Good news for Disney and Dwayne Johnson as Jaume Collet-Serra (The Shallows) has climbed aboard to direct Jungle Cruise, the action-adventure romp based on one of the Mouse House’s time-honored rides – not unlike Pirates of the Caribbean.
Alas, Deadline’s scoop means that Collet-Serra is no longer attached to Suicide Squad 2, after reportedly emerging as the frontrunner to direct only three weeks ago. Warner’s search for a filmmaker to replace the outgoing David Ayer (Gotham City Sirens) continues apace, but in more positive news, this latest report reaffirms that Will Smith, Margot Robbie and Jared Leto are all expected to return for Task Force X’s sophomore outing.
Jungle Cruise, meanwhile, is eyeing a production start in 2018 once Dwayne Johnson has wrapped Skyscraper, the Towering Inferno-like thriller that’s due to light up theatres next summer. Firm plot details are few and far between, but we do know that J.D. Payne (Star Trek 4) and Patrick McKay are the brains behind the story, one that will presumably stay true to the eponymous theme park ride by whisking viewers off on a journey through a range of leafy settings such as Africa’s Nile and Congo rivers as well as South America’s Amazon.
Word is that Jaume Collet-Serra ultimately chose Jungle Cruise over Suicide Squad 2 because it heralds an opportunity to launch a potential franchise at Disney, whereas the latter gig would have required working within a template drafted up by the Powers That Be at Warner Bros.
Speaking of which, WB staged a bold showcase at SDCC two weeks ago, where the studio cast light on the DCEU to reveal new footage from Justice League, Wonder Woman 2‘s release date (spoilers: it’s December 2019), and a crowd-pleasing sizzle reel designed to highlight all of the many superhero tentpoles brewing in production. Of those projects, it’s understood David Sandberg’s Shazam is next in line to enter production ahead of its purported release in 2019.
Next up for the DC Extended Universe is the release of Justice League on November 17th. Suicide Squad 2, meanwhile, is still casting the net in search of a director, but we’ll let you know if and when that changes. Finally, Disney’s Jungle Cruise movie is just now beginning to mosey into pre-production, and is therefore unlikely to arrive anytime before 2019.