The long-tail of Disney marketing just got a bit longer with word that not only are they bringing the popular Magic Kingdom theme-park attraction, Jungle Cruise to the big screen as a live action feature (we actually knew this some time ago), but that they now have attached two big name stars to the project as well. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, yes, Buzz and Woody, are joining forces with hopes of taking Jungle Cruise to infinity and beyond.
This whole theme park craze was touched off when Pirates of the Caribbean proved that the concept would work, but subsequent adaptations have not been as successful. For instance, can we interest anyone in some free DVD copies of Eddie Murphy's The Haunted Mansion? Anyone? Okay, guess we'll use them to prop this table up.
Guillermo del Toro is said to be working on a new adaptation of The Haunted Mansion, and Jon Favreau is reported to be behind a Magic Kingdom idea as well. And then there's this news about Ahmet Zappa writing a script that, while not officially being called an adaptation, will be recognized as one of the theme parks' lamest and most nonsensical attractions, The Enchanted Tiki Room. So, where does this madness stop?
Disney is hoping it won't be with Jungle Cruise as they're putting the big guns behind the production of this project in the names of David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman. You may know them as part of the brain-trust behind The Fighter which just this week took home a couple of golden guys. Ok so, it's sounding a little better.
They're being very stingy with the details of the production however, but are calling it "a big action-adventure movie with unique aspects that will make it more than just a straight-up adventure."
Hanks is said to be playing a regular Joe at the park with his family, while Allen will play a tour boat captain. Shouldn't they just hire one of those wanna-be actors who pilots the real boats? We always thought they were pretty good. Anyway, a director has not yet been attached to the film.
We don't know whether to wish them good luck on this thing, or to curse them with failure so we can all get away from this wacky theme-park-adaptation craziness and get on with original thought.