruise © Disney

The second character inspired by real events is Lope de Aguirre, the conquistador played by Edgar Ramirez. In the 16th century, this conquistador was known to be a totally mad adventurer. He is best known for one of his last explorations, which led him, accompanied by his daughter, to the Amazon River in search of mythical golden kingdom El Dorado. A story that inspired Jungle cruise and which explains why the character Edgar Ramirez is on the hunt for the Moon’s Tears to find a cure for his daughter.

In the real world, when they are sent, Lope de Aguirre claimed to be the Prince of Peruand murdered all the natives he met on his way. He died in 1561 in Barquisimeto (now Venezuela) after leading a revolt against the Spanish monarchy. For the little anecdote, Edgar Ramirez was born in Venezuela.

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