This week sees the release of Jungle Cruise, the latest Disney property to launch on streaming at the same time as in cinemas.
Inspired by the Disneyland theme park ride of the same name, the film stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Emily Blunt.
Here is everything you need to know.
What is Jungle Cruise about?
Dr Lily Houghton (Blunt) and well-to-do younger sibling MacGregor travel from 1916 London to Porto Velho in Brazil to locate the fabled Tears of the Moon – a tree festooned with glowing pink petals capable of healing any illness.
According to legend, Spanish conquistador Aguirre and his troops failed hundreds of years ago to locate the tree and their accursed souls are now tethered to the jungle by ancient magic.
Lily bargains with riverboat captain Frank Wolff (Johnson) to hire his boat, La Quila, and travel upstream to prove the tree’s existence.
Unfortunately, crazed German aristocrat Prince Joachim also seeks the tree, believing the petals can win the Great War for his homeland and cement his place in history.
He shadows Lily, Frank and MacGregor in a torpedo-armed submarine, awaiting the perfect moment to strike.
Who stars in it?
Johnson plays wisecracking skipper Wolff, while Blunt plays intrepid researcher Dr Houghton.
Emily Blunt said she and Jungle Cruise co-star Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson “started laughing the moment we met” when the actors appeared on stage together at Disney’s D23 convention to unveil Jungle Cruise in 2019.
Speaking backstage, Blunt said the pair struck up a friendship immediately, telling the PA news agency: “We started laughing the moment we met. I was like, ‘this is going to be awesome’. I knew it would be fun.”
Also on the cast is British comedian and actor Jack Whitehall who plays MacGregor, the younger brother of Blunt’s adventurer.
Speaking at the Jungle Cruise world premiere at Disneyland in California, Whitehall told the PA news agency that inspiration for the “upper class English gentleman” MacGregor came from his father Michael, a TV producer who he starred alongside in the Netflix comedy, Travels With My Father.
“My character is MacGregor, he is a sort of well-heeled, upper class English gentleman who doesn’t really want to be there, looks down his nose a bit at the rustic accommodation, very well dressed, dry sense of humour," he said.
“He’s basically like my dad, that’s slightly who it was modelled on.”
Whitehall said he is yet to tell his father but believes he will recognise the portrayal when he sees Jungle Cruise, adding: “I think he will appreciate the dress, he’ll appreciate the sartorial splendour of MacGregor if nothing else.”
Whitehall’s casting in the role of MacGregor caused controversy when it was revealed in August 2018, with reports of his playing of an openly gay character having critics why a gay actor was not picked.
Also on the cast are Edgar Ramirez as Spanish conquistador Aguirre, and Jesse Plemons as German aristocrat Prince Joachim,
When can I watch it?
Originally scheduled to release in October 2019, the film’s release date was then pushed back to July 2020, before being delayed to its current release date by the coronavirus pandemic.
Jungle Cruise will now be released in UK cinemas on Friday 30 July.
Will it come to Disney+?
Like other high-profile Disney films that have been released over the past 18 months or so, Johnson confirmed in May that Jungle Cruise will launch on streaming service Disney+ on the same day it is released in cinemas – on July 30.
It will be offered on Disney+ with Premier Access, which requires an additional fee, much like villain origin story Cruella and Marvel film Black Widow, which were released in June and July respectively.
Johnson announced the release news in a shirtless Instagram video filmed in his gym. in which he said he wanted to give people around the world a choice in how they watched the film.
He wrote: “On JULY 30th JUNGLE CRUISE hits theaters AND your homes worldwide.
“It’s a pleasure to say WE’RE BACK IN THEATERS! And it’s a pleasure to say, WE WILL ALSO COME TO YOU!
“The most important thing with our movie was to ALWAYS take care of families around the world by giving you options to watch it.