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Nearly two years after its original release date, we're finally just weeks away from getting to see Disney's Jungle Cruise. Dwayne Johnson, who stars in the theme park ride-themed film with Emily Blunt, revealed Thursday that the long-awaited period riverboat adventure will arrive at last in theaters and on Disney+ July 30.
The film will be in the "Premier Access" tier on Disney's streaming service, which means subscribers will have to pay an added fee to see it, much as they did with Disney releases like Mulan and Raya and the Last Dragon. The film was originally slated for a sole theatrical opening, though Disney has been taking advantage of the dual release strategy as the box office business continues to slowly ramp back up.
Johnson announced the dual release in an Instagram video posted from his "Iron Paradise" gym (where he's working up a sweat during the filming of Black Adam), and noted that while he's eager to see theaters fill up again, he's also eager for families to gather around their TVs at home to watch the film, noting "Audience first" in the post's caption.
"Jungle Cruise is a unique experience, and it gives us a unique opportunity to allow everyone around the world to watch the movie the way they want to watch the movie," Johnson said.
Johnson then went on to tell a story, which you can watch in the video above, about seeing the first trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean back when he was just entering the film world with projects like The Scorpion King, and taking inspiration from that particular theme park-inspired movie experience. For him, he said, in that moment he realized that if Disney ever offered him "a movie based on one of their iconic rides," it would be a sign that he'd made it.
Jungle Cruise features Johnson as Frank, a riverboat captain who takes a scientist (Emily Blunt) and her brother (Jack Whitehall) deep into the jungle on a search for an ancient tree that could change the future of medicine. Of course, if they want to complete the journey, they'll have to deal with everything from Mother Nature to a rival expedition along the way.
Jungle Cruise was originally set to hit theaters in October of 2019 after a thrilling D23 Expo rollout, but the film was pushed to the summer of 2020 back in the days when we still thought we'd have a summer movie season in 2020. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic changed that, and now, a year later, we'll finally get to see Johnson's theme park movie dreams come true.