Dwayne Johnson did everything he could to get Emily Blunt aboard Jungle Cruise.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, the WWE legend admitted that his list for a co-star began and ended with Blunt. He also shared that he has been an admirer of her ever since The Devil Wears Prada and felt that she would be his ideal partner for the Disney adventure film. Johnson added the following:
“I had always admired her as an actor, but also when I would watch her on talk shows, she had this personality that was effervescent, that was cool and very, very charming.”
Blunt was initially unaffected by the filmmakers' targeted attack, hoping to take a break after shooting Mary Poppins Returns and A Quiet Place back-to-back.
When Jungle Cruise director Jaume Collet-Serra flew to New York to hand-deliver a script to Blunt, Johnson decided to send along a video message of his own.
“I must have shot it about five or six times because I had not communicated with Emily yet,” Johnson says. “I had not even met her. And I wanted to let her know via this video just how important she was to this movie and how I only wanted her in this movie. And it was great. And I … I actually never heard again from Emily. Didn’t respond at all. Just ghosted me.”
Blunt replied with a smile, saying, “I thought the video was sweet. Didn’t know you were going to be so sensitive.”
After hearing Collet-Serra’s pitch the film as a cross between Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone (and Johnson’s “sweet” video), Blunt agreed to read the script and not long after signed on to the project.
Jungle Cruise can be seen in theatres or on Disney+ with Premier Access on July 30, 2021.
The official synopsis and trailer can be seen below:
Join fan favorites Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt for the adventure of a lifetime on Disney’s Jungle Cruise, a rollicking thrill-ride down the Amazon with wisecracking skipper Frank Wolff and intrepid researcher Dr. Lily Houghton. Lily travels from London, England to the Amazon jungle and enlists Frank’s questionable services to guide her downriver on La Quila—his ramshackle-but-charming boat. Lily is determined to uncover an ancient tree with unparalleled healing abilities—possessing the power to change the future of medicine. Thrust on this epic quest together, the unlikely duo encounters innumerable dangers and supernatural forces, all lurking in the deceptive beauty of the lush rainforest. But as the secrets of the lost tree unfold, the stakes reach even higher for Lily and Frank and their fate—and mankind’s—hangs in the balance.