Just when you thought that the DCEU had things in order, they lose another director. Jaume Collet-Serra (Non-Stop, The Shallows), who was in the running to direct Suicide Squad 2, has now dropped out.
However, he will be boarding Disney’s Jungle Cruise, the Dwayne Johnson-starring vehicle that is based on the popular Disneyland ride of the same name. More on the story below.
Per Deadline, Collet-Serra has been eyed by a few studios after a string of hit films. He was said to be the top choice to direct Suicide Squad 2. However, he will be withdrawing his name and moving on to direct Disney’s Jungle Cruise.
David Ayer helmed the first Suicide Squad which was plagued with behind-the-scenes production issues ranging from reshoots to studio oversight. Something he hasn’t had a problem voicing out in the past and more recently during the panel for his Netflix movie Bright at Comic-Con. However, Ayer assured everyone that he is still directing Gotham City Sirens.
Other names that were in contention to direct Suicide Squad 2 were Mel Gibson and David Goyer.
So now Collet-Serra will be taking on Jungle Cruise. The opportunity to direct an action-adventure adaptation of a popular theme-park ride that is in the same vein as Indiana Jones sounded too good to pass up. Continuing a franchise that has already been established by a previous director just wasn’t appealing enough for him.
While the plot of the film is being kept a secret, Johnson said Jungle Cruise will be a period piece set in the 1920s, that takes inspiration from The African Queen. The actor also says there is an opportunity in this “amazing, fantastical, and cool world to build out,” and even goes as far to compare it to another successful Disney franchise based on a ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, which has spanned five films. And just like the ride, there will be “an abundance of puns.”
For those who may not be familiar with Disneyland’s Jungle Cruise, a skipper takes guests on a cruise down simulations of rivers around the world. There they will encounter all sorts of wild animals and even meet a few natives, all the while the ride’s skipper sticks to a script that is chock full of puns, jokes, and other hilarious riffs. Some of them being directed at the guests – none of which are malicious.
Dany Garcia, the co-CEO of Seven Bucks Productions with Johnson, will produce. J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay (Star Trek Beyond) penned the most recent draft of the script.
With Johnson’s Rampage, an adaptation of the coin-op arcade game of the same name, nearing the end of production, the actor will next move on to Skyscraper. In the movie he plays an American war veteran and former FBI hostage rescue team leader who, while in China, is framed for a fire that’s been started in a massive skyscraper where his family is now trapped.
Jungle Cruise is expected to begin filming sometime in the spring of 2018.