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Dwayne Johnson Recalls Emily Blunt’s First Time On Jungle Cruise Ride

Dwayne Johnson described the first time Emily Blunt went on the ride, which inspired the new Jungle Cruise movie. The Jungle Cruise is a riverboat attraction at several Disney parks situated in California, Florida, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, which simulates a tour along major rivers. A movie based on the ride stars Johnson as the boat's captain and tour guide while Blunt plays a scientist searching for the Tree of Life.

Jungle Cruise follows in the footsteps of several Disney movies based on theme park attractions, most successfully the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. The film, which opens in theaters and on Disney + Premier Access on Friday, July 30, also stars Jack Whitehall, Édgar Ramirez, Jesse Plemons, and Paul Giamatti in supporting roles. Last week the movie had its world premiere at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, where the original ride was built, which the cast and crew visited before the screening.

Related: The Little Mermaid's Underwater World Needs To Avoid Lion King's CGI Realism

In a Screen Rant exclusive interview, Johnson said that the premiere visit to Anaheim marked the first time Blunt had been on the Jungle Cruise ride, which inspired the movie. While he had experienced it many times before and experienced nostalgia making the movie, Blunt starred in the film before trying it out. Johnson said it was beautiful to watch Blunt experience it for the first time and then share the movie with fans in the theme park itself. Read the complete discussion below:

Dwayne Johnson: It's an honor. You said it. Emily and I, that's not lost on us the responsibility and just the cool factor, that we have an opportunity to deliver something to the world that's been iconic and beloved over the years. So, it was a real honor for us.

Emily rode the ride for the first time the other day. It was beautiful, and it was just awesome for me to watch her experience the ride in that way. And then for us to go to the premiere and watch everyone around us experience the movie, which is - as you call it - such a...

Emily Blunt: It's like a joy bomb. It's like this nostalgic joy bomb. It's the movies you grew up watching, and that's why we signed on. That's why we wanted to do it. What was the first movie you saw in theaters? It was Raiders [of the Lost Ark]. You remember these movies.

The fact that Blunt had never been on the Jungle Cruise ride before making the movie inspired by it may lend authenticity to her performance as an adventurer taking to the water for the first time. By contrast, fans across the globe have been enjoying the Jungle Cruise for over 66 years since the ride first opened at Disneyland in 1955. As the ride is so old, it has undergone significant changes over the decades, most recently having animatronic "negative depictions of native people" removed this year.

Like Blunt, many audiences will be experiencing the Jungle Cruise for the first time when they see it in theaters, making it an experience she and Johnson hope more people will share as a result of the movie. The success of Jungle Cruise could see the film developed into a franchise and possibly inspire more movie adaptations of classic theme park attractions. With Disney's theme parks closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's likely Disney hopes the movie will encourage people to return to the parks to experience classic attractions as Blunt did.

Next: Disney+: Every New Movie & TV Show Coming In August 2021

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